May 29, 2020
It is hard to believe we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday this weekend. We spent most of Lent and all of our Easter season celebrating Mass apart, making this the 12th weekend that our Cathedral is closed.
Pentecost is often thought of as the birthday of the Church. It couldn’t be a more appropriate time for me to share the good news we are ready to take the first steps to reopen the Cathedral!
We received the required certification from the Archdiocese. Therefore, we can now begin implementing both Phase I and Phase IA. These two phases require numerous steps to prepare the physical space in the Cathedral.
When you arrive, it will look a bit different and we will have new processes for entry, seating, prayer, and exit. We will have many volunteer ministers on-site to assist you, but we do suggest you read the guidelines from the Archdiocese before you arrive.
There are four guiding principles for the reopening of the Cathedral:
1.) Everything possible will be done to provide the solace of the Church’s sacramental life in a timely and reasonable way.
2.) We remain vigilant on what is a highly contagious virus. All possible steps are being taken to open the doors, but will avoid contributing to any steps backward.
3.) We are working tirelessly to keep your safety and wellbeing as our top priority, and those of our volunteer ministers and the ordained.
4.) We call each of you to exercise faithful citizenship in this “new normal.” We ask each of you to take personal responsibility for the common good as well as your own safety.
So, what is the plan? Our initial schedule for the month of June is below in the red image (subject to change as government and Archdiocesan guidelines evolve).
– Our first day of Private Prayer will be Tuesday, June 2 from 12noon – 4:00pm.
– Confessions will start on Saturday, June 6 from 8:00am – 12noon.
– There will be a single entrance through the main door of the Cathedral on State Street.
– Everyone will exit through the Superior Street door. All other doors will be closed.
– A security guard or volunteer minister can assist you with the elevator if it is needed to enter or exit.
There are a few other essential details for our reopening:
– Private Prayer will be limited to a maximum of 10 people in the Cathedral at one time
– To avoid long lines, we will offer reservations for eight (8) of the spots; if you have a reservation, you will not have to stand in line.
– There will be two (2) spots set aside for “walk-ins” but subject to availability. A volunteer minister will show you where to wait in line.
– There is a maximum of 20 minutes for private prayer in order to accommodate as many people as possible.
– Confessions will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
As I shared last week, this will be a very different way for all of us to gather as Church. Our Task Force will monitor each part of our reopening plan and make any changes as needed.
I would like to take a moment and acknowledge our Reopening Task Force, led by one of our parishioners, Gary Masse. They have been meeting twice a week for nearly six weeks to anticipate and plan the best way to reopen the Cathedral. They are a committed and highly collaborative team aligned to a single objective – open the Cathedral focused on the safety of everyone and based on spirituality.
While we are not ready to start Masses, these initial two phases will bring us back into our beloved Cathedral for prayer, sacraments, and reconciliation. I appreciate your patience as we implement all of these new procedures.
We are starting! God bless you and my prayers are with all of you. Hang tough! God is with us.
CLICK HERE to read the complete Weekly eNewsletter for the weekend of 05-31-20
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Photography Credit: Charles Cherney for Kate Oelerich Photography