As Lent begins I wanted to send an email note to those parishioners for whom we have email addresses and to our school families (not all of whom are parishioners). Although we are still unable to gather in large numbers, I was thrilled to see so many at our various Ash Wednesday services and am hoping that as more people get vaccinated and COVID case numbers decrease, we will find more people coming to Mass. While our capacity is still capped at 20% capacity, we have rarely reached that number.
We are in the midst of trying to upgrade our communications strategies and want to explore ways to provide information and outreach. To that end, we have set up a parish YouTube channel (please consider subscribing to it). We are also in the process of designing a new website for our united parish. The Archdiocese Renew My Church program has provided resources for this and work is underway. In the meantime, we will soon launch a temporary parish website “landing page” that will serve as an initial online platform while the more detailed website is being developed. We will also have a new parish website address. (I’ll send that info along as soon as the landing page is up.
At my former parish, we found that parishioners unable to attend weekend Mass appreciated being able to view a recorded “Sunday Message” that I put together and posted on YouTube each week. We did not have the capability to broadcast livestream Masses, but the Sunday message served to help folks stay connected. Some, who were watching Masses broadcast online from other parishes would pause at the homily time, watch my message or the message of the other priest who celebrated Mass there, and then go back to the online Mass afterwards. In any case, I want to try providing this here at Nativity of Our Lord and Saint Gabriel, at least for Lent and maybe the Easter season. I can monitor how many people actually watch it, and then make a decision later whether it is worth continuing. To see this Sunday’s Message, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYFbAKsPQz0km1zzQJANx5w
If you know of anyone who would like to receive emails from the parish but who did not receive this one, please ask them to contact us. Our parish database is in severe need of updating, and we are missing a lot of information.
May God bless you with a fruitful Lenten Season!