We started public daily Masses last Thursday and approximately 60 people came to worship. Public weekday Masses will be celebrated each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:00am in the church beginning Monday, September 21. Normal protocols for Masses at St. Francis will be followed, namely, all must wear a face mask, provide information for contact tracing before entering the church, and be seated with appropriate social distancing. No sign-ups in advance are necessary. You may arrive anytime beginning 9:30am to maintain separation from the pre-schoolers who arrive up to 9:15am each morning and use the same entrance as those coming to Mass. Wednesday morning Mass/Liturgy will be reserved for the school communities but will not be open to the public. School liturgies will be livestreamed for those who would like to view the Mass. These will begin in a few weeks, once we have things organized. We will notify you when they will begin.
There is a wonderful article about Fr. Jairo Maldonado, our new parochial vicar, in this month’s NC Catholics magazine. There is one particular story that stands out in the article. The article is available on our parish website. If you do not receive NC Catholics, a free monthly publication produced by the Diocese of Raleigh, and would like to, please contact Toni Hammes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will assist you. You may always view NC Catholics online by going to the diocesan website https://dioceseofraleigh.org/) and clicking the NC Catholic icon in the upper right hand side of the homepage.
As part of our parish’s Franciscan identity, the Season of Creation inaugurated by Pope Francis (September 1-October 4) provides us with opportunities to increase our awareness of our care for creation, particular in view of its implications for our future generations. One of our parish’s efforts is the installation of solar panels on our property and an opportunity to learn how solar energy is ecologically and financially sound, both for the parish and the community-at-large. There will be a virtual meeting on Tuesday, September 15, to learn about the SFA project, how the technology works, and how you may install solar panels at your home or business. Please see the parish website for further information on accessing this meeting.
Each September, all priests serving within the diocese join for an annual five-day retreat. Normally, we gather in one location under the direction of a retreat master. This year’s retreat is September 14-18. Due to COVID-19, Bishop Zarama has cancelled the large-group retreat and has asked us to make a private retreat. Fr. Jairo and I will leave the parish on Monday to make our private retreat and will return on Friday afternoon. Because we will be away, all daily Masses this week are cancelled. If you have a critical medical crisis that requires a priest, please call the parish and follow the prompts to leave a voicemail. Someone will follow up with you as soon as possible. For other types of assistance, please contact the parish office during regular business hours.
Please keep us in your prayers this week and know that we will be keeping you in ours each day.