Last Sunday, we were blessed with another wonderful experience of celebrating Masses outdoors at Saint Patrick’s. During the current public health crisis, celebrating Mass outdoors is maximally safe. Our parking lot is able to accommodate huge numbers of people.
This Sunday, June 7, we will celebrate outdoor Masses at 10:00 am in English and 12:00 pm in Spanish. (Please note the shift in the schedule for the Spanish Mass.)
For our outdoor Masses, please note:
Everyone who enters our property and participates in Mass needs to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines. You are responsible for your own mask. I suggest you bring your own hand sanitizer.
If you’d like to bring chairs, feel free to do so. Take home your chairs with you at the conclusion of Mass.
Members of the same household do not need to observe social distancing from one another. They can stand/sit together during Mass.
On Sunday, there will be no parking in the parking lot, and David Burke Way (the street next to the rectory, in front of the parish center) will be closed at South Broadway. Parking will be on-street and in the following parking lots: Lawrence Catholic Academy, Cor Unum, the Diaz-Healy Funeral Home (107 South Broadway), and Freedom Tire (160 South Broadway). Plan enough time to park and walk to Saint Patrick’s.
The outdoor sanctuary will be in front of the barn at the rear of our parking lot. This space is visible from almost all of the parking lot, including the spaces behind the parish center, as well as much of David Burke Way.
When you walk into the parking lot, you will be able to position yourself wherever you like, maintaining social distancing of six feet from those who are not members of your household.
It would be wise to arrive early on Sunday so you can comfortably position yourself in the parking lot and hear the straightforward guidelines for Mass logistics.
Bathrooms are not available during these Masses, so please plan accordingly!
The dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will continue for the foreseeable future. People in vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with compromised physical conditions, are encouraged to continue to watch Mass from their homes.
To participate remotely in Sunday Mass from Saint Patrick’s, join us for our livestreamed Saturday Vigil Masses at 4:00 pm in English and 5:30 pm in Spanish. To access those livestreams, go to our YouTube channel. The recordings of the livestreams remain posted after the Masses are celebrated. (If we ever have technical difficulties with the livestream, which we did last Saturday, the recordings of those Masses are posted to YouTube later in the evening.)
Daily Mass is available to you by way of CatholicTV.
When we are prevented from being able to receive the Eucharist, we are still able to connect deeply with Christ in the Eucharist. This is called Spiritual Communion. Perhaps the most popular prayer for a Spiritual Communion is from Saint Alphonsus Liguori:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire you with all my heart.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already in my heart
and unite myself to you completely.
Please do not let me ever by separated from you.
I am posting podcasts of my Sunday homilies. They are available on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean, or wherever you get your podcasts, as well as through our parish’s website.
We have resumed the celebration of Confessions inside our parish center in Spanish on Tuesday at 7:00 pm and English on Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Only face-to-face Confession is possible at this time. Both priest and penitent remain standing. Penitents wait in line outside the parish center, maintaining social distancing.
Our parish staff has returned to work, but our physical office space will remain closed to the public in order to maintain a safe environment. You may reach the parish office via phone (978-683-9416) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
While our parish has some savings on expenses during the current public health crisis (for example, utility costs in the church and parish center), most of our expenses are fixed and are due for regular payments. We are very grateful to parishioners who continue to offer weekly financial support at Saint Patrick’s at this time.
WeShare is the system our parish uses for electronic giving. WeShare has proven to be an invaluable resource at Saint Patrick’s during recent months, since there has been no logistical interruption to it. If you do not already use WeShare, consider registering for it. Full information and online sign-up are available on our parish’s website.
If you use the weekly envelope system, you are encouraged to mail your regular envelopes to the parish office: 118 South Broadway, Lawrence, MA 01843.
If you do not normally use WeShare or the envelope system, please consider sending your regular contributions in the form of a check to the parish office.
At our outdoor Masses, we have collection barrels available for contributions.
We are distributing meals in to-go bags at our Cor Unum Meal Center. Our hours remain the same as always: breakfast daily 6:00 to 8:00 am, and dinner daily 4:30 to 6:30 pm. For full information about Cor Unum, visit its website.
We are blessed that the faculty, staff, students, and families of Lawrence Catholic Academy have done a very impressive job of shifting successfully to remote learning. To follow LCA, link on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (lca_lawrence_ma).
The best ways to keep up to date with news from Saint Patrick Parish are via Facebook or Twitter. Our weekly bulletin is available online, as will be future updates on the coronavirus situation in our parish. To have those updates sent to your email box, join our parish’s e-newsletter list.
God bless you!
- Father Paul