From the Pastor's Pen - May 3, 2020
I don’t know which is worse—to have things and our free movement shut down till an unknown time, or to hear talk of reopening things and whether it’s safe-- Well, as you’ve heard, the governor has spoken about reopening parts of the state and businesses, and this has led to questions about when our church may open.
The answer is that it is a couple of steps beyond that. I spoke to the Archbishop during Holy Week, and he stressed that he is under obligation to follow the directions of local government. City and county governments may be stricter than broader parts of the state especially when, as in both areas, infections are still on the rise. The County Executive, with the St. Louis mayor, has said that an announcement about possible lifting of some of the stay-at-home order will be two weeks off yet. So this keeps the restriction on large gatherings till somewhere in the end of May at the earliest, possibly longer. Masses are held under the authority of the Archbishop, so we have no discretion here to go ahead till we hear from him, which will be after the county government speaks.
I know we would love to get back to “normal.” I think you know that there will be no “normal” even whenever Masses resume, because there will be distance requirements between people and crowd size limits. So continued patience is called for, whether it’s about living with the restrictions now in place, or how we’d get back into some regular practices. We are trying to show you in every way possible that we are with you, and trying to help you experience your parish community even if it’s in new ways. You are being very cooperative, and I appreciate that.
And please remember our offertory. The last two weeks have been roughly half of normal. Like other entities, this will create difficulties whenever we do resume activities in some fashion.