September 18, 2021
I am sure all of you who came to St. Andrew for Mass last Sunday noticed the signs at the door saying “Please Wear a Mask.” It is true that we are once again urging those who come to church to wear masks so as to slow the spread of the coronavirus that has surged again due to the Delta variant. I wasn’t able to let you know ahead of time that this was coming, and yet the great majority of those present quickly adjusted and complied. Thank you for your prompt response and cooperation! Because of the surge in the transmission of this virus and because the Delta variant is so contagious, it is highly recommended that all people, whether vaccinated or not (except those who are very young) should wear a mask when indoors where other people are gathered.
You may recall that back in August, I urged St. Andrew parishioners to heed this very recommendation, but I also stated that each individual bears the personal responsibility for doing so and that I was reluctant to establish or enforce a mandate. That remains the case at present. The only difference is, I am making a stronger and more urgent appeal to “Please wear a mask.” Maybe I should have said, “Pretty please?” But it still isn’t a mandate, nor do I wish to force anyone to violate their deeply-held beliefs. Nor do I plan to confront or challenge those who do not wear masks to church. But I will continue to urge those coming to church at St. Andrew to “please wear a mask” for as long as these recommendations are in place. I do thank you most sincerely for your cooperation.
I thank you also for your generous response to the special collection for the Haiti earthquake relief. We have already collected $7,124 for this effort. That is tremendously helpful and means so much to those who are suffering. Now, other needs are occurring. Hurricane Ida caused terrible wind damage, flooding, widespread power outages, and general devastation, especially in Louisiana, but also in many other areas, even in the Northeast. In particular, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux was hit very hard. While we are not taking a special collection for this disaster, you are welcome and encouraged to make a donation, which will be forwarded to the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. You may place your donation in the regular collection in an envelope marked “Hurricane Ida,” or you may send it to the parish office, or you can visit www.catholiccharitiesht.org/ida for additional ways to help.
May God bless and protect you all and keep you safe and healthy!
Msgr. Stephan Moloney