Small Sacrifices

08-09-2020Pastor's LetterFr. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

To all of our dear friends who keep up with Holy Mass virtually/on-line, please know how much we miss you! Personally, I never realized until now the tremendous value of something so small as a simple handshake and “Hello!” at the door of the church after Mass. We are doing our very best to keep our parishioners at home connected until we can all safely be together again. Help us keep you connected!

For our beloved friends who attend Mass on-site, thank you for wearing a face-covering. The guidelines we follow were not created in a vacuum, but with the consultation of healthcare professionals, the CDC, the City of Aiken, and our Bishop. Please remember to keep your covering/mask on throughout the entire Mass, and make sure it covers both your nose and your mouth. We are a pro-life people, and none of us desires to make anyone seriously ill unnecessarily. If we can do something so small as to wear a face-covering for a short period of time, then it is worth it. If this is impossible for you, please recall that at present there is no obligation to attend Mass in person.

It might help to recall that, for decades doctors and nurses doing surgery and some other procedures all wear masks (sometimes for hours), and they are not adversely affected. The protection and safety of all life are of the utmost importance. Your life, your fellow parishioners’ lives, and the lives of your priests and deacons must be protected. For some, this is a huge burden. To others, it’s annoying. I get this. However, we are disciples of Jesus Christ first, and we must do all that we can to help stop the spread of this serious and deadly virus and to protect people’s lives. Compared to Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, this is a very small burden. The precautions we ask you to do lovingly are out of charity for the sake of others around you. Children under the age of five and certain others with special needs (i.e., those with certain physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning disabilities or impairments) are the only ones not required.

Otherwise, please do not attend Mass in person if you cannot wear a mask the entire time.

A couple of permanent changes to the Mass schedule: On Wednesdays, the 5:30 pm Mass is discontinued. Mass is available at 8:30 am (8:20 am when school is in session), and again in Spanish at 7:00 pm. Also, we are discontinuing the first Friday Latin Mass at 2:00 pm. Thank you for your understanding.One final note: Monday the 10th of August marks my 9th anniversary here at St. Mary’s, and June 9th marked nineteen years as a priest. I have spent most of my priestly life here at St. Mary’s. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to be part of this parish family, even in times like this. Thank you for your prayers and support of my ministry here as you pastor. Again, what an honor it is.

Yours in Our Lord and Our Lady Help of Christians,

Father Wilson