Updates as summer winds down
As summer winds down I wanted to update you on parish things. So far we have been seeing most weekend Masses fill up the church, with at least some overflow into the social hall. We've had well over forty first communions over the course of the summer with just one or two at each Mass, and I think we have all enjoyed being a part of that moment. Less visible were the forty-two confirmations that we did in five separate Masses during the week. My thanks to the ushers helping everyone find a place and to the volunteers who have been sanitizing the pews and other contact points after each mass. More hands are always welcome, so please email me or call the parish office if you want to help. Right now the air conditioning system brings in fresh air from the outside as it runs during Mass. I know that no one wants to think about summer ending... but once we get to the fall and winter months, our current plan is to open the outside vents on the heat registers to bring in and also warm up fresh air, and add a large industrial fan to pull air out of the building, probably through a sacristy window. We will keep an eye to make sure bringing in that outside air doesn't make the church uncomfortably cold - or hopefully not even very noticeable - but don't be afraid to dress warmer as the weather gets colder. We've had a few covid related funerals now, may their souls rest in peace. They were parishioners living in nursing homes and not anyone who had been active and around the parish itself in the past few months, but it does remind me that while we may grow tired of all the precautions we can't relax just yet. And just yesterday the pastor of two neighboring parishes tested positive and the county has asked that those parishes remain closed for two weeks, so we may see some new faces joining us for Mass. As our school families know, school will be resuming after Labor Day and for the first few weeks will be remote classes only. After that if there are no major changes with the spread of the pandemic, each family will have the choice for their children to have in-person or remote classes, decided quarter by quarter. We had several task groups of parents and teachers working throughout the summer to figure out our plan for classes and how to have in-person classes as safely as we could reasonably accomplish. Still, delaying our start and beginning with only remote classes was an incredibly difficult decision, and I am very grateful that our school families have been understanding. And mark your calendars for Monday, September 14 at 2:00pm. Our next bishop, Bp. Edward Malesic, will be installed and the Mass will be streamed from the diocesan website, dioceseofcleveland.org. I encourage you all to watch if you can, as I'm sure his homily will be a great way for us all to have a first impression of him. Many of you have asked how I am doing personally. All things considered... alright. It's been an exhausting few months. I pray a lot with a worry that people might be disconnecting from faith and I would never know, or perhaps even they don't feel it happening. But I remind myself to trust not just in God, but in all of you. As one parishioner told me, the sun always rises eventually.