24 March 2020

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

As a result of Governor Hogan’s press conference on Monday, Archbishop Lori has mandated that all parish offices be closed as of 5:00 PM yesterday and remain closed until the governor’s restriction is lifted.  Our parish staff was already in the process of starting to work remotely, and so, for instance, we have a staff meeting scheduled for 1:00 PM today via the ZOOM technology.  It is important for all of us to take the pandemic seriously and do our part to limit the spread of the virus so that, if possible, we do not have a replication of what happened in Italy.

You don’t realize how interconnected everything is until something like this happens.  I realized last week that because we are not gathering in church for Mass, we are not collecting canned goods for the Frederick Food Bank.  The Food bank is VERY appreciative for the regular donations that we send there weekly– and with people losing their jobs, this is a time when the Food Bank really needs our help.  In addition, with no weekend Masses there are no collections, and with no collections, our parish’s ability to pay bills and employees becomes more challenging.

With all this in mind, we have moved the blue food collection bin into the vestibule of the Parish Office (in the school building), and have installed a mail slot in the Parish Office door.  Even though the Parish Office will be closed for business, the vestibule will be unlocked seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  If you have not lost your own job and would like to contribute food to the Frederick Food Bank for those who have, please drop your donations off in the collection bin in the Parish Office vestibule.  If you are not contributing electronically and would like to drop off your offertory envelopes at the same time to help your parish, you can drop them off in the Parish Office door mail slot. Please do not bring clothing donations at this time, as we are not able to handle this load, and the more essential need is food.

Archbishop Lori also asked that parish churches be open at times for parishioners to pray, and so the School Chapel (next to the Parish Office) where weekday Mass is celebrated will also be open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM seven days a week.  Please practice the appropriate “social distancing” if another person is already in the chapel when you visit.  These are extraordinary times… and they demand extra-ordinary efforts.  Please practice safe interacting, and continue to pray for one another and the people of our world.

Sincerely,

Fr. Keith

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