Parish Update -- May 2
Parish Update -- May 2
Dear Parishioners of St. Joseph and Corpus Christi:
Yesterday, May 1, was the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. When St. Joseph's feast on March 19 came up we were talking about postponing St. Joseph Altar's around the country to May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Both dates have now come and gone. I think if there was ever a time for us to call upon the intercession of St. Joseph the Worker it's during these times. St. Joseph, Pray for us!
-- The original statement from Bishop Kopacz said we would not have public Masses until after April 30. This past week an email came to us from Fr. Lincoln Dall, the Vicar General of the diocese. He said that it was unlikely we would be looking at opening public Masses until the end of the month or so. But we will continue to live-stream for as long as we need at 10 AM from our facebook page --
-- As I said last week, the diocese has offered some directives for us to open the sacrament of Reconciliation. Here is the excerpt from the statement that has gone around:
Directive regarding the sacrament of reconciliation
In response to the governor lifting the shelter-in-place mandate, we see the restoration of the sacrament of reconciliation in our parishes as a way to breathe life into the faithful of our Diocese. During a discussion at the priests council this past week, we discussed certain safeguarded conditions that should be in place in order to offer this sacrament in a safe manner. Please adapt these safeguards in the way you offer the sacrament of reconciliation to your parishioners.
social distancing is to be maintained by priest and penitent
masks worn by priest and penitent
space is disinfected and wiped down after each time
social distancing observed while penitents are waiting for the sacrament.
consider having the sacrament outdoors in an appropriate place (if done outdoors, those waiting for the sacrament may wait in their cars)
I want to be clear that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and in the midst of safer-at-home orders from the governor of the State of Mississippi, but we will very cautiously open up confessions for tomorrow, Sunday, May 3, from 4-6 PM outside behind the Parish Hall. Please wear a mask and those waiting may wait in their cars in the parking lot with windows up. We will stay at least 6 feet apart under the covered patio.
Church will remain locked
-- For the time being, we are going to keep our church doors locked because we are keeping the camera equipment in the church so we do not have to set up so much every week. Also, our friends at Resurrection Episcopal Church down the street experienced some severe vandalism sometime in the last few days. Let's offer our prayers for them and their community as well and for whoever is dealing with the kind of pain that would compel someone to vandalize a church.
-- We have ordered collection baskets with long handles for when we return. It is unlikely that we will offer Holy Communion under both species for a long time, even when we do come back. So we will not have quite the need for as many Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion, but we will have a greater need for more ushers. Currently we assign two ushers every week, but we will need at least four from here on out. Our Parish Pastoral Council has been talking about this for quite some time, especially with a growing need for safety. I'd like to ask you to consider volunteering for this very important ministry.
-- Our offertory has remained steady. Thank y'all so much for your generosity. Some have asked about cash offerings. We have a locking mailbox on the front of the church office that we are checking very frequently. So for those who put cash in an offertory envelope and would not like to mail it, please feel free to make a deposit in our mailbox.
Hang on to hope and keep the Faith!
Fr. Jason Johnston
on Saturday, May 2 at 1:07PM