With the implementation of the Holy Trinity/Nativity pastoral region, the Mass schedule is changing. Following the Mass times survey and having consulted with the Pastoral Councils at both parishes, the new schedule will begin the weekend of August 15/16 when I return from a much needed vacation.
The survey results on Mass times for both Holy Trinity and Nativity showed that the majority of respondents at both parishes would prefer Sunday Mass at 9:00am. This, of course, is not possible. Though in the short term some extra clergy help is available (Fr. Benjamin, Fr. Bob Goebel, Fr. Dale Peterka), it is not possible to guarantee every week and thus not a long-term solution. Masses cannot be scheduled on the same day and at the same time at both parishes.
The Archdiocese provides guidelines for parishes discerning changes to weekend Mass schedules that are oriented to the health of not only the parishes but also its priests. In brief:
- Where a pastoral region shares a pastor, the Mass schedules for all parishes in the region should be reviewed collectively. In as much as possible, each weekend, there is to be at least one obligation Mass in every parish.
- A parish/pastoral region should not schedule more than one Saturday afternoon/evening Mass.
- All weekend Masses if possible should be celebrated in a church that is at least 50% “full.” (this is currently complicated by COVID social distancing protocols, but under normal conditions neither Holy Trinity nor Nativity at any time are at capacity). It is important to note here social psychologists “80% rule”; people can perceive a church to be “full” when it is only 80% of capacity.
- Fuller churches lead to more effective use of ministers (lay and ordained). The hope is that it will be a smoother process to schedule servers, lectors, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
So, given these factors and the survey results, the new weekend Mass times in the Holy Trinity/Nativity pastoral region are as follows:
- Saturday, 4:30pm – Nativity (confessions 3-4pm)
- Sunday, 9:00am – Holy Trinity
- Sunday, 11:00am – Nativity
The new weekday Mass schedule (which coincides with my office hours for each parish) will be as follows:
- Monday, 7:45am – Holy Trinity
- Tuesday, 8:15am – Nativity (school Mass)
- Thursday, 7:45am – Holy Trinity
- Friday, 8:15am – Nativity
- First Saturday, 7:45am – Holy Trinity (rosary follows then confessions)
- Opportunity for confession will also remain available by appointment.
I will dedicate our new pastoral region to the Blessed Virgin Mary at Saturday morning Mass at Holy Trinity on the Solemnity of the Assumption (Saturday, August 15) then begin the new weekend obligation Masses at 4:30pm that day, Saturday, August 15 at Nativity.
I know these changes may cause concern, especially given the ongoing pandemic. We trust that God in His providence will continue to care for us and, as we hear from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, “all things work to the good for those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose.”
In Christ through Mary and Joseph,
Father Eric Roush
Holy Trinity/Nativity Pastoral Region