Reopening Our Church
Message from the Pastor
June 15, 2020
Hello Saint James family and friends,
As our parish continues to move forward with reopening efforts in accordance with the plan announced by Cardinal Cupich and the bishops of Illinois, as well as the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, I want to provide you with an update on our progress and priorities.
Our parish is approved to celebrate Baptisms, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals, as well as Eucharistic Adoration and private prayer. Our staff and team of volunteers have been working hard to keep everyone’s well-being – both physical and spiritual – the foremost priority in all that we do. It has been wonderful to see so many people stepping forward to put their time and energy toward keeping our Saint James family strong during this time. We are working on the necessary steps to resume weekday and weekend Masses, which we anticipate to schedule as early as July 01. We appreciate your patience and understanding and encourage you to continue worshipping with us online at facebook.com/stjamesparishhighwood and stjameshighwood.org/sunday-mass-live.
Given the current restrictions on attendance (up to 50 seating capacity of our church), we are using Sign Up Genius, an online tool that allows you to reserve space for you and those in your household for Mass. We will also be accepting telephone reservations where we will get 50% of the total reservation for each celebration of the sacrament.
In addition to that, it is very important that you review the Parishioner Reopening Guide (available in English and Spanish on our website) so that you are aware of the precautionary measures in place for your safety and all those in our Saint James family. You will see that there are some expectations of everyone prior to arriving for Mass, during our celebration and upon exiting the church. To help ensure that everything runs as smoothly and peacefully as possible, please review the guide and contact us with any questions ahead of time at 847-433-1494 or email email@example.com.
For those who are not able to return to Mass or are not yet comfortable joining us in person, be assured of our prayers for you. We are one family in faith and no matter how long it takes until you are able to worship in person with us, we hope that you will connect with us in other ways by worshipping with us online.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
The Reopening Co-leadership Team and our Volunteer Captains need additional people to step forward and serve in various capacities so that our community may begin to pray, celebrate and worship together. In order to progress along our parish reopening plan, our Set-up, Greeting and Cleaning Teams need folks who can offer a maximum of two hours of their day for each celebration of the sacrament. Please prayerfully consider lending your time to this important ministry and contact Lil Bolek at 847-644-5129 or email her at to note your willingness to help or submit online at stjameshighwood.org/volunteers-for-reopening. Our team will ensure that you are properly trained and can serve with your safety as our #1 priority.
Additionally, our Saint James family needs your financial support. As a community of believers, we can only sustain our ministries and outreach with your generosity and regular contributions.
DID YOU KNOW?
Our Food Pantry and its dedicated volunteers approximately serve 50 families each week. Moreover, Fr. Andre and the staff of our Saint James family spend approximately 6 hours each weekend preparing for a great Sunday worship experience. Please contribute to the needs of our Saint James family during this difficult time by making offertory gifts online at givecentral.org/location/185 where you can make a weekly contribution or by sending them in the mail and keep the vital ministries and services we provide going.
Check our website: stjameshighwood.org and Facebook page: stjamesparishhighwood for all important updates and announcements!
God will work something new from the challenges we are currently facing. It is clear to me the need for community – and within that word, unity – is being expressed in powerful ways. It is my fervent hope that we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, will embrace this moment to begin witness to our faith in new ways, to share with one another our stories of faith and invite others into an encounter with the Risen Lord.
May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at 847-433-1494 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Andre Beltran