Welcome and God Bless you! Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski is lifting the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Days Mass obligation beginning on July 1, 2021. I, along with Archbishop Rozanski, welcome the Christian faithful of St. Gabriel the Archangel to return to regular participation in the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith.
From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have understood that being a Christian is not a private matter. We are called to be Christians together. While you should engage in the private prayer at home and in private, which is a great gift to our families, our worship as Catholics is public and communal, which is why Sunday Mass is so important.
Many hundreds of our parishioners have returned to Mass, but also many have not. We just completed a successful and healthy school year, and the same precautions we used at school were in effect at our Church. Last week a group of volunteers thoroughly cleaned and sanitized our Church. We are open and desiring your presence, as we gather as a faith community.
As Catholics, we are invited by God to gather together in community, and to participate fully in the Sunday Eucharist, which is the source and summit of the Christian life.
Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. We the faithful of St. Gabriel give witness by this in our communion in faith and charity. Together we testify to God’s holiness and our hope of salvation. We are called to strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Sunday and Holy Day obligation is not something God asks of us out of his own necessity or need to be worshipped, but rather a gift to the faithful for our own spiritual well-being, happiness, and eternal salvation.
Following the laws of the Church, the only worshipers that do not need to attend Sunday Mass are those who are ill, taking care of someone ill, are homebound, those unable to receive a COVID vaccine at this time, and those who are vulnerable due to age, health or severe anxiety about becoming ill.
I pray that our absence has reminded us of what a wonderful gift it is to be connected to Jesus and one another in the Eucharist. We need the substance of the Lord that we find in the gift of the Eucharist. Please join your fellow parishioners around the table of our Lord.
With Love and Blessings!
Msgr John Shamleffer