(This letter, dated May 21,2020, was sent to all parish households.)
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
As we near the feast of Pentecost (May 30-31), I wish to update you regarding the celebration of Sunday Mass here at St. Jude the Apostle. I have been wrestling with Archdiocesan directives regarding the reopening of churches and evaluating these in light of the current health conditions and medical analysis. After much deliberation and prayer, I have made the decision as your pastor that we will not resume communal Sunday Masses until a later, undetermined date. There are other pastors choosing to not reopen. The Archdiocese supports the decision to postpone.
I am sure this decision will disappoint many of you. For this I am very sorry. My desire is not to deprive you of the celebration and sharing of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is at the heart of our Catholic Faith and central to our Tradition. It is my greatest joy to lead you in Sunday Worship. My decision to delay resuming Masses is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. However, your health and safety and protection are my uppermost concern. Given the current health realities and the potential surge in cases and deaths, I cannot in good conscience reopen at this time. Being in close proximity for an extended period of time, speaking, singing, and reception of Communion creates a hotspot and is risky.
We will begin to gather again once certain conditions have been met, including: adequate testing for and tracing of the virus; a sustained decline of positive tests in our area; the ability to provide a safe physical environment for communal worship. Once these conditions are met, we will begin the process of returning to communal celebration of Sunday Mass. This will take place in phases in keeping with Archdiocesan directives. I will keep you informed as I make further decisions.
Our parish staff continues to work with me on developing and preparing the plan for a safe return to our beautiful house of worship. In the meantime, we will continue to offer our online YouTube Liturgy of the Word every Sunday. We are ever so grateful to Bill Armstrong for his generous help in producing these episodes. You can find the link to our YouTube channel on our homepage:
Our staff has gathered 790 e-mail addresses from our membership. The addresses of school families will be added to these as we begin to use an e-mail program titled Flocknote, designed specifically for churches. Hopefully, we will now be able to communicate with a vast majority of parish households more expeditiously. Since this is our first use of Flocknote, this letter is being sent both by e-mail and postal mail to ensure that you receive it.
In the future, the majority of you will receive most communications by e-mail only, and only those parishioners who do not use e-mail will receive by postal mail. If you have any issues with this, please contact our parish office. It would be most, most helpful if you would please contact us for any changes in your contact information. Thank you!
I would be remiss not to include a plea that you please continue your stewardship to St. Jude’s as you are able. Your contributions are sorely needed. We now have online giving, “WeShare,” found on our homepage under the heading “Support Us” – or simply mail your contribution to the parish office. No contribution is too small.
It is on my conscience to have relieved you of the pressure you may have felt to return to Mass were we to reopen this Pentecost. Two of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are courage and right judgement. During this extremely difficult time and critical juncture in our lives, we need to pray for the strength that comes from these gifts of the Spirit.
May we continue to reach out to the poor, the hungry and the isolated. As we pray for each other, our world, our country and for all whom we hold dear, let us pray also for the tens of thousands who have died that they may dwell in eternal peace.
Peace and good health,
Fr. Charlie Conley
Support Our Parish
Support Your Parish
Dear Parishioners, I ask and encourage you to continue to support our wonderful parish either through online giving (on the top heading of our website homepage, go to “Support Us,” then to Online Giving and then press “We Share”) or by mailing your contributions to the parish office. Every contribution, no matter the size, is needed and appreciated.
An Invitation to Help Make Homemade Face Masks
Archbishop Listecki invites all who have the gift of sewing and crafting to make homemade facemasks for our local healthcare systems. Please visit the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website – Homemade Masks to learn how you can help our local healthcare systems in this effort.
A note from our Director of Liturgy & Music--
At this time of uncertainty and natural anxiety we are strangely deprived of one of our deepest comforts—coming together to worship at Mass. This beautiful setting by the late Stephen Paulus of a very familiar text by St. Teresa of Avila has been a comfort to me and to members of the choir and I hope that it speaks to you as well. We are never alone, even when it most feels like it. As an inscription at St Swithun's shrine in Winchester Cathedral says: Whatever partakes of God is safe in God. As we partake of God in our hearts and homes in these coming weeks, I pray that we would all know the safety of God's love. Alone God sufficeth.
Praying with you, and with the prayers of Mary our mother,
Parish YouTube Channel
With the kind assistance of our parishioner, Bill Armstrong, we now have our own YouTube Channel. There are Liturgies of the Word for each Sunday. Other episodes include: Marian May Devotion, Night Prayer, Children Time with Fr. Charlie and Exploring the Pipe Organ with Crawford Wiley. Please spread the news. The first episode is a message from Father Charlie.
When you log onto the YouTube link, if you then press the subscribe box you should receive a notice when further episodes appear.
Readings for Pentecost Sunday