May 7, 2020 Parish Update

Posted on May 7, 2020

It wasn’t too cold out on the walk with the mayor this morning but by the weekend we’re going to be close to freezing again.  I’m glad I didn’t put away my winter walking coat.  The mayor has a strong dislike of these spring days with warmth and sunshine and then bitterly cold and cloudy.  “I just wish it would make up its mind,” he complains.  Friday he’ll be turkey hunting with his son so I won’t get to hear his grousing about the weather.  I will be listening to the news on public radio.

I have to say it is hard to know just what to expect.  The Archdioceses of Milwaukee and St. Paul and Minneapolis have issued guidelines for the resumption of public masses.  Apparently Archbishops Listecki and Hebda think it will happen soon.  I’m not that confident and I’m not that confident that when it does happen any of us will like the way Mass will be celebrated.  For sure there will have to be some sort of social distancing.  There will be no holy water in the fonts and no distribution of communion under both species, and only reception of the host in the hand.  It’s also possible everyone will have to wear a mask and here is the real kicker, probably no singing.  Monica Laust sent me a long article on the expulsion of Covid 19 droplets when someone sings.  I’m thinking when we can say mass publicly again I might just continue to record the Mass here at St. Joe’s and wait until we can fully open up again for the celebration of the Mass.

In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee guidelines I probably wouldn’t even be allowed to celebrate Mass as I am considered to be in the vulnerable group.  That realization hit me like a ton of bricks.  Like most people I don’t think of myself as that old but at nearly 69 I guess I am. In Milwaukee and in St. Paul I think they are suggesting that people over 60 actually stay in their homes and watch the Mass on TV.  These are strange times.

This morning the mayor and I also discussed whether there would be a Prescott Daze this year.  The mayor says no decision has been made on that yet but if the social distancing rules are still pretty much in place for the fall it would be hard to see how there could be a celebration.  I do know if there is no Prescott Daze there won’t be a Fall Festival for St. Joe’s.  Sad, such a long tradition to be broken by something we can’t see we only know by it’s effects.

Again, I hope you watch the Mass this weekend.  And, please spread the word.  We don’t have everyone’s email addresses so some people might not know about watching our Masses on YouTube.  G