At this point we would normally be entering into the busier part of our parish schedule. We are beginning our Convert Instruction Classes (the RCIA) and our RCIA for Catholics. But we are still required to keep our distance from one another and use masks regularly. As we cannot have large groups, we are still not ready to return to our weekly coffee and donuts after the Sunday Masses. Other social gatherings are also not allowed.
The Catholic schools in all of the dioceses of Kentucky returned to face to face instruction last week. That seems to be working out for most so far, but Holy Cross High School and Lexington Catholic High School have both had to stop because of infections. I know that the schools are doing all that they can to keep students, faculty and staff safe and healthy, but it is difficult when you are dealing with so many people in small spaces. This is a frustrating situation for all. Parents want their children to be able to return to school, but obviously they also want them to be safe. We need to pray for everyone involved.
We will eventually get past this moment in history, and there will be a time when we will look back at it with more objectivity and insight than any of us are capable of right now. All of us are experiencing pandemic fatigue, and that can make us testy and harsh with others. It is necessary that we ask God to help us to treat others, especially those who are not acting the way we think they should, with respect and dignity.
Several years ago I heard a comedian speaking of his marriage who said that he had learned to ask three questions before saying something to his wife that might not be received well. “Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said by me? Does this need to be said by me now?” These questions had saved him and his wife from a great deal of pain and conflict. These are a good set of questions for us to ask ourselves before we choose to confront another, or verbally express our frustration and irritation.
Although I know that some people do not like it, we need to continue to follow the protocols that have been set up to keep us all safe. Please continue to do the following:
- Wear your mask.
- Do not shake hands or embrace others.
- Use the markers on the pews to maintain social distancing.
- Keep six feet distance between yourself and the person in front of you in the Communion line.
- Receive Communion in the hand.
— Fr. Mike Comer