Dear Friends on the Journey,
Two important announcements right from the start:
First, this week, live-streamed Mass at 12N; next week, 10am. (I should also like to emphasize that you don’t have to be a family to attend the 10am Liturgy of the Word for families: all are welcome!). After this week, the live-streamed Mass will be at 10am (not 12n). We will begin live-streaming the Liturgy with Congregation on August 9th. Be aware, however, that you can access the recording of the 10am live-streamed Mass any time after 11:15am. So perhaps you are used to the Liturgy of the Word for Families at 10a. That will continue, but only live. So you may wish to attend the 10am Liturgy of the Word for Families at 10am and “attend” the recording of live-streamed Liturgy anytime afterwards.
Secondly, we are preparing our “slow roll” reentry into the Paulist Center Chapel for the weekend of August 8-9: 5pm Saturday, August 8th, and 10am Sunday, August 9th. See important links below about Procedures we will be following. How to reserve a place? Two ways: electronically through Eventbrite (here’s the link: EventbriteLink) or call the Center during business hours Wednesday through noontime Friday (617.742.4460). Sal, our receptionist, will take your name and contact information (either email or phone number). We need this information is so that we can contact you should we become aware, after the liturgy, of a person with Covid who attended your mass. This is very important. Again, please read carefully the Procedures and watch the video (both links below).
As many of you know, most Boston-area Catholic Churches, with a few exceptions, returned to some kind of in-person worship either on the last weekend of May or on the first weekend of June. Many of those parishes resumed both weekday liturgies and weekend liturgies. Our Paulist Center process of consultation made us more cautious in resuming any kind of in-person worship, both weekday Masses and weekend Masses.
Adding to the long process consultation involving the Staff, the Pastoral Council, the Worship Team, a special Task Force assembled by the Pastoral Council, the Pastoral Council also just completed a very widely-participated-in survey. This survey confirmed much of what prior consultation discovered and acted upon. Namely, most Paulist Center members would not be returning even when there was an opportunity to do so. We were aware that certain demographics in particular would not be returning (e.g., persons over 60 years of age; our families who have found their weekly Liturgy of the Word very fulfilling, participative, and interactive). Many people wanted more time to see how things work themselves out, both at the Paulist Center and in the City. Many also are waiting for certain significant conditions to be met before they would consider returning (e.g., when we could worship maskless, when we could sing, when social distancing was no longer required, when no group was considered vulnerable and there advised to remain at home). These survey results complement, therefore, what we are doing: starting slowly, safely, and with a significantly reduced capacity matched by a significantly smaller number of returnees. That is, for both Masses (5pm on Saturday and 10am on Sunday), we calculate a maximum capacity of about 70 (32 on the first floor, 30 on the balcony). Furthermore, we hope to learn from this experience as the Commonwealth moves to the next phases of reopening.
It was also clear from the Survey that many people found the Live-streamed Masses nourishing to their faith and a great help in their feeling connected with the community. The extensive consultation that we have been going through came to the same conclusion a number of weeks ago, and that is why we have announced our intention to continue Live-streamed Masses for the next couple years. This entails a significant capital investment which we are engaged in right now. (We had hoped to have all the new equipment in place by August 9th, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So those attending the 10am Mass in person will have a couple iPad and iPhone cameras on tripods in front of them!)
As promised right from the start, we will reenter the Chapel only when we are ready and when we are safe. We will be following all the protocols called for by the CDC, the Commonwealth, and the Archdiocese (If anyone would like to pore through some of these, email me, and I will be happy to send you some of them. They are extensive and very detailed: we will be following them).
And we will be continuing live-streaming Sunday Eucharist for the foreseeable future.
And we will be flexible in what we do, always recognizing that the conditions around us may call for a change in course.
(I hope to share more of the details of the Survey results with you next week. They are still “hot off the press.”)
More to come on our racism initiative.
Two very important items…
We have scheduled reentry into the Chapel for Saturday, August 8th, 5pm, and Sunday, August 9th, 10am. (Please note that live-streamed Masses will continue for the foreseeable future.)
This is very important:
We are in pretty good shape for the first three weekends of reentry…until Labor Day weekend. So if you can assist with welcoming, seating, and directing people into and out of the Chapel, we would love to hear from you! If you are not in a vulnerable group with regard to COVID-19 and are willing and able to assist in this very important ministry, please contact Peter Ghiloni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Here are the expectations and requirements: Procedures
2) A wonderful YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5A6uzhJH-Y&feature=youtu.be
1) 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 2nd, Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 12N:
Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/SGOqRkTCfyQ
2) Paulist Center Families Prayer Service, 10 am, Sunday
Please click here to join us: https://zoom.us/j/97252474747?pwd=YktPNzE3ZVNJVEltS3FENHFRSnI4QT09
Meeting ID: 972 5247 4747, Password: 037026, One tap mobile
+16465588656,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (New York)
3) All are welcome to a prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+ Group next Wednesday, August 5th, 7pm. Here’s the Link: https://tinyurl.com/PCC-LGBTQ-Zoom527. All are welcome!
4). Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson <email@example.com> will be offering an hour a week for any Paulist Center members who might want to connect. Patty has in mind especially those who aren’t connected into any other small groups. This August 6th, 7-8pm. Also if anyone wishes to connect with Patty either on phone or video session, just email her or leave a message on her phone (617.948.2428) and she will get back to you ASAP.
Ways of Giving:
Our “Community Gift” is our tradition of giving away 5% of our weekend offerings, averaged out over the whole year, to a group outside of ourselves. This week, we lift up the Missionary Association of Irish Little Sisters of the Assumption.
We are so very grateful for your support during this time of uncertainly and financial peril. Here are two ways to give:
- To make a one-time or recurring donation using your bank account or credit card, click on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/DonatePaulistCenter
Giving by text: Text 844-899-7511 with the amount you would like to donate (whole dollars only). Donations collected this way will be designated as part of the “Weekend Offering.”
- Giving by text: Text a whole dollar donation amount to 844-899-7511; this will be designated as your “Weekend Offering.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I conclude with the wise words of St. Teresa of Avila:
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.
And let us pray for/with one another.
Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center
I will be sending out something every Thursday or Friday as the “shut down” continues.