Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Let me begin by saying that I want to put something on your radar, but nothing has been decided yet. It’s getting harder and harder to maintain four weekend Masses here at St. Charles. Since June of 2021, we returned to our full offerings of Mass (Saturday 5PM, Sunday 8:30, 10:30, & 5PM) and with but a handful of exceptions, I’ve celebrated all of them. I’ve done it all quite willingly, as I recognize the importance of the Eucharist and the need to offer it as widely as possible. But now that it’s been well over a year with this schedule in place, I feel the need to reevaluate and see if it makes sense to continue with things as they currently stand or if making a change makes more sense.
If there would be a change, it would most likely be the elimination of the Sunday 5PM Mass. A lot of factors contribute to why that particular Mass would be the one to go and please allow me to specify some of them. Again, while no decision has been made, I’d like to share some of my thinking. It’s just difficult to maintain the Sunday 5PM Mass. Securing Cantors and Instrumentalists is quite the challenge at times, having maintenance staff on hand for cuts into the hours that Ricardo is available the rest of the week, and on the priest end of things, it’s a challenge for me to do a fourth Mass for the weekend and the only possible coverage is occasional from Msgr. Dubell. I’m not sure the collection that comes in from that Mass even covers the cost of the musicians, extra-clergy, and maintenance when it’s all said and done.
It’s not the best attended Mass. Now, there is a stable part of the community that comes to the Sunday 5PM and it hurts to think that we would be taking their Mass from them. But in the accounting of things, there’s a total of an average 130 people at that Mass. Maybe 70 or so are part of the usual crowd and the remaining people, half
are parishioners who didn’t attend their usual Mass that weekend and the other half are just random people. It’s not the most consistent group and sometimes we’re barely getting 100 people to it.
Finally, it’s the hardest Mass for me to celebrate. I cannot sufficiently describe how hard it is to rev myself back up for Mass on a Sunday evening. And given that it’s fourth iteration of the weekend Mass, it’s really tough to do it both prayerfully and well. In my faculties, I’m only supposed to do at most three Sunday Masses, though
the Saturday Vigil is a gray area. But to be honest, you’re not getting the best of me by Sunday 5PM and that’s not fair to you or to me. In terms of other options, it’s really only Msgr. Dubell who is in his eighties and not the best bet for a long term solution.
Again, no decision has been made, but I want you to know what is being considered for the future.
Peace and Goodness,