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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

As I write this on Wednesday evening, the government has just announced the first case of the Omicron variant in the United States in San Francisco. But the individual had been vaccinated, but not "boosted," the symptoms had been mild and the individual was on the road to recovery. What to make of these circumstances in light of the original predictions the day after Thanksgiving? Well, I might say, "your guess is as good as mine."

One of the lessons we have learned in these last 21 months is that plans may have to be changed at any time. Just when we thought last summer would be a great step forward, Delta arrived. Now that we thought we were moving out of the Delta environment, Omicron has arrived. I have already been asked if there would be a new mask mandate for the Adoration Chapel or if for the Christmas masses we would section off specific sections of the church for masked or unmasked worshippers or assign masked or unmasked worshippers to the auditorium. The answer to these questions is-everything remains as is until there is further evidence of the implications of the present variant and further guidance from the proper authorities, either civil or ecclesiastical. I know we have not updated the Covid page on the website recently. That's because until now there have been no changes in any of the protocols. When and if there are changes, they will appear on the website so please continue to check it out regularly, but especially before the weekend masses.

I do want to bring two things to your attention about the schedule you may have received in the mail. According to that schedule, confessions will be heard on Saturday, December 18, from 1:00 to 3:00. This is changed. Confessions will only be heard on the usual Saturday hours, 1:00 to 2:00. This is because there is a 2:00 wedding on that Saturday and we wouldn't have people lined outside the reconciliation rooms during a wedding.

The second scheduled event I want to bring to your attention is the Penance Service, Wednesday, December 15. You know that in a Penance Service, individual confessions follow a Word Service, hymns, readings and communal prayers. We're still not sure about the wisdom of bringing people together in that close environment, for so long a time. A decision about this will be made and announced by next weekend. If the Penance Service is not held, we will still keep the time open for individual confessions. In addition, confessions will be heard on Monday evening, Dec. 20, at 7:00PM.

The Christmas concert, presented by all the choirs, is still scheduled for this Friday evening, at 7:30PM, followed by the lighting of the tree. It has always been a very special evening, a time to really get into the "Christmas mood." Certainly, with everything going on around us, and the prospect of who knows what kind of Christmas it will be, an evening at the Concert may help to spark that Christmas glow in everyone's heart. Why not join us for this special moment.

And speaking of special moments, is it that time, that moment, for you to return to innperson worship-you and your family? Last week I said, "The underlying, but often unspoken reason for renewed hope, comes from the realization that we-the whole human race-are so loved by God that he came as one of us, in the flesh, to walk with us in our journey through life. The greatest, deepest aspirations of the human heart for a world that should and could be better come from that Solitary Life we welcome again on December 25th. And Advent is the time to prepare for that." And there is no better way to prepare than by joining fellow believers in public worship, the Eucharist. As Jesus said to his first disciples-'COME AND SEE.'

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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