May 17, 2020

I write these notes with the happy news that, once again, Mass is now open to the faithful.  While it was good to see so many capturing the Mass on the parish website and Facebook and the comments were full of Moral Support, there is nothing like going to Mass in person.  I look forward to welcoming you back to church.  Daily Mass will begin on May 25th.  Masses will be 6:30 and 8:30 Monday through Friday. Saturday morning Mass will be at 8:30 a.m. with Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 8:15 a.m.

Directives were issued by the Diocese of Cleveland concerning the reopening of church for Masses and public services.  The one that impacts our parish the most is the directive that the pews, restrooms, and doors must be disinfected after each Mass. This directive necessitates a change in the Sunday morning Mass schedule. Presently, there is only a half hour between Masses. This is not enough time to accomplish this work because the church is so large.  Therefore, for the foreseeable future the Weekend Mass schedule will be as follows: Saturday Vigil: 4:00pm, Sunday, 7:30, 9:30, 11:30 a.m and 6:00 pm.  This gives the maintenance staff time to clean the church thoroughly after each Mass.  Most of us should be used to this schedule from Christmas and New Year’s Day for the past 15 years.

Those joining us for Sunday or Weekday Mass are to wear a mask to church.  It is lowered only to receive Holy Communion.  The church and pews are marked off as to where you can sit because of the social distancing requirement. The same goes for the aisles as we process forward to the altar for Communion.  Please follow these for things to go smoothly.  Those who are unable to join the Communion Procession please tell an usher and they will inform us to come to you with the Sacred Species. Because there will not be any Precious Blood available for the foreseeable future, low gluten hosts are available. Please let the priest know before Mass and we will make accommodations to meet your needs. The dispensation from the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays remains in effect until further notice.

With all the changes that this column describes, I wish I could have notified you sooner.  Such is the nature of life with the COVID-19 pandemic. Directives come that require immediate action with little time to plan.  I deeply appreciate your cooperation and understanding in all of this and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. All of us are being asked to change the way we normally do things to safeguard the common good.  It is sure tough at first, but God will bless our efforts for the sacrifices we make.  Please be assured of my prayers as we work and pray together during this unprecedented time.

On a much lighter note, imagine my surprise when I picked up the latest issue of the Northeast Ohio Catholic and saw that Assumption in Broadview Heights is the Number 1 Fish Fry in Northeast Ohio.  I was never so proud of you. We owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Wahl who chairs the Fish Fry, but most especially all those countless souls who begin the day after New Year’s making the piroghy and the countless volunteers who make the fish fry a success from the ticket takers and servers, to those who cook, wash pans and the scouts who clean up faithfully every Friday.