Update on Weekend Mass Schedule
After consultation with the parish councils of both Assumption and St Boniface, we have decided to leave in place for the foreseeable future the current weekend Mass schedule which was instituted Memorial Day Weekend. As a reminder, it is:
...................11:15AM (St Boniface)
...................6:00PM (St Boniface)
We have come to this decision for two reasons:
First, in recognition of the substantial decline of in-person Mass attendance since the beginning of the pandemic, it is wise stewardship to adjust the physical use of the buildings and its attendant costs to reflect the numbers of people actually occupying the spaces. This also reflects diocesan guidelines regarding the scheduling of the number of Sunday and Saturday vigil Masses based on size of church building and average attendance.
Since the formation of the Oratory, we have aimed to create communities of familiar faces by scheduling a thoughtful and intentional number of weekend liturgies to promote this. These focused Masses and the formation of fellowship (e.g. coffee hour) have contributed to close friendships and deepened the meaning of parish family for so many now for more than three decades.
Second, given the inevitable movement of our priests toward retirement, when necessary, this will allow one Oratorian priest to celebrate all four weekend Masses. While generally two priests will share the weekend Masses, this may not always be possible.
For example, in May of this year, four of the Oratorians contracted COVID at the same time and were thus in isolation which spanned a weekend. With the current Mass schedule remaining in place, this will allow one priest to cover all Masses in the event of something similar happening again in the future.
Also, though at present the Oratory parishes are blessed with an unusual number of priests available to serve the sacramental life of the lay community, a growing number of parishes nationally and even locally have just one priest serving multiple churches at once. While parishes are inevitably moving to single Masses per weekend for individual churches, thankfully we still have the ability to offer multiple weekend liturgies at both churches.
As Oratorian Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman so wisely said: To be human is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often. As we rise to meet the new demands placed on us, especially in light of the pandemic, may we all have the grace to respond generously to these challenges while continuing to live as faith-filled Catholics, animated by the joy of St Philip, to announce Christ’s message of salvation to a world that needs this now more than ever.
Thank you for your understanding, and if you have any questions, please contact Fr Anthony.
The Fathers and Brother of the Oratory