March 18, 2020
Dear Parishioners of St. Francis Xavier:
The realty of the COVID virus has brought abrupt changes to our lives. Yesterday our bishop, James Powers, issued new directives for Church life during these difficult times. The Church must consider first and foremost the safety of its people and the welfare of our society.
Therefore, as of now, all scheduled events at St. Francis Xavier are cancelled. There will be no Masses daily or on the weekend. The exception will be funeral Masses for parishioners with the understanding that the congregation at such liturgies will be limited in size. In addition all other services, such as Stations of the Cross are cancelled. The religious education program is also suspended until further notice. There will be no committee meetings or social events as well. Once these restrictions are lifted I will inform you of this development.
These changes come at a very special time of year; Holy Week and Easter are soon upon us. At this point I do not know if there will be any scheduled services during that week. Please stay tuned for further information on any Holy Week events.
During this time we will attempt to maintain a somewhat normal office schedule. You can always call the office with questions or concerns.
During these trying times it is important to stay in touch with our Catholic faith. Although the obligation to attend Mass is lifted, you can watch Sunday Mass on television or the internet. You can read the Bible at home and pray the rosary, Stations of the Cross and other devotions. We will try to have the Church open for private prayer. During this crisis the Church building will be open Monday-Friday from 10 AM until noon. Please stop in for prayer but try to keep distance from other visitors.
At this time I ask you to continue to financially support the parish and its programs. Please mail in your contributions or you can drop them off in the mail slot of the office. This crisis will have a definite strain upon our finances so I ask that you continue with a generous spirit your support of the parish.
Above all please know of my personal concern for you all. We will get through this together and take care of one another. I will offer a private daily Mass for your intentions and I will keep you in my constant prayer.
Continued blessings during this Lent. May our Blessed Mother watch over us.
Rev. James F. Tobolski, Pastor