As you may be aware, for the past several years, attendance at the 7:00 a.m. Mass has been declining. Last year’s October count for the 7:00 a.m. Mass averaged 63 people per week. Since 2011, that number has never been above 75 people, meaning the church is less than a quarter filled. During the winter months, attendance drops off even more. The 8:30 a.m. Mass has been averaging about 150 people for the past three years, meaning the church is a little less than half filled.
When I came to St. Mary as your pastor, we began celebrating the 5:00 p.m. Sunday evening Mass in response to the shifting needs of our parish community. At that time, it was recommended to me by the Pastoral Council to eliminate one of the Sunday morning masses. I did not make that change to see if perhaps the overall Mass attendance numbers would increase. Unfortunately, the numbers for the 7:00 a.m. Mass continued to diminish.
In order to increase Mass vitality and maximize our limited resources, beginning July 2, 2017, the 7:00 a.m. and
8:30 a.m. Sunday Masses will be COMBINED INTO ONE MASS AT 8:00 a.m.
The remainder of the Mass schedule will stay the same: Saturday – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday – 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Mass intentions that have been previously requested for the 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Sunday masses will be combined at the 8:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. Please call the Rectory with any questions or concerns.
I do realize this is a change for those who have been going to these two masses for years, and I apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. It is my hope that by combining these two groups of faithful Mass attendees, we will all enjoy a more vibrant experience at our first mass every Sunday morning! I look forward to celebrating this new Mass time with you.
Thank you for your understanding.