Hi folks. I sure miss seeing you!
As mentioned last week, though there is so much we don’t know right now about what is going on around us, two things we do know: We will get through this! God loves us! We all need to focus on those 2 things.
For your benefit, we are monitoring daily, (hourly actually), what is coming from the government, health organizations, and the archdiocese in order to do what is best for our parish, our parishioners, our volunteers, and our staff. Through it all know that we are here for you!
Here’s the latest updates:
REGARDING OUR PRIESTS AND STAFF:
– Fr. Dennis: He is doing well and has been a tremendous blessing for us all as he has been willing to continue to offer mass on behalf of both parishes. Please keep him in prayer.
– Fr. Tom and Fr. Richard: Both continue in quarantine. Both are doing well. Both have offered some reflections for our parishioners that we will get out to them via bulletin, email blast, and Social Media. Know we are praying for you – please pray for us.
– Fr. Paul: He has returned home after a stay at Community Memorial Hospital with a respiratory issue. It was not COVID-19 related – thank God!
– Barb Schuelke: Her 14 day quarantine is over! Praise God! She is feeling well and sends regards.
SPECIAL NOTES FOR THIS WEEK:
1. Both parish staffs continue to work – though remotely. They have been nothing short of amazing given all they are accomplishing by offering programs for all age groups, and responding to parishioner needs.
2. Feel free to contact any on staff if you have a question, concern, or suggestion. Emails can be found on the parish website.
3. We continue to hold virtual staff meetings. We have had two now and we have had 100% attendance. They have both gone very well.
4. Both parishes continue to offer weekly bulletins which can be accessed via the parish websites.
5. In addition to the bulletin, we will continue a formal weekly “eMail Blast” from me each Friday keeping all parishioners with email up to date. Most parishioners have email.
6. For those parishioners without email we are formulating a number of plans in order to stay in touch with them. If you know of a fellow parishioner that is not able to access this bulletin, or who does not get the Friday emails, please reach out to them and share this news with them. If you are willing to be part of a team who calls parishioners, please let me know via email. email@example.com
7. We update each parish Facebook page and website regularly (in most cases daily) as another way to keep everyone informed, and as a way to offer prayers and insights.
8. We are finding creative ways to support pastoral care and even prayers after death. This past week we have done several virtual Vigil services for the recently departed, and Prayers Over the Sick for two in the active stage of dying.
9. We held our first virtual Finance Council at St. James this past Wednesday. We have agreed to meet virtually every week to monitor closely our offertory and expenses, and develop contingency plans as may be needed.
10. I have had MANY calls from engaged couples either advising they desire to postpone and reschedule their weddings, or asking for insight as to whether their wedding might be need to be pushed back. We have already had 2 may wedding postponed. Clearly the other May, and even June weddings, are considered tentative at this point.
1. We have now recorded two Lenten masses, one for the Fourth Sunday of Lent and one for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. They are posted on both parish websites and Facebook pages. Here are the links in case you did not have a chance to view them.
2. Fourth Sunday of Lent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CrjjEuUVkY
3. Fifth Sunday of Lent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-0lM9BwSbM
4. Both of the liturgies above have included the names of those whose families have asked for intentions.
5. For this past Sunday, and moving forward, we will provide those viewing from home who cannot receive Communion, we will offer a prayer of “Spiritual Communion”. If you are interested in seeing it, click on the Fifth Sunday of Lent link above and fast forward to the Consecration and Communion.
6. These virtual liturgies are being received extremely well. The Fourth Sunday of Lent we are approaching 600 views. The Fifth Sunday of Lent is approaching 800 views and the numbers are still climbing. These numbers are much higher than our usual viewership. It indicates that our parishioners are hungry for liturgy, the word of God, and words of comfort and hope. We have also received numerous comments via email and voicemail from appreciative parishioners.
7. For Palm Sunday, we will post a link to a prior year service from our archives. This way the décor, full choir, and all ministers will be present for this special service. We will let parishioners know ahead of time that the link will be posted on April 5, Palm Sunday. We will put the link our webpages and post on Facebook.
8. The following week, we will post a link as each day unfolds for the Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday masses from our archives, also allowing all who view to experience the décor, full choir and all ministers. We will let parishioners know about this ahead of time and then post the link as the individual day unfolds.
9. We will continue to offer virtual masses for the duration of the Stay Home Stay Safe period. We will give you updates each week.
1. During the week I continue to work virtually having many phone calls and exchanging many emails, some business related, but the bulk responding to need for prayer and spiritual direction.
2. I have a graveside service this week and have been assured by the cemetery management (Wisconsin Memorial Park), and the funeral home, that there will be no more than 10 gathered and that we will practice social distancing
3. Do not hesitate to write or call me with questions, information, and ideas
4. I continue to monitor archdiocese, deanery, parish director and general ministry virtual groups that have formed and share info with appropriate parties as it unfolds
5. There will be a live conference call on Wednesday for all pastors and parish directors with the archbishop. Rest assured I will provide details for all of you.
Deacon Sandy Sites