Earlier in 2018, our Bishop asked each vicariate and parish in the diocese to collaboratively examine their church seating capacity and Sunday Mass attendance. It was done in order to plan for a wide regional effort to adjust the current Mass schedules in all parishes to improve on low attended liturgies, the timing, and address the dwindling number of active priests able to celebrate the Sunday Mass. Our church and chapel seating has been calculated at 576 total, but actual Mass attendance is far below that number. The 9:00 am and 11:00 am Sunday Masses are currently filled at about only 20% each at best.
Upon an extensive discussion and consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council and their full and unanimous recommendation, as well with the support of other parish groups, anticipating adjustments to number of Masses at other parishes later in the year, we will merge the 9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses into one Mass at 10:00 am on Sunday, September 9, 2018, after Labor Day. The Saturday 4:00 PM and the Sunday 7:30 AM Masses will remain unchanged.
This adjustment will allow enrichment in the quality of liturgy, greater, wholehearted participation, the availability of having a monthly Family Mass with time to have additional parish activities and Parish Faith Formation for adults and younger students. Doing it at the beginning of the school year rather than in the middle of it should also prevent any major disruption of family schedules.
Thank you in advance for your support and willingness to make the necessary adjustments in your choice of a weekend Mass. May we continue to grow as a parish community and support one another in word and deed.