As I head out on vacation and celebrate my first-year anniversary, I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful year as your pastor. The more I reflect on this last year, the more I am amazed at what we accomplished together. It has been truly a blessing. From the multiple iterations of Mass, inside and outside, music, environment and livestream inside and out, restoring the 6:30am Mass, multiple sacraments such as first communions and confirmation, baptisms, weddings, funeral, school distance learning then hybrid, spiritual retreats, drive-through blessings and celebrations, wine + word, small faith sharing groups and bible studies, and many other livestream events. All the while, we had a reduced staff who worked hard to keep everyone engaged.
Thank you for staying engaged and showing up for whatever we did. You are a truly awesome parish and I so look forward to coming back from vacation and engaging in the year ahead.
I also want to take a few moments to respond to some questions I have received over the last few weeks regarding the Covid restrictions. One common question is about the removal of masks inside Church during Mass. We, the Bishop along with all the pastors, agreed to continue the practice of face masks during the summer out of abundance of caution. There were a few factors driving this decision for us. Mainly, we feel that we want to encourage as many families as possible to return to church with their children and we know that children are not able to get the vaccination until the fall. In addition to this, we do not know much about the new Covid variants and how well the vaccination works against the Delta variant. Out of caution, we agreed to continue the masks till fall and re-evaluate it then. Thank you for your continued support to keep everyone safe.
We will continue to use the main altar for all daily Masses, again out of caution. We will not receive from the most precious blood until we believe it is safe to do so. After the summer, we will use all pews and keep 3 feet distance between groups/families. We will start building up the choir inside the church and we encourage all parishioners to sing with their facemasks. We are moving in the right direction. I am particularly encouraged to read that Los Altos vaccination rates are over 90% with adults. We hope to get our children vaccinated and move to full contact with each other.
I want to encourage you in your own extended households who are fully vaccinated to hug your elderly and young often. We have a lot of loving touch to catch up on! J But at the same time let’s be prudent when reaching out to others and asking if they are vaccinated comfortable with touching and proceed accordingly. If we are feeling sick in any way, please be assertive in not touching others and wearing a facemask. Thank you all again for your support in returning to normal society again. Have a great and safe summer.
Finally, as we gather with family and friends to honor the birth of our nation, may we take the time to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country. Also, please say a prayer for those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. May we work together as a single family and nation and come together as communities to enrich all lives as brothers and sisters sharing the same dream of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Happy 4th of July.