We are into August now, and I want to update you on our plans for the month and beyond. As you’ve seen, the past two weekends we have had 20 first communion children, along with their parents, at each mass. We have found that these have gone well and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in helping them go so well. Every week our staff comes together to review how these liturgies have gone, and to look ahead at possible next steps. 

Beginning next Sunday, August 9th, in addition to continuing our first communion Masses at 9:30 with limits of 20 children and their parents, we will add a Mass on Sunday at 5:30pm. This Mass will be held in the church and will be limited to 100 people total, which includes liturgical ministers. There will be a signup for this Mass and we will need to hold to the limit of 100. Masks will be required, and we will require social distancing all throughout the mass. Communion will be given only in the form of bread, and only in the hand. After that Sunday, we will once again evaluate how it goes and plan from there. We expect the sign-up for this Mass to go live on our website sometime later this week, and you can check our website for updates and further instructions.

Please also note that the 9:30 livestream will continue (we will not livestream the Sunday 5:30), and please also note that our bishop continues to waive the Sunday Mass obligation, which of course means, you do not have to come to mass. We ask that you please consider your own health, your own risk level, and to stay at home if you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID in any way. Health and safety remain a priority for all.

Our schools are set to begin again soon, TFS on August 19th and our preschool on August 24th. Both schools have done excellent jobs in preparing for this new school year, a school year unlike any other in our memory. Please contact either school for more information.

Please note also that our parish facilities – meeting rooms, Fellowship Hall, Founders room, community center – all parish spaces, are not currently open for reservation for events, as we need several rooms for both the school and the preschool. We will continue to evaluate this throughout the fall and beyond.

As an update on the friars, Steve Kluge and I still await news on assignments and expect to find out within the next few weeks. Jim Sabak of course will remain living at St. Francis (“in residence” officially) and work full-time at the Diocese of Raleigh in his role as Director of Worship. 

Our incoming pastor, Msgr. Michael Clay, will begin on September 1st, along with his associate Fr. Jairo Maldonado. 

And thank you, as always, to those who continue to financially support the parish during these times. Your contributions are important and help sustain the vibrant life of St. Francis. Please see our website for ways to sign up for Faith Direct, and we are always grateful for contributions sent through the mail as well.

Blessings on your week!

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