We are now into mid- June, three months into our alternative universe of COVID-19. It has become a kind of normal that was unthinkable back in February. Masks, distancing, limited access to familiar places, no movie theaters, no baseball or Stanley Cup playoffs. The entire world has changed. And it’s hard to know where it’s all headed. 

Here at St. Francis, we continue to livestream our Sunday morning 9:30 mass. We realize it’s far from ideal. At the same time we realize that in these extraordinary times, we look to safety and health first. We hear from many who appreciate our 9:30 livestream. We also hear from those who long for the day when the church doors are opened again. We hear you all.

We want you to know that we have a re-opening task force that is looking at all of our options. We are looking at re-opening from a liturgical, medical, and facilities perspective: what exactly would mass look like with social distancing and masks, hand sanitizer, no sign of peace, no singing. From images we’ve seen from other churches, it doesn’t look good or appealing. Still, we are looking at it. We are being cautious out of a sense of health and safety. We are currently in Phase 2 in North Carolina, and that ends on June 26th, and we want to wait until then and look at as much information as we can before we make any decisions, again out of a sense of caution. Please note that “caution” in light of a dangerous and unknown virus outweighs everything for us right now, and is more important than returning to mass in the church. Recall as well that the bishop continues to waive the obligation to attend Sunday mass. We will continue to keep you updated as
things change.

Some good news to report is that our bishop has named the new associate pastor for St. Francis, and he is Fr. Jairo Maldonado-Pacheco. He was just ordained last Saturday, June 6th, at the Cathedral by Bishop Zarama. He will begin here on September 1st along with Msgr. Clay. 

As always, a warm thank you to all who continue to support St. Francis by online giving and by sending in donations. This continues to be very important for the financial well-being of our parish, and we are grateful.

Blessings on your week!

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