Starting this Monday, the parish office hours have expanded to 9:00 am -12:00 pm every weekday Monday through Friday, PLUS 12:30-3:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays only.
We started repayment of the old parish unpaid parish assessments owed to the Diocese from previous decades. For each amount repaid, we get an equal amount of matching credit, one-to-one. Any help with taking care of this obligation is very much appreciated. Please call me directly for more details.
It appears that NY State did a great job flattening the curve, and the COVID-19 spread is well controlled. The virus is reportedly mutating, similar to the flu, and it cannot be completely eradicated. In fact, its eradication was never a goal of temporarily shutting down the economy. As we continue to re-open the work and social life in WNY, the Sunday Mass personal attendance obligation still remains abrogated, and we can expect it to continue for a time.
Due to the high levels of fear and anxiety surrounding the pandemic, many Catholics still choose to stay away from participating in the Mass and other worship services. We want to be safe and especially help keep the elderly and other people with compromised immune systems safe. For this reason, we will continue to offer Mass opportunities allowing people to participate safely. Both drive-in and on the lawn Sunday Masses are well received, and we plan to continue offering these for the foreseeable future. We remind all people to sanitize their hands when entering and leaving the church, and to wear a face-covering when entering and leaving the church. We also follow the diocesan guidelines of wearing masks during the Communion procession, receiving Holy Communion in hand, and at any other time when physical distancing cannot be maintained, both inside and outside of the church.
According to some health experts, long-term wearing of a face mask can lower the immune system by automatically putting the body into the unhealthy prolonged sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system mode. It can also impede breathing and lower the healthy oxygen intake in some people. In general, if a face covering does not impede breathing, it cannot be much effective against viruses. Besides, viruses can enter the body through the unprotected eyes or broken skin. Hence, it is very important not to touch one’s face. Please use your own best informed judgment as to what is best for you and others. Practicing proper social distancing, hand washing, wearing a face covering, and the regular strengthening of our body’s natural immune system can go a long way to help keep us safe and help to continue to flatten the infection rate curve of this novel coronavirus.
Final thoughts some may find helpful. Chronic fear lowers the immune system. Love heals. Trust in the Lord. Watch less of the “TV fear box”, pray the Rosary more often, and spend time with God.