By now, you’re probably weary of receiving notifications of this and that being closed due to the virus restrictions. I am too. However, we need to inform you of some changes here at St. Francis Xavier that will, or may, impact you.
First, all Masses and reconciliation opportunities will continue as scheduled for now. When you come, please spread out between families or couples so we can try to abide by the spirit of the order while preserving our right to worship together. If you are at all sick, even with something not contagious, please stay home – it is not a sin. Your health and welfare are most important. As you might have seen, the diocese has lifted the Sunday Mass obligation for the next three weekends, starting this weekend. Please use your best judgment about coming. Expect shorter, simplified liturgies, much like a weekday Mass. The church will remain open for private prayer throughout the week as usual. Clorox wipes are in the vestibules – you might want to wipe the pew around you before and after your prayer. Our regular thorough church cleaning will continue as well. Reminder – no Precious Blood will be offered, and no holy water in the fonts. Extraordinary ministers of holy communion should report and see if they’re needed. Those who need to receive on the tongue will be asked to receive last. Altar servers and choir are excused but we will need the readers and ushers. Reconciliation will be held in the open church (not confessionals) with screens available.
Second, all meetings and events involving 100 or more people are canceled until the state ban is lifted, including the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance and Reverse Raffle scheduled for Saturday, March 14, the Parish Anniversary Fish Fry on April 3, and the Easter Eggstravaganza on April 4. If you bought tickets for the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, you can pick up to-go containers with your meal between 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday in the church basement. If you would like a refund, contact Matt Caserta at 330-461-2353. The raffle will be held and the plan is for you to watch it, if you choose, via Facebook Live. Contact your Scout for details. If you bought tickets for the fish fry, stay tuned for details on your refund. We will figure this out. If you registered and paid for the Easter Eggstravaganza, refunds are being made. Bingo is canceled for the next three weeks. PSR and St. Francis Xavier School are closed at least until April 6. Students and families have been notified. The Easter Eggstravaganza is canceled and money is being refunded. St. Vincent de Paul will continue as scheduled for now. Please remember the poor, who are especially vulnerable in this crisis. Nonperishable food and paper products may be dropped off in the bins in the church entrances or the parish office. All CYO practices and games are canceled or suspended during this time.
Essentially all meetings on our campus are canceled for now. This includes Boy and Girl Scouts, renewal meetings, faith sharing groups and Life Teen. You will want to contact your leader and/or the parish office (330-725-4968) if you have questions. Stay tuned to Facebook, your email if you’re registered with our Flocknote group, and our parish website. At-home groups can make their own decisions but we advise extreme caution.
The key now is to remember that we must be smart, not fearful during this temporary situation. Our God is not a God of fear and anxiety; our God promises that he is in charge, and he calls us to be faithful even when our lives seem uncertain. This is a time to grow in our faith, take care of the poor, lonely and vulnerable, and renew our trust in him that he will see us through the storm.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.