July 1, 2018 --- Official Announcement Regarding Parish Weekend Mass Times

Dear parishioners, visitors, and friends,

After extended reflection and deliberation with parish leaders and parishioners, it has become imperative to make a few adjustments to the weekend Mass schedule across our campuses. Our current schedule has been in place since September 1st. It has become a new normal, but certain aspects of the current distribution of Masses have posed challenges. These changes are necessitated in large part by the ongoing challenge of consistently scheduling presiders, and by a deeper desire to foster growth in fellowship and unity rather than being spread out in more sparsely attended and overlapping Masses. Although no change is easy, having considered all the options, prudence seems to call for the following adjustments to our rhythm of weekend Masses:

+ Beginning Sunday, July 15th, Mass will be celebrated at St. Clement church at 4:00 pm every Sunday. This will be a reverent ‘recited’ or ‘quiet’ Mass, generally without music. Not only does it return an evening Mass to St. Clement, but it offers great flexibility for priestly scheduling as well as an added niche time within our roster of Masses. It can be especially attractive for those returning home after a weekend away or who need flexibility on Sunday morning. It will also provide an additional option to our 6:30 pm Sunday evening Mass at Holy Cross.

+ Beginning Saturday, August 4th, the 4:30 pm Mass at Holy Cross church will be shifted to begin at 5:30 pm. Confessions will still be heard one hour before Mass, beginning at 4:30 pm. The rationale for this adjustment is threefold: needed flexibility in scheduling of presiders; facilitating ‘prime-time’ weddings for which there is an increased demand; and offering a niche time to encourage growth in attendance. This adjustment will be employed on a trial basis, and depending on how it is received, it may possibly shift back to 4:30 pm. Some local parishes shift their evening Masses seasonally due to daylight and habits of parishioners during the summer. Our hope is that this later Mass time will provide an alternative to the very well attended 4:00 pm Mass at St. Hedwig.

+ Beginning Sunday, August 5th, the 8:00 am Mass at St. Hedwig church will be discontinued. Confessions will begin to be heard every Sunday at 9:00 am at St. Hedwig, or one hour before the 10:00 am Mass. The rationale for this adjustment is a pattern of decreased attendance, challenges in priestly scheduling as well as increased congregational seating at St. Hedwig which will be made possible through the sanctuary renovations later this summer.

+ Beginning Sunday, August 5th, the 9:00 am Mass at St. Clement church will be discontinued. Confessions will shift to one hour before the 11:00 am Mass, beginning at 10:00 am every Sunday. The rationale for this adjustment is a pattern of decreased and sporadic attendance, challenges in priestly scheduling due to overlap with other Masses, as well as our desire to restore an evening Mass to St. Clement campus.

+ All other weekend Masses will remain unchanged. We beg your understanding and willingness to go forward together with a more manageable and more accessible schedule for our weekend Masses and Confessions.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
 Fr. Howe & the Holy Cross clergy and parish staff