Santa Fe, NM Archbishop has suspended all public Masses indefinitely
  • MarkB
    Posts: 683
    Santa Fe is the first diocese in America to enter a second suspension of all public Masses. The Archbishop did this on his own, not in response to a government directive or recommendation. Could be in effect until February or March? I'm thinking that there will be no public celebration of Christmas in that archdiocese.

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/10/23/santa-fe-archdiocese-again-suspending-public-mass/

  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    There will likely be more of this.
  • Seeing as churches are those spaces with the highest enforcement of COVID regulations and some of the easiest compliance, I'm unsure why this would be necessary. Just seems like more jumping on the bandwagon without any real reasoning behind it.
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  • I am operating under the assumption that my diocese will suspend Masses again around Thanksgiving, as case levels are spiking in my area and many Catholic churches and in-person schools have been hit (even with all the precautions -- a few priests have been hospitalized). I got paid for my parish work during the last shutdown. I am worried that may not happen during this shutdown. Fortunately, I also teach part-time, which would continue whether we're in person or remote, but that's not enough money to live on.
  • I know from talking with my pastor (who is a former secretary to our bishop and is a current member of the priest's council which advises the bishop) that our bishop is very reluctant to suspend public mass again. I think the only way it would happen here is if the whole state shuts down again which I know our governor is very reluctant to do.

    Edit: Fixed a typo.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    @Nathan_the_Organist

    While our parish is back to normal attendance and has been for the last couple of months, it did take us 10 weeks to get back to normal. Sadly the average over the rest of the diocese a month ago was around 30% of normal attendance, they are already talking about church closures, and the seminary has just announced that it will also close.

    We still don't have the Sunday obligation back and there is no plans for its return... I can't see any further lockdown unless the Government force it.

    The good news is our EF Latin Mass numbers are up for all Masses, with the weekday and Saturday Masses seeing a doubling in attendance.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,364
    I don't think we have to keep re-acting to this issue. I think these spikes are predictable.

    The spikes are going to happen whenever air conditioning or heating becomes widespread due to the weather. People are going to catch the virus through central air systems. We know more or less when that will happen. In the southern states it happened in May and June. In most states it's happening now.

    Churches might want to keep doors and windows open as much as possible, and plan their programming around these predictable crises.
    Thanked by 2rich_enough CHGiffen
  • The Archbishop of Santa Fe is suspending public Masses, but his schools may remain open. This is happening also with no known outbreaks being traced back to Mass attendance. But then again I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so what do I know?
  • tomjaw, that is impressive that you have attendance back up. Are you an exclusively EF parish, or is it just that one mass? I know the one EF mass our cathedral has got back attendance pretty quickly.

    My church is not back to full attendance yet. Daily masses are probably pretty close to where they were before, but Sunday mass is probably about 60% depending on the mass time.

    Kathy has a good point. We are not the masters of the virus. It is going to spread in a community and will continue to spread until we have a vaccine. Another interesting point is that the places that are getting hit hard right now (particularly the rural areas) did not have significant spread early in the pandemic. It is going to hit everywhere at some point. I would like to add that while keeping windows open can help with the spread, it is not possible in all places right now (as I write this it is 16° F with a wind chill of 1° F in my city).

    Caleferink, you bring up a good point. Churches are possibly one of the safest places to be considering the lack of outbreaks traced to mass attendance. It makes me think of something that Bishop DeGrood of Sioux Falls said when he reinstated the Sunday Obligation: There is a problem if you are of a low risk group and are willing to go to a restaurant but are not going to mass (paraphrase not a direct quote).
    Thanked by 2rich_enough tomjaw
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    Caleferink, you bring up a good point. Churches are possibly one of the safest places to be considering the lack of outbreaks traced to mass attendance. It makes me think of something that Bishop DeGrood of Sioux Falls said when he reinstated the Sunday Obligation: There is a problem if you are of a low risk group and are willing to go to a restaurant but are not going to mass (paraphrase not a direct quote).


    I don't disagree with this entirely, but we have some parishes here that do not require masks. That is leading to a mass (sorry) exodus of parishioners from those places to places that mask. I am not insensitive to this because, I fear, the "no mask" places will lose a lot of financial support. I hope I'm wrong.
  • That is leading to a mass (sorry) exodus of parishioners from those places to places that mask.

    Interesting. I'm seeing (anecdotally) the opposite where I am.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    I would definitely be in the exodus out of any place where mask usage was not required.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    @Nathan_the_Organist

    We are an N.O. Parish with an almost fully integrated E.F. community. We have had a daily Latin Mass for around 25 years... We are fortunate in that we have counted Mass attendance for the last 6 years (I do not have an earlier attendance book) Since our churches were reopened our stewards have counted (almost) every Mass.

    So our Masses in order of average attendance from 4/7/20 when the churches reopened, with long term average in brackets,

    Sunday 11am E.F. 113 (128) (Sung)
    Sunday 9.30am N.O. 78 (138) (Sung)
    Saturday 9.30am E.F. 40 (c.25)
    Saturday 6pm N.O. 39 (43)
    Sunday 12.15pm E.F. 38 (New post Covid Mass)
    Sunday 6pm N.O. 37 (43)
    Sunday 8am N.O. 33 (39)
    Saturday 7.30pm Spanish 28 (63)
    Weekday 12.15pm E.F. 27 (c.20)
    Weekday 11am N.O. 9 (?)
    Weekday 7am E.F. 10 (5)

    N.B. Combined E.F. Mass on Sunday has an attendance of 150, the extra 12.15 Mass is to ensure social distancing and will be removed when we no longer need to social distance.

    So Sunday EF is up c.20, the 9.30 N.O. is down 60, the Spanish is down 35, but most of the other Masses are effectively normal.

    We were one of the churches that decided not to mandate masks when we opened. The Government then changed the rules and then said everyone had to mask (unless exempt) We have many new people that came because of our policy not to hassle those that are not wearing masks (and therefore must be exempt...) Of course some of our elderly members that usually attend the N.O. Masses are not attending. Sunday obligation has not returned, and we are live-streaming a daily N.O. Mass. Other Parishes in the area have chosen stricter rules and their Mass attendance has suffered.

    N.B. While we can hope (or not) for a Vaccine, we need to remember that very few vaccines are 100% effective and very few diseases have been eradicated by the use of vaccines. Covid is a corona Virus and we do not have and cannot make a vaccine to prevent the various corona viruses that cause the common cold. (Not all cold viruses are corona.) A large study in England has shown that antibodies to Covid are not long lasting and some scientists have suggested that booster shots will be needed of any Covid vaccine. Most of the vaccine candidates in late stage trials involve 2 doses 2-3 weeks apart, sadly all have the normal side effects for vaccines in up to 90% of volunteers!
  • I think most people would be willing to put up with the side effects of a vaccine if it means an end to these onerous regulations, some of which are seriously disrupting our bottom line. Unfortunately, public health fearmongering attempting to normalize this crap is making people suspicious of any remedy.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Well, there are others things making suspicious of the vaccine process currently.
    Thanked by 2MarkB CharlesW
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Guidelines for upcoming feasts through the Christmas Octave just issued for the Archdiocese of Boston:

    https://www.bostoncatholic.org/sites/g/files/zjfyce871/files/2020-10/Regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas and Church Ventilation final (002).pdf
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,364
    Excellent point on ventilation. Very glad to see this.
  • On a lighter note: I read through that document that Liam linked to. Upon reading the sentence "Any wind instrumentalists should use an appropriate mask for themselves and
    for their instrument" my first thought was " Do they need to put a cover on each one of the organ pipes?"

    I know it's a silly little thought, but we could all use some humor throughout the day.
    Thanked by 2chonak a_f_hawkins
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 987
    So, how do you put a mute on a flute?
  • tandrews
    Posts: 105
    So, how do you put a mute on a flute?


    You've heard of Elf on the Shelf. Now get ready for...
    Thanked by 2Caleferink Carol
  • So, how do you put a mute on a flute?

    with a tiny mask
    https://twitter.com/katebuttery/status/1247295637760204802/photo/1
  • bhcordova, it is possible. I know of a college band that is able to do full rehearsals, but with special masks and bell covers. For brass instruments, clarinets, saxophones, and oboes they use a mask that has a slit that you put the mouthpiece through. Then there is a drawstring cover over the bell of the instrument. For the flutes they have a mask that has a hole cut in the side that the mouthpiece of the flute goes through. There is then a drawstring cover that goes over the end of the instrument. Percussion just uses normally masks.

    Edit: Fixed a typo.
    Thanked by 1bhcordova
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,060
    I should put a finer point on my comment: "no mask" places are losing parishioners who are long-time, through thick-and-thin people. They are being replaced by people that are coming due to "no mask required". From a giving and participation perspective, I don't believe they are pulling the weight that the long-time folks were. That should give us pause, I think.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    @BruceL We have seen the opposite, our donations are up... while those with the strictest risk assessment are no longer viable. Of course this is the U.K. and we are further down the road parish collapse...
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • I'm seeing a vigorous return to parish participation - including the insistent and enthusiastic participation of elderly people, despite restrictions involving masks and distance. Many Masses are over capacity, with people standing around the edges or sent up to the choir loft when seats run out. At private chapels where mask wearing etc is not obligatory turnout is also high now, with not enough seats and standees in back. I know of particular elderly who aren't going out anymore, put also a good number who are unwilling to stay home and show up every chance they get. This is Brazil, where perhaps the utter loss of religiosity is not as far advanced as in the norrthern hemisphere. And numbers (of covid cases and deaths) are still falling, last I saw. If we have a second wave I imagine it will be in winter (starting in May or June)? God knows.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw