To the St. John the Baptist Parish and School Family:
You may have seen yesterday's Daily Update with information from Archbishop Hebda regarding Phase 2, reopening for public Mass. If not, you can find that information
It has come to my attention that given our evolving situation with regard to the reopening of Masses, some parishes have elected to host small public Masses of nine persons in addition to the priest celebrant. This is now allowed under the current (and we hope, soon-to-be-relaxed even further) directives. In our steady and continuing staff conversations about the reopening process, and in my own prayer and reflection, it has been determined that this is not a good option for us at St. John’s. Parishes smaller than ours might be in a better position to get more of their parishioners to church in this way, but we have reasoned that such a small number in our large parish would mean that only a very select few would be able to attend Mass, and that the majority of parishioners would have to wait—likely until a much larger number of people could attend anyway. In other words, the very slight relaxation we were given provides us with the proverbial “distinction without a difference.”
In the meantime, the parish staff has been working with great diligence and care to develop a plan for the restoration of Mass and the welcoming of a larger number of people into our worship space to celebrate the Eucharist. To pivot away from the plans already made in the hopes of welcoming such a comparatively small number of people would be too cumbersome. I am grateful especially to our maintenance team, on whom will fall much of the burden and attention to detail when we are all allowed to be back in the building.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Benjamin Little