Dear friends and parishioners at St. Mary’s in Genesee and Moscow,
As many of you know Bishop Peter has sent out the following update from the diocese removing Covid -19 based restrictions at church “as we continue to move toward pre-pandemic conditions.” This is wonderful and exciting news and definitely worth celebrating! It is my hope as Pastor that we will “move toward” the goal of removing all the Covid-19 restrictions as soon as we can, without causing too much disruption and confusion to our St. Mary’s family.
Some of these restrictions can and will be removed beginning this week and some by the Feast of Pentecost. Other restrictions will be removed over the course of the next few weeks through the Feast of Corpus Christi, going back, fully, to pre-pandemic conditions on the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 12/13, 2021.)
You may ask: “Why can’t we just do this NOW!” We are blessed that St. Mary’s Church in Moscow and Genesee have diverse and inclusive communities and we will consider the needs of all parishioners before we just “go back.”
There are many older/health compromised people in our parish who have come to rely on the safety of masks and social distancing. We have several parishioners who are unable to receive the vaccine and many who are just starting to be comfortable in coming back to Church.
We must also remember that our St. Mary’s Church and School calendars are coordinated in such a way that school families and parishioners can bring their unvaccinated children to church, with masks, just as we will continue to do so until the end of school. I would like to be as consistent and mindful of those families with unvaccinated children as possible. The feast of Corpus Christi directly coincides with the end of School.
It is also important to remember that we did not move into the pandemic 14 months ago in one simple step. It took us all a long while to learn how to live with it. It is going to take us a long while to learn how to live in a post-pandemic world.
Please be kind and courteous and patient with all people in church. Continue to be mindful of those who need to social distance and wear a mask. We will continue to sanitize the church after each mass and every evening. St. Mary’s has been a blessing for many to feel comfortable in coming back to church. Please let’s continue to provide that safe and welcoming place. And as always let’s continue to pray for those who still suffer gravely from the ravages of this pandemic throughout the world.