On Thursday, September 24th, after the 8:00 am Mass, in the presence of the Holy Eucharist, I will lead a procession around the St. John’s grounds to call attention to this Nat’l Day of Prayer & Fasting for our country. It is a day dedicated to fast and abstinence, nation-wide. We will pray the rosary together as we process. We’d love to have you join with us in any or all parts of this–Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Procession! God bless!
Please consider joining us for this special prayer service. –Father Seth
After this bulletin, which is again a two-week version we will go back to one week bulletins. Since this is another double bulletin, I have a lot of information to share with you.
The first thing as I mentioned at Masses last weekend, is parishes of the East Side of Duluth (St. Benedict’s, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Michael’s, the Cathedral and St. Mary Star of the Sea) will be having a combined Faith Formation Program that begins this fall.
We will have two full time staff members, one who will coordinate Grades K-5, and the other who will coordinate Grades 6-11. Each parish will maintain having Grades K-5 at their own sites unless they choose to combine with one of the other parishes. Grades 6-8 will meet at St. John’s, and Grades 9-11 will meet at the Cathedral. St. Benedict’s and St. Michael’s will be used both for 2nd Grade sacramental preparation as well as large group opportunities for middle school and high school.
I have been working with the other three pastors on the East Side of Duluth along with Sonya Morris (our current Faith Formation Director), and David Walsh who is the outgoing Faith Formation director at the Cathedral to come up with curriculum, schedules, coordination of sites and other plans. I am excited for this opportunity for our young people in middle school and high school to be together as they are at school, but equally excited to have our parishes work more closely together.
As I mentioned in a previous bulletin article, the East Side of Duluth is the only place in the Diocese that still has work to do for strategic planning which will mean at the very least re-clustering of some of our parishes.
Schedules and registration forms will be coming soon for Faith Formation, but I want to say that we are planning on having no more than one thing going per week on any given Wednesday to encourage distancing and sanitizing procedures to take place to keep everyone as safe as possible and allow for more families to grow in the faith together.
Specifics will come when the schedule is published, but we are looking at something like this:
· 1st Wednesday of the month K-5 at each of their respective parishes (Sundays could be used instead).
· 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month 6-8 and 9-11 at St. John’s and Cathedral respectively.
· And 3rd Wednesday of the month 2nd Grade Sacramental preparation.
Sonya Morris will stay on for us as our K-5th Grade coordinator for all six of our parishes, and we are currently looking to hire a person to coordinate our 6-11th Grades. Thank you for your support and please pray for success for this exciting endeavor.
Beginning with Tuesday, September 8, all daily Masses at St. John’s will go back to 8 am. I will look into evening options once the parish schedule solidifies.
The next thing is to thank our ushers for beginning the use of our collection baskets that have the long arms again. This is a safe way to do the collection while bringing back a little more normalcy to our Masses.
Speaking of things that aren’t normal in our Masses, many people have asked me why we have Communion after Mass. The simplest answer is that it is what has been asked of us by our Diocesan Administrator, and in obedience to him we are doing it. The longer answer is that it gives opportunity for those who are not planning on receiving Communion to be able to leave after Mass, and then also an opportunity to leave after receiving Communion since Mass is over already. In other words it was designed to get people out quicker. Whether it in fact does that or not it is the current protocol being asked of us by our diocese, and so we will be doing it at our parishes. Thank you all for helping follow diocesan protocols, and being kind and charitable.