During the outdoor Mass last week, Father Dan shared that God has interrupted our lives in unexpected ways. For most of us, the canceling of public Mass was an unwelcome jolt. We attend Mass to pray for one another as well as for loved ones that have gone before us. One way to pray for a loved one is to have a Mass offered in memory of them.
Due to the pandemic shutdown earlier this year, dozens of Mass intentions were put on hold. Like you, the church office anxiously waited for Mass to resume. When the time came to open up, the diocese advised us to resume Masses but with a new, reduced Mass schedule. Our new schedule requires a longer break between Masses to allow for sanitizing the church. The new schedule also removes a Mass each weekend.
This created two challenges for the church office. We had to reschedule each Mass intention that was canceled during the shutdown. We also needed to reschedule upcoming Mass intentions impacted by the postponement of the 9:30 Mass. We were able to reschedule each preexisting intention to a remaining, available Mass during 2020.
Numerous weekend Mass intentions could not be rescheduled on an upcoming weekend. Canon Law mandates that we provide a Mass intention within one year of the request. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an active parish with Mass intentions typically booked out several months in advance. This makes rescheduling dozens of Masses a complicated task. We have done our best to reschedule each Mass intention while honoring Canon Law that guides us. We know that some of you will not be able to attend a Mass offered for a loved one because of a new date and time. We sympathize with you and we apologize for the inconvenience.
There are many uncertainties as we move forward. Will there be another shutdown in the fall as the next flu season commences? When will a new pastor be assigned to our parish? Will a new pastor change our Mass schedule? If so, how many Masses will be offered at Our Lady and what will those Mass times be?
Because of so many uncertainties regarding our Mass schedule, the church office is not accepting new requests for Mass intentions at this time. Our parish already has a Mass intention associated with each of the remaining Masses during 2020. Thank you for your dedication and support of our parish. Please continue to keep our parish in your prayers. The church office appreciates your patience as we navigate this ongoing interruption together.