My dear friends in Christ,
Yesterday, Friday July 2 marked two years for me as your Pastor here at St. Julia. These two years have been like nothing one could ever have expected or prepared for. On one hand, 8 months into my time here everything stopped, as the people I have been called to serve were not able to join me in person for the celebration of Mass – the Mass being the “source and summit” of our faith. And yet, God put remarkable people into my path to be able to continue to serve each of you, only now virtually. Without missing a beat, we were able to launch the live streaming of our Mass on a YouTube channel…who would have ever thought. In the midst of a pandemic, we were able to upgrade our sound system, replace windows, and undertake a brick repointing project. Paint rollers were put into action, and the parish office, lower entrance, upper and lower restrooms, the parish hall and kitchen too were all freshened. Perhaps the greatest transformation was that of our new crucifix in the sanctuary that redefines our worship space and gives us the much-needed focus of why we are here and remind us of what Christ did for each of us – all in love. The gardens were beautified, and so much more, all in order to welcome all, and to make all feel welcome in this church dedicated to St. Julia. Now, with our new logo and electronic sign coming in the future, the theme of welcome continues as we look to the future and the next chapter of St. Julia. The generosity of so many with their time, talents, and treasures has made all of this possible. For this I am most grateful. I pray that you too are pleased with all of the enhancements both inside and out.
With each passing week I see more and more faces of those who I have missed seeing these past 16 months. Please help me in reaching out to our parish family in letting that someone know that we are open and ready to welcome them back to the celebration of Mass. The live stream has been wonderful, and yet in our hearts we know that there is no substitute for joining us in person for Mass and to be fed with the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
With many now having received their second vaccination and waiting the two weeks to be considered fully vaccinated, the time has come to welcome all back to St. Julia.
That being said, all of the protocols that we have had in place since day one and have enforced continue to be in place, including: mandatory masks, sanitizer at multiple points in the church, social distancing in the pews, distribution of communion at the end of Mass to assist with the flow of people to prevent congestion, and the sanitizing of pews and touchpoints at the end of our celebrations. Thank you so very much for continuing to keep this worship space safe for the safety and benefit of all, and now, for peace of mind as we continue to do our part to bring this pandemic to an end while being able to worship as a community.
It is with love that I warmly welcome more and more back to Mass, and it is with that same love that I look forward to continuing to serve our community, now with a focus on mission.
May God continue to bless each of you and those that you love, and I look forward to you joining me for the celebration of Mass this weekend.
From Our Pastor