Letter from Fr. Boom Martinez, SJ

May 31, 2020

Dear Newman community,

The last time we saw each other in person, it was in the middle of Lent.  The whole Easter season has come and gone, and now we are entering Ordinary Time once again.

But it looks like we will be able to pray together in church soon.  Our first Sunday Masses will be on June 14th.   We are very excited to welcome the community back and we are planning to do so safely and prudently.

All parishes in the Diocese were asked to submit reopening plans, following general Diocesan guidelines that were modified to suit the particular needs of each congregation.  Please read through our plan.  Those who have been following the news and the recommended health guidelines won’t be surprised by what we are proposing.  I think that you will find it to be a common-sense approach to caring for each other as a community.  Please be patient as we continue to work out the inevitable kinks in our plan.

I would like to thank David Tu and Brian Buesker for developing the reservation system what we are planning to use.  Some logistics:

  1. We will start taking reservations on a first come, first served basis on our website.
  2. The reservation period will start at 1 pm on the Wednesday prior to each Sunday, and will close at 11 am on Friday.
  3. Sometime that Friday evening or Saturday morning, you will receive an email from us. The email will either have information regarding your assigned seats or notification that reservations are full.
  4. When you come to church, please bring a copy of the confirmation email – either a printed copy or one on your phone – and check in at your assigned entrance so that ushers can quickly show you to your seats.
  5. Because current state regulations limit us to 100 people, we will not be able to accommodate those who do not have a reservation.

Since the Bishop recognizes that churches are opening up very slowly, he has extended the dispensation for Sunday Mass until further notice.  Therefore, I am asking everyone to prayerfully consider when it would be wise for you to return to church.

At least for the next several weeks, we are asking that the more vulnerable members of our community (those who are over 65, those who have pre-existing conditions, families with small children, anyone who is ill, etc.) choose to continue to stay at home, both for Sunday and daily Masses.  Part of our plan is to live-stream the Sunday Masses so that those who do not get a reservation, or those who have chosen to stay at home can join us virtually.

Please check our website regularly for updates.  We will try to keep everyone informed of any new developments in as timely a manner as possible.

Let us continue to pray for each other as we look forward coming together once again as a community in the Lord.

God bless,

Fr. Boom Martinez, SJ