Good Afternoon, everyone.
I am afraid we are being very business-like at the beginning of this week. Our situation seems to alter hour by hour. Some developments.
First we have decided to close the parish offices for direct service. This will enable the office staff to work from home, and it will help us maintain a preventive perimeter around the two Dominican priories, St. Vincent’s because of the older men living there, and St. Catherine’s because of the work of the hospital chaplains.
During these days Rachel Miller, Lee Ann Rubino, and Dan O’Leary will be responsive to messages.
While we operate in this way we will not be able to accept Mass intentions. As I mentioned earlier we are honoring the commitments we already have, and we are booked for some time to come. But trying to mange new intentions from a distance is asking for mistakes. I am sorry for this inconvenience. Please feel free though to leave messages or send emails, with names for prayer lists for the sick and for the deceased.
Both churches may remain open for personal prayer, and our custodial staff may be present as they are considered essential employees. We just need to avoid developing congregations.
Church opening hours are currently:
St. Vincent Ferrer 10 AM – 5 PM Sun – Sat
11 AM – 4:30 PM Sat – Sun
St. Catherine of Siena 6:30 AM – 4 PM Mon – Fri
8 AM – 6 PM Sat – Sun
Since there is so little traffic at this time, we have made the decision to shutter the public bathrooms at St. Vincent Ferrer so that they can receive some much-deferred maintenance. This will allow our staff to work on the project without interruption and with safety. Thank you for your understanding.
Finally I am sorry for the technical difficulties we have had in streaming the Mass over the last couple of days. Great minds are at work on this.
I am sure we join in prayer for the multitudes affected by this crisis in our city and nation. But we pray in a special way for the people of Italy, so ravaged by this pandemic.
Finally, yesterday I took a very socially distant walk in the park. The daffodils, forsythia, and flowering trees welcomed me brightly and gently. Never have I been so aware of their hardy and courageous beauty. As we go through this crisis together I think we discover how intrepid we are under our apparent frailty.
I miss each of you, and all of you.