Reopening Weekend was a Success

06-05-2020Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary’s,

I am delighted to tell you that our “Re-opening” this past weekend was most successful and went extraordinarily well. The hours and hours of planning and preparation to insure that all the Masses were very reverent and very safe along with the addition of our special volunteer “Ambassadors” and also with the cooperation and support of the congregation allowed us to launch these Sunday Liturgies. The attendance at the Masses was: 50 at Saturday 4 PM, 70 at Sunday 7:30 AM and 90 at the 10:30 AM. (Maximum allowed capacity is approximately 180) I was pleased that many folks thoughtfully decided to attend or decided not attend Mass.

As we know good Catholics will make good decisions and we are blessed with many good and prudent Catholics at Saint Mary Parish. It is quite obvious that many, many good Catholics made the best decision for themselves and their families at this time. We will continue this present Mass schedule for the foreseeable future. We are making sure and certain that the most important Masses of the week, the Weekend Masses, are running reverently and safely. I am pleased to report that our Funeral Masses are now providing spiritual comfort and consolation to the grieving survivors. The funerals masses are more “private” than public, with social distancing, masks and less family involvement. The folks have reported that these special Masses are a great source of peace and comfort to them. Baptisms are going on now each Sunday, with one infant per ceremony and a restricted amount of people. We will be having three weddings in the next 6 weeks, which also will be very restricted and “private”.

We are slowly and thoughtfully trying to provide spiritual services that meet the Directives of the State and also of the Archdiocese. All things take time; all things must be done step by step. Coming from a larger family, when I was growing up, I learned to wait my turn. All of us may have to wait to take our turn for what we want. And also: we may have to give up our turn when we get it because someone else might need our turn more! All Masses which had reserved Intentions are now being said or will be said by Foreign Missionary Priests. This will continue this way until we reestablish a regular “new normal.” of Masses at some point after Labor Day. We will continue on this solid path and thoughtful plan. If you are at home and not joining us yet on Sunday, please pray for all of us as we undertake the monumental and spiritual task of Sunday Masses. When you participate in the most spiritual and wonderful Masses and Services on Catholic TV (catholictv.org), remember to pray for our Parish Community of Saint Mary.

Your generous and continual support of our Saint Vincent de Paul is wonderful and a great sign of faith. Folks now bring the items to the glass doors on the front sides of the lower church level and leave them inside in the large baskets and also continue to mail in financial donations to the Rectory. I am personally most grateful to all who have thoughtfully sent financial support to our Parish via on-line giving (found at stmarysfranklin.org) or mailed in or dropped through the Rectory mail slot. Your great caring for our Parish when there is so much to be worried about is very impressive and I am most appreciative.

Because of the critical need for Blood, we are allowing the Red Cross through the Sponsorship of our Parish’s Sacred Heart Knights of Columbus to run a Blood Donor Drive here on our lower level of the church building under the strict health and safety codes and protocols of the Red Cross on Friday, June 19, 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Please see our website (stmarysfranklin.org) to sign up for a time slot and also the rules which must be followed.

We make our prayer through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God to whom our Parish is dedicated and also the assistance of our special Patron Saint Rocco, Saint and Healer to our loving God who cares for us all in good and in bad times.

God bless:
Father Brian

PS: Last week I asked our God to help me write a shorter letter this week, and he did!

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