Dear parish family,
I wanted to address a very important issue at hand. Christmas is a very special time for us at St. Maurice. Think of the Christmas pageant, the abundance of extra guests, singing Christmas hymns, the beautiful poinsettias, the string quartet, handing out candy canes, book giveaways, donating to CHALICE, and so much more.
This year, we are striving to make plans that will maintain the St. Maurice Christmas spirit as much as possible. It is challenging to make plans when there are several unknown factors. For example, we do not know if we will be in lock-down, or under greater restrictions regarding attendance. Also, we do not know how to judge the number of people who might simply show up for Mass, not being previously informed of our times or limitations.
Therefore, I wanted to ask you to stay tuned as we take the first steps for registration to begin forecasting demand and Mass time preferences. With your involvement, we can better decide whether we need to add Masses, and/or to designate specific Masses for certain demographics, such as young families, seniors, and guests.
We will be focusing efforts especially on the Christmas livestream Mass to ensure that everyone can participate. I will keep you informed as things progress, so make sure to stay connected via email, website, YouTube channel, and word of mouth.
We usually host around 3000 or more people during the Christmas Masses, so even if we were to find seating for 150 for each Mass, we would need to have 20 Masses to get everyone into St. Maurice Parish in person. Obviously, no matter what we do, not everyone who wants to come can be accommodated. This is a sadness for me, as Christmas is meant to be a time of welcome and hospitality for all. It is as if we are being put in a position like Bethlehem, where there was no room for Jesus in the inn. Many of you will be required to watch Mass at home with our livestream. I pray that this will be accepted with a spirit of understanding and peace.
Thankfully, we will still have a special Christmas pageant for everyone to watch, involving children from our parish, thanks to the hard work of Mary Sheridan, Glenn Pereira, and others. More to come later. Let us keep in touch and to keep each other in our prayers.
Yours in Christ, Fr. Tim