We had, as they say in the business, a soft opening. That was good.
We had tiny crowds at 5 pm and 11 am, decent crowds at 7:30 and 9. No one was turned away. No one forgot a mask. Once again, if you are afraid of coming, please feel free to stay home and watch on YouTube. But, also don’t be hesitant about coming to Mass either. We actually have room for a few more. And we are taking proper precautions, unlike the Lake of the Ozarks.
To be totally honest, I have been on “Team Breakout” for awhile. This virus is not going away any time soon and cocooning in our homes (as restful as that was at times) cannot go on for another eight months. We need to learn how to manage it, and manage it safely. That didn’t happen in some places in Missouri and it was quite irresponsible. Here are three thoughts on the matter.
1.) This isn’t your parents’ flu virus. The initial word about Covid-19 is that it was a new strain of the flu. Nothing to worry about. This was not the case. When the NBA, the NHL and MLB all cancelled, I knew we had problems. It is very contagious and it affects people in wildly different ways. For some it is a mild inconvenience, for others it is a death sentence. That fact alone makes for a lot of trouble.
2.) We have to learn to respect it and manage it. I think that the Archdiocese has done a pretty good job of recognizing that this was a bigger problem than was originally broadcast. We cancelled public Masses early on, even during the holiest of seasons. It was, looking back in retrospect, the exact right thing to do. At the time, it was bold. Opening back up for public Masses, we are using the best scientific and medical facts to make sure that everyone is safe. (I abhor the phony “religion vs. science” dialectic that pervades our culture.)
3.) The Church’s response to this pandemic is part of our Pro-Life stance. The bishops of Washington State, the first to suspend public Masses, said in a letter that this closing was not out of fear but out of respect for human life. Here at Holy Redeemer, as I have stated many times, your health and welfare are my top priority. So that’s why we wear masks. That’s why we sanitize high traffic places. That’s why we social distance.
With all of your cooperation and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, we will make it through this amazing time.