As we continue through these summer months I want to update you on happenings at the parish. I would like to start by first saying how appreciative I am of your commitment to our parish and perseverance in our faith in light of the challenges brought about by COVID-19 that we are all facing. The special nature of St. Dominic Parish has been all the more apparent during these unique and trying times. Thank you for who you are and for what you do!
We have resumed the public celebration of Mass on Sundays as well as weekdays while following good safety protocol – appropriate social distancing, washing of hands and the wearing of masks. We are not yet back to our full Sunday schedule of Masses with the Sunday 5:30 pm Mass not yet resuming but I have hope that we will get back to the full schedule eventually. We have had the PLC set up for possible overflow at Masses but have not yet needed it even as it seems we remain on the cusp of that need at certain Masses.
Through the Home campaign, we were able to purchase the equipment necessary to begin livestreaming the Mass for our parishioners who are not yet comfortable in attending the public celebration of Mass. We are currently livestreaming the Sunday 10:00 am and 12:30 pm Masses as well as the Wednesday 8:15 am Mass. This capability will continue to be a great resource for our homebound parishioners even after the pandemic. The dispensation from the obligation to attend the Sunday Mass celebration remains and people who do not attend the public celebration are still encouraged to make a spiritual communion. Please know that the grace of the Mass continues to be offered for the spiritual benefit of our entire parish community during these days.
Sacramental celebrations at the church (i.e. baptisms, weddings and funerals) have been continuing but with limited attendance and appropriate safety protocols. We were able to bring our RCIA candidates into full communion with the Church and our young people received their first communion! On July 24th, we will celebrate our parish’s Confirmation Mass for our young people waiting to receive that sacrament. Please keep them in your prayers.
Parishioners have been faithful in their financial support of our church whether through the Sunday collection, online giving or the mailing in of support. Thank you for your support.
Our parish office is back to its normal schedule and the different ministries of our parish continue to find ways to minister in some new and creative ways. We just concluded our parish Vacation Bible School and even though we had to limit numbers due to safety it was a wonderful and faith-filled event for our young people and our entire parish! Mrs. Darlene Lyons (SDCS principal) and our school staff have been hard at work in preparing for the next school year and what that might look like.
So … things continue on. We continue to be parish and we continue to proclaim and live our faith!
People have asked me about my sabbatical plans. Due to COVID-19 the first half of my sabbatical was just not possible (Scripture study in Israel followed by a trip to Rome and then a couple of weeks hiking the Camino in Spain). I am still planning on the second half of the sabbatical though which will be two months in Yellowstone with time thrown in for a private retreat at the beginning and visiting some family afterwards. I will be departing on my sabbatical on August 17th and returning to the parish the week of November 9th. While I am away, Fr. Emmanuel and the office staff will keep things running. I have arranged for different priests to come in on weekends to help in the celebration of the Sunday Masses. I know that these visiting priests will be received well.
Please know of my gratitude for you and for our entire St. Dominic Church community! I pray that we can all enjoy the blessings of these summer months and I pray for God’s continued blessings on our parish!