FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
RETURNING TO NORMAL
As we continue on this strange path, there is good news on the horizon. As many of you have heard by now, many dioceses in our nation are slowly removing the dispensations for Sunday Mass attendance. The various dioceses in Wisconsin are now doing this as well, with the latest communication from Bishop Callahan informing us that for the Diocese of La Crosse, the effective date will be the beginning of October.
As we move back into a more normal practice of the faith, we will begin relaxing some of the restrictions as well. Going forward, the Mass sign-up form on the website will no longer be utilized, and we will cease taking temperatures as you enter. Other measures such as offering hand sanitizer and encouraging the use of masks will remain in place, as will continuing the practice of disinfecting the building on a regular basis. Social distancing will be encouraged as well. We will also return to offering Communion on the tongue soon, but will not offer the common cup, and regular confessions will begin again.
This is good news for all, as this has been a prolonged time of restrictions and limiting our freedom to worship as we determine best for ourselves and our families. Admittedly, there are some that are in high risk categories, including those impacted by serious health issues such as a heart condition, diabetes or advanced age, including caretakers for high risk individuals, and the dispensation for these remains. An individual is also not obliged if they are suffering from any symptoms of the flu or cold. For the time being, if you are experiencing any of these conditions, even if you believe they are seasonal allergy symptoms, it might be sound judgment to refrain from weekend Mass attendance. Lastly, in his letter, Archbishop Listecki stated the fear of getting sick, in and of itself, is not an excuse, and Catholics "who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin." He also said that while live-streamed or publicly broadcast services have helped those at home remain connected, they do not replace in-person attendance: fear of a disease is not in itself a valid reason to not attend Mass.
We are currently putting together an informational meeting for potential RCIA candidates. This meeting will take place the last week of September, with more information published in next week’s bulletin. If you know of anyone who has expressed interest in finding out more about what the Church teaches, or what is involved in coming into full union with the Church, please let them know about this meeting. Although it is not a requirement to joining the program, it will offer information concerning the RCIA program. We hope to have one program for the 3 parishes in Marshfield, with an invitation to outlying parishes to join us if they wish.