Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope these last weeks have been a wonderful time of celebration and joy as we have, once again come together to adore our newborn King!
As I am sure you are already aware, there are many in our community who are falling ill both from COVID-19 as well as the current variant of influenza. I will first ask that we all pray for protection and a speedy recovery of all our friends and family who have fallen ill.
Last spring, after the vaccine became more readily available, in consultation with our parish leadership, I determined that it was time to remove all our restrictions at Mass and around the parish that we had in place to attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. At that time, we removed barriers, removed the masking expectation, and brought back communion under both kinds (both the precious body and blood of Our Lord). My principle motivation was to not restrict your practice of the faith any longer than is absolutely necessary based on the data and advice we had at that time.
Over these last months we have found a good deal of success and very little difficulty with either the flu or COVID as we have brought back so much of our parish life. One question that we discussed last spring was whether you, the faithful of our parish, would desire to receive communion under both kinds again as it certainly is not necessary to receive both species of the blessed sacrament to fully receive Our Lord. In fact, the Church has taught from the beginning that it is not necessary to receive both species, but that a single species (either the consecrated host, or the consecrated wine) is sufficient to receive the fullness of the blessed sacrament.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have noticed more and more of our parish family have become ill as often is the case at this time of year. With that in mind and, in consultation with parish leadership, I have decided to suspend the distribution of the precious blood at this time. I know for many of you this is a disappointment, however, I believe that it will only be temporary, and we will reassess the distribution of the precious blood before Lent begins to see if it is reasonable at that time.
Please continue to pray for one another and know of my prayers for all of you every day!
May the blessings of our newborn King continue to shine down on all of us and this wonderful community that we all love so dearly.