An Invitation from Father Mike

Dear Parishioners,

We would like to encourage those parishioners who are healthy to return to our Sunday Masses.  The Dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains for those with underlying health issues until further notice.  It has been wonderful to see those of you who have come back and are coming each week. 

We began public Masses May 15th in the Family Center and the Gym.    We now have four masses on Saturday and three masses on Sunday.  We want to meet the needs of our parishioners to gather for a Sunday Liturgy and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist.  Our Saturday evening, 4:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Sunday morning 11:30 a.m. masses are less attended and would be a good choice if you want the smallest gatherings. Once we fill these Masses, we will add more as needed!

Hand sanitizing stations are present in both buildings, chairs are sanitized after each Mass, and we also have been taking reservations for Mass to ensure that each person has a seat to avoid over-crowding. If you do not have a reservation, we will do our best to make sure you are accommodated. Both buildings are also very well ventilated.   Masks are now mandatory when entering the building, receiving communion and exiting the building.  You may take off your mask while listening to the readings and homily.  The priest or EM will come to you if you wish to receive the Eucharist no need to move from your assigned seats.

Finally, our staff members have been properly trained on all safety measures given to us by the CDC, our Diocese, and Catholic Mutual. 

We hope you are well and will see you soon!

Yours in Christ,

Father Michael Oenbrink

Pastor


TESTIMONIALS FROM PARISHIONERS

“Actually, since returning to mass, I have never felt apprehensive.  Every effort has been made to keep us all safe.  We are spaced well and last week everyone had a mask on.  You have done a great job, and I am thankful for the opportunity to attend in person.” – Bart and Lois Bubnell

“While we attended Mass regularly through YouTube with the church closings, it was not even close to being without the Eucharist and without our brothers and sisters in Christ worshiping by our sides.  We missed the singing and the presence of the Holy Spirit as we grew together in faith through the sharing and unity of receiving the Eucharist so we were so excited when we could attend Mass again.  

The altar set up in the gym was beautiful and being able to commune with our Lord through the priests and lay ministers has helped us to feel inspired.  We were comfortable with everyone being spaced far apart and liked that all were wearing masks.  When the piano played the first time before Mass began, I wanted to cry in thanksgiving for that familiar warm feeling of God's love wrapped around me.  It felt like we came "home" and especially during these times, knew we could not be in any better place except our Lord's house. 

We are thankful to the parish staff who took strong measures to make so many feel comfortable coming back and allowing a path for us to receive the bread of life again.  We felt so safe and knew the Lord was calling us back home to transform us through the Eucharist.” – Lisa and Greg Sisko

“I was grateful for the opportunity to return to Mass on Sunday, June 14th, the Feast of Corpus Christi.  Thanks to the planning and hard work of so many, I always feel safe because of the precautions taken to ensure the health of everyone.  Unless someone has a serious underlying medical condition or other vulnerability, I hope they will return to weekly Worship. I am more comfortable at Mass in the Family Center or Gym than I am at Wal-Mart or other businesses, but I must applaud their precautions, too!  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in this difficult time.” – Harriet Sporn

“My name is Joan Colon, I have been attending daily mass here at Saint Francis by the Sea church since 2018. Once the pandemic accelerated I became upset over the shut-down of the churches because receiving the Eucharist had been the center of my fulfillment and tranquility. When the churches began to open up, I was thrilled but worried about how the new precautions due to the pandemic would take into effect. With hesitation I scheduled a time to attend Daily mass. The church is enforcing mask wearing, there is a hand sanitizer station, every set of seats is 6 feet apart, after mass the chairs are sanitized with a sanitizing spray, and interaction coming into and outside of mass is prohibited. I have felt very safe at Saint Francis since the day it has opened post pandemic. I encourage those that desire that fulfillment of the Eucharist to attend mass because there is no endangerment present, just worship within social distancing precautions.” – Joan Colon

"I have been very impressed with the steps our parish has taken to protect Mass attendees from COVID19.  I am a daily Mass and Sunday Mass attendee and all of the parishioners at Mass are wearing masks the entire duration of the Mass.  All seats are 6 feet apart in every direction.  During Communion, the priests and extraordinary Eucharistic ministers are wearing masks, sanitizing hands before distributing Holy Communion, and maintaining distancing throughout distribution.  I am very grateful to our pastor for finding this safe way for us to gather as a community again for this most efficacious and highest prayer of the Church.   'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.'  Holy Communion is the lifeblood of our Faith and I am overjoyed to be receiving Our Lord once again with no fear of catching the virus." – Mary Georgopulos

"Mass is as important right now as it ever has been for you and your family, as we gather as a community centered around Christ!  St. Francis by the Sea staff has worked around the clock to ensure that we have the safest environment that I can imagine. We are worshipping 6 feet apart (families are together), everyone is in a mask including Father and any Eucharistic Ministers, and all seating is sanitized between liturgies.  Right now everything may look and feel a little different temporarily, but what hasn't changed is that Jesus is here and waiting to meet us and our children in the Eucharist week after week!  If for any reason you do not feel comfortable, please reach out to a parish staff member or a fellow mom like me.  We truly need to hear your thoughts and suggestions right now.  "Online Mass" has been a blessing for many during this difficult time, and if your kids were anything like mine they were running around the living room, plopping pillows on the floor, and playing with their toys while watching Mass!  What a different experience!  Lol!  However, the time to come back to Mass is now, and I say that confidently because our parish has prepared and is ready for you and your family.  We hope to see you very soon.  God bless you." - Laura Wolf

 


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