Reflecting on Being Back

Every state and diocese is at a different place in their phased reopening. I’ve been back at Mass for a few weeks now, and we’re even back to our normal Daily Mass schedule, which is a blessing for me. A lunchtime Mass fits much better into my schedule than a 9 am Mass, although I was able to rearrange things most days of the week.

Comparison

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” It seems to be in my nature to compare. Whenever I’m tempted to compare my life with others or today with three months ago, I think of the above quote and also the mnemonic device, “Compare to Despair.” Are you comparing phase 1 reopening to pre-Covid?

Online Bulletins

Communication has always been necessary as a parish, but it’s even more important now. While most parishioners receive their regular news via the weekly printed bulletin, they aren’t in the pews for Mass to receive it.

Out of Office Replies

With a request from bishops, governors, and other leaders to stay home except for “essential work” … how is your parish responding? What does your auto-reply look like?

Website Homepage Updates

During this time when public Masses are suspended and virtually every event at the parish is cancelled or is now virtual, use your homepage as a resource.

Visits from Jesus

When parishes can’t celebrate public Masses and we’re called to stay home as much as possible, St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte is getting creative and bringing Jesus to the people!

Establishing a Buddy System

We’re social distancing to protect those in our culture who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and flatten the curve. As I’ve spoken with a few co-workers and parishes, we’ve been discussing that while it’s important that we distance ourselves for their physical health, we need to find ways to take care of their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. All that in addition to basic needs like groceries and medicine.

Supporting Your Community

In the midst of an inability to celebrate public Masses and social distancing this week and in the coming weeks, I wanted to share some ideas for staying connected to parishioners. This is not exhaustive nor the only set of ideas out there, but I believe we can become a stronger community when we face this together without a sense of fear. In Scripture we are told, “Be Not Afraid” more than 365 times! Now is the time to show what our faith means to us, even if we are not gathering for weekly Mass.

An Easy Way to Live Stream Mass

If your parish is going to be closed for the next few weeks or months, there are ways available to you to stream the private Masses your pastor might be doing in a way that invites the whole community to worship.