Weekly Flocknote - 6/24/2021

Posted on June 24, 2021

Dear Friends,

Three weeks ago we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. The gospel read at Mass takes us back to Holy Thursday, to the Last Supper and we heard again the words we hear every time we come to Mass:

“He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.’” (Mark14:22-24)

We remember that Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist, making a new covenant with us. That covenant is the promise that God will be with us. And he is with us. He is present with us in the Eucharist and his presence is real.

We know that coming to church and receiving Holy Communion is an unparalleled opportunity because we are receiving Christ. So important is this sacrament that the Church speaks of participation as an “obligation.” As Catholics we are bound to do it. And it was an amazing coincidence that it would be on the Feast of the Body & Blood that restrictions were finally lifted and everyone could come to Mass.

And we want everyone to come to Mass. That’s what we want, but what we want and what we actually experience could be different things. Over the past three Sundays, even without the restrictions, we were only at about 45% of our pre-COVID attendance. Surely a return to our programs in the fall, and the continued decrease of risk will bring many more back, but it could be a very long time before we see again the kinds of numbers we previously experienced. And it is almost certainly the case that COVID has accelerated many of the patterns that were already developing in recent years in our country and oneof those patterns was decreasing church attendance.

Besides, perhaps the way some people experience and interact with church is forever changed. Over the past 15 months our online congregation, which we had been building for three years, exploded in growth. And though our overall numbers have been receding since Easter, at this point hundreds more join us on FaceBook livestream or watch it on demand on our YouTube channel than in-person. Seton’s live-streaming can and does powerfully and effectively change hearts, shape believers, and stands as our greatest opportunity to reach out and evangelize. We have heard many life-changing stories and we will, of course, continue to invest in it.

To those online, we invite you back to church, if/when you are able or when you feel safe to do so. We can’t wait to see you!

But please also know this: Christ is truly present to you in your online worship. He is present in God’s Word, and, as he promised, he is always present whenever two or three gather in his name, and he did not say “except when they gather online.”

And also know this: We love you and are thrilled you’re a part of our parish. You count to us.

Have a good week!

Fr. Paul and the Staff 

 


 

This weekend—

Our social distancing of 3 feet is now lifted according to the guidance from the Archdiocese. 

Our 11:30am Outdoor Mass will be ending. Many thanks to all those who volunteered to help set-up, served and broke down the items needed to make this Mass happen. Will we continue this in the future? Stay tuned!

The Offertory Procession returns! Those bringing up the Bread, Wine and Food Basket will need to sanitize their hands before handling the gifts. The Ushers will assist you. 

Speaking of the Offertory, the Ushers will be passing the baskets to receive your financial donations. Thank you for your generosity!

Next weekend, July 3/4–

The 8:00am and the 11:00am Masses return to our regular mass schedule in the church. This date marks one year since Seton opened for public Masses since the pandemic started! 

Please check out our bulletin for more things going on at the parish.  Bulletins will available to take with you after Mass. You can continue to access them here on our parish website. 

The Presider will provide the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to those who will be having an upcoming medical procedure or surgery. Just inform the Usher and the Priest will meet you at the baptism font after he greets parishioners. 

ELEMENTS OF THE CATHOLIC MASS VIDEO SERIES:

We are beginning week 23 of our video series, Elements of the Catholic Mass. I would invite you to watch Episode 23 this week titled, The Word of the Lord and reflect on how this might help you in your faith. Here is the link to the episodes page.

 

Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid 

A reminder....

Don’t forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and now, when you enter the church at the Food Pantry entrance.

 

 

As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions. 

 

 

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