Memorial Day: please remember in prayers all those who have given their lives to protect and serve our country. We should never tire of honoring and saluting their sacrifice.
Lifting of social distancing executive orders: Be understanding of one another as we return to pre-pandemic spaced seating in the church! For folks who feel an urgent need to keep the 6 foot spacing, we are going to continue to offer the PLC as a socially distanced space to participate in the Mass. Please do not enter the PLC if you cannot find a seat that is socially distanced from the folks already there. And the Holy Cross Academy, Sunday 8:30am ‘pandemic’ Mass will still require masks and social distancing! Staff will be watching to see how the need for these spaces evolves as we return to Mass.
Finally, Summer: let me repeat an exhortation that I often give at the beginning of summer regarding vacations, Mass attendance, and dressing properly for Mass.
Summer brings vacation, and that means relaxation for most folks. One of the great benefits of summer is that life slows down significantly for us. I still exhort you to make Sunday Mass the cornerstone of your week. If you need to find a Catholic Church near to your vacation in Toledo, Timbuktu, or even Toronto …. then check out: MassTimes.org.
Summer also brings different wardrobes. I remember as a child that it meant that we would break out the white pants that would be my “Sunday Clothes” for the summer. Remember those: Sunday Clothes? We each would do well to just pause and examine our consciences about how we dress for Jesus during the summer. The most common argument is that, “Jesus doesn’t care what I wear!” or “God doesn’t need me to dress up!” We are right to say that God doesn’t need me to dress up…. I need me to dress up! However Jesus does care what we wear, but not because He is judging us based on our clothes. He cares what we wear because how we dress is part of our preparation for and participation in Mass! When we take the time and effort to give Jesus our best (clothes, time, attention, and love) He can pour out his blessing into our souls! The concept of “Sunday Clothes” is that I give Jesus my best, because that is what God deserves, the best of me. I recall with great fondness how I would untuck my shirt every Sunday, the very second that I walked out of the Church Door!
Let me also be clear to say that nobody is to be turned away or judged because they are wearing shorts and flip-flops. There are times when we are literally coming from the beach, or on our way to a soccer match, or even sometimes folks can be simply struggling to feel welcome at Mass. I recall a conversation in another parish with a teen who was inappropriately dressed for Mass, where they were actually hoping that I would chastise them so that they could have an excuse not to come back! I know you pray for wisdom as parents, let us also pray for wisdom as a parish family to be gentle with our struggling sheep, but also challenging all to grow deeper in faith every day.