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From the Pastor's Desk - January 26, 2012

 

Dear Parishioners,
Praise God! The majority of the renovation of the church is completed and we can begin using it for the celebration of Mass again after Archbishop Lucas dedicates the new altar this coming Friday evening, February 3, at 6:30 P.M.  Hence next weekend's Masses will be celebrated in the church.

As we begin using the church once again, it will undoubtedly involve some adjustments, some of which are the following:

•    While the pew configuration is very similar to the previous one, if you had a favorite spot in which to sit, it might not be exactly the same one to which you are able to return. Please be charitable towards one another in working this out.
•    When entering the church, we will bless ourselves from the baptismal font, which will always have blessed water in it.
•    Before entering a pew, each of us must now genuflect in order to give our reverence and respect to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament since the tabernacle is now in the Church (if, and only if, for some health reason you are not able to genuflect, then you may bow towards the tabernacle). Also, when leaving your pew to exit the church, remember to genuflect toward the tabernacle.
•    Also, out of respect for Jesus present in Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle as well as for the sake of those praying before Mass, talking and visiting in church before Mass should not take place but there should be a reverent silence. Obviously, the choirs might have to practice before Mass their music and there might be times that something needs to be communicated before Mass (e.g., choir members might have to speak to one another as they are practicing before Mass) but any speaking should be done as quietly and as briefly as is possible.  If there is need to have a prolonged conversation before Mass, please go over into the social hall to visit  or discuss something.  Please remember before Mass also not to talk loudly in the narthex (the entry area) as the sound from here can travel into the church and distract those who are praying.
•    The pattern for coming up to receive Holy Communion will be as it was previous to the renovation: first the center sections will come up the center aisle and then the side sections and anyone seated in the chairs on either side of the sanctuary or in the social hall behind the glass windows will go along the back and then down the center aisle. Please remember that choir members always come over to receive first.
•    After Mass, again out of reverence for the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and for the sake of those who remain to pray, please do not visit in the church but go out into the narthex to visit, the social hall, or outside and carry out your conversation.
•    Since there are now individual chairs flanking each side of the sanctuary, except for those needed for choir members, for concelebrating priests, etc., anyone may sit in these chairs.
•    For lectors, as you have done in the past, you may sit in whichever pew you like and come up to do your reading and then return to your pew. If you pass in front of the altar, please bow.
•    For Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, it will no longer be necessary to bring the ciborium from the tabernacle as this will now be done by the priest or deacon, so during the Lamb of God, come up from your pews and stand at the bottom of the steps on the side of the priest's chair, kneel down (if you are able) during the presentation of the Host and chalice, then after the priest has given himself Communion, stand up and wait there for him to bring Communion over to you and then he (or the deacon) will give the ciborium and chalices to you. After Communion is finished, the EMHC with the ciborium can hand his/her ciborium to the priest and those with the chalices can take the chalices to the credence table and cover them with the purificators.  After the priest has combined all Hosts into one ciborium and placed it in the tabernacle, he will bring his chalice and paten over to the credence table where he will take care of the purifications of the vessels. Hence, there will no longer be a need for the EMHCs to remove anything from the altar after Communion.
•    I will be scheduling a meeting in the near future for lectors and Eucharistic ministers to discuss any other adaptations we might have to make to these procedures and to make sure that everyone is brought up to date on things as regards the new routines.
•    As regards to altar servers, I will explain at each Mass what any new procedures are and will review these with all when we have our upcoming server meetings this spring during religious education on Wednesdays.
•    As for the children's collection and the regular collection, the baskets into which these are placed will now be placed before the statue of St. Joseph rather than the altar.  The 2003 General Instruction of the Roman Missal directs that the collection not be placed before the altar.  I think it fitting, then, that we place our collection at the St. Joseph statue as a symbol of our prayers that he, as our parish patron saint, pray for the fruitful stewardship of the treasure that we offer to the Lord and bless the labor by which we have earned the monetary contributions that we make as an offering of thanksgiving back to the Lord for His blessings.
These are some of the primary things of which I can think, but I am sure that we might become aware of other adaptations that need to be implemented. I will try to publish these again in an insert for next week’s bulletin in order that you can once have access to these items for your review and anything else that I might have forgotten to mention this week.

I ask for your patience and thank you for your cooperation with any of these necessary changes as we get used to the new routines that we have to establish. Also, there might be some items of the renovation that will not be finished by next weekend (e.g., some modifications to the sound system might not be immediately ready, some painting left to do, etc.), so likewise I request your patience as these are completed in the near future.
Have a wonderful and grace-filled week and see you next weekend in the church!                    God bless,  Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green,  Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.