Dear Friends In Christ:
This week I convened a small task force of clergy, lay leaders, and scientists to discuss the latest COVID-19 protocols, and the implications of the plans to lift mask restrictions in the State of California.
A challenge we face as a diocese is the vast diversity in the sizes and locations of our parishes. Our diocese is comprised of 64 churches in 22 counties, and one single strategy for regathering is impractical for the entire diocese.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we must recognize that COVID-19 is here to stay. It will not cease with the lifting of the masking restrictions. We find ourselves in the same uncharted waters with churches, businesses, schools, and other institutions to reopen safely.
I recommend a phased approach for all parishes, beginning with the summer months. I anticipate things will continue to improve, and will continue to meet with the taskforce to seek their guidance.
I know this is a difficult time for all, and I pray that, with continued diligence, we will emerge from the pandemic even stronger. Thank you for your hard work and perseverance in this most trying of times.