May 29, 2020
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Holy Family,
During these weeks of pandemic, which have merged with our Lenten and Easter observances, we have journeyed together and stayed strong as a community of faith, albeit a virtual one. I know I am not alone in feeling that the learning curve of the pandemic has been, and continues to be, very steep for all of us. In this time of great struggle, we celebrate the graces that we have experienced, which remind us of the enduring presence of God among us.
Thank you for sharing in Mass online and for the many affirming comments that have been offered. While the physical distance was felt, the celebration of the faithful was deeply communal. Our other endeavors to continue our mission have been led by our ministries, by prayer, through daily communication, and by the outreach of our Giving Bank, which is providing food and assistance to the growing number of households in financial crisis. All of this is made possible by your generosity, which has enabled our parish to remain open in the most vital of ways.
Now, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic, as little by little restrictions are lifted. As most of you know by now, LA County has announced that churches and other places of worship could begin offering services this coming Sunday. Archbishop Gomez announced the same day that our Catholic churches could begin to open on June 3rd for daily Mass and on June 7th for Sunday Mass.
We are excited to share with you that it will not be long before we begin to gather for Mass in-person. We are also cautious, because of our concern for you, our parishioners, as well as for our priests and staff.
PREPARING TO REOPEN HOLY FAMILY CHURCH
After having met extensively with our priests and staff over the last few days, our parish has begun the extremely complex process of preparing to reopen. This involves ensuring that we comply not only with the Archdiocesan guidelines, but also with the guidance and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
At this time, out of the preeminent desire to ensure the health and wellbeing of parishioners, priests and staff, we are not yet ready to announce a date when we will open the Church for in-person Mass. We will announce the date of reopening as soon as we are confident that we can open safely.
I know that many of you will be disappointed by this news, but please know that we do not take this decision lightly, and it arises out of our love and concern for you. The last thing that we would ever want is to endanger any of you, or to do anything that would risk spreading the virus.
THE NEW NORMAL OF MASS ATTENDANCE
It’s important to know that when you do come back to Church, just as anywhere else in the public realm, you will find a new normal for Mass attendance, which will include the following:
- No more than 100 people may attend Mass in the Church.
- Face masks must be worn by everyone entering the Church, except for children under 2, those with impaired breathing or other at-risk conditions.
- You will be asked to sanitize your hands before entering the Church.
- You will be asked to confirm that you do not have a cough, a fever, a sore throat or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- There will be new entrance and exit procedures as well as new procedures to receive communion.
MASS SCHEDULE AND LIVESTREAMING
We know that, while some of us are more than ready to gather for Mass again, others of us are not yet ready to be present, and, indeed, should not be present. For this reason, we have no plans to change the current livestreaming Mass schedule, even after we reopen. We will continue to livestream daily Mass at 8:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and weekend Masses on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
We urge those of you who fall into the high-risk category to continue to participate in the Mass by livestreaming, even after we reopen.
It goes without saying that you should not attend Mass if you feel at all unwell.
The general dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
As of June 3rd, we will begin offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you would like to receive the Sacrament, and have a priest hear your confession, please call the Pastoral Center to set up an appointment with one of our priests, who will meet with you in the Pastoral Center.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION (BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION AND EUCHARIST)
We will shortly begin scheduling the Sacraments of Initiation for adults and children who had been preparing for Easter sacraments but have gone without reception into the Church due to the pandemic, as well as for infants. These celebrations must adhere to the new parish guidelines and policies.
WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND QUINCEAÑERAS
We will shortly begin scheduling Weddings, Funerals and Quinceañeras. These celebrations must adhere to the new parish guidelines and policies.
HOLY FAMILY BOOKSTORE
The Bookstore is now open for in-store shopping by appointment only. Please call ahead to reserve a time. Curbside pick-up and shipping are still available. The Bookstore can be reached at (626) 403-6133.
There are obviously a great many other details that need to be worked out. I will be giving you regular updates as our plan to reopen unfolds.
We ask for your patience and your prayers so that we might proceed with the utmost care and prudence. Our love and prayers are with each one of you. We belong to one another as family, and we are moving forward in such a way to ensure that you are as safe and protected as possible.
I am happy to answer any questions or address concerns you might have. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me at (626) 403-6110.
With gratitude for your prayers and understanding,
Parish Life Director
Dear Holy Family Parishioners and Friends,
During these extraordinary times, we sincerely hope and pray that you and your family are staying healthy and well. Although the Church is closed, Holy Family Church and School are open, albeit operating in a different way! Our priests, and parish and school staff and faculty have adapted magnificently to the challenge of continuing to spiritually nurture and care for the physical needs of our parishioners, as well as to educate our students with innovation and creativity. Likewise, we are enormously grateful for the care and concern that you, our parishioners, have provided to us as we navigate these new waters. We are especially humbled by your generous support of the Holy Family Crisis Relief Fund which enables us to continue ministering to the many needs of our parish and its constituencies during this very fragile time (more information about the Fund at the end of this letter). As this pandemic season marches on, we wanted to communicate some important updates to all of you and let you know that we are always here for you!
PARISH HOURS WITH RECEPTIONIST AT THE DESK (626) 799-8908
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Saturday & Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
MEDIA PRESENCE, LIVESTREAMING OF MASS and ROSARY
Livestreamed Masses: Monday – Saturday 8:15 a.m., Saturday 5:00 p.m., Sundays 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. PST
Livestreamed Rosary: Deacon Jay and Candy lead the Rosary on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:00 p.m. PST. You can join them by Zoom using this link, meeting ID and Password:
ONLINE: https://zoom.us/signin, Meeting ID: 609 392 6268 and Password #1527
BY PHONE: Please dial (669) 900-6833 (carrier charges may apply) or (877) 853-5247 (toll free) and input the meeting ID# 609 392 6268, password #1527
Our livestreamed masses are reaching over 10,000 viewers a week, and daily emails have doubled, creating 7,000 subscribers since early March. Beginning April 27, emails are being sent Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Check out our redesigned website home page for a wealth of spiritual and other important information during this time of pandemic. We are grateful to have received a significant gift to help upgrade our TV studio and livestreaming services which will help us to broaden our reach with excellent technology and precision.
With our strong digital presence, Holy Family is uniquely positioned to reach out not only to our local community but to a national, and even global, audience of Catholics who are hungry for the Mass and the faith formation opportunities we are able to offer online. Since the suspension of public Mass, thousands of people from around the country and the world have visited our website and livestream site. We have an unrivalled opportunity to not only strengthen the faith of thousands of Catholics as they weather the crisis, but also to bring back countless people to our faith because they have never encountered the Gospel of Jesus Christ in quite the way they have at Holy Family.
GIVING BANK, PASTORAL CARE and IF YOU NEED A PRIEST
Giving Bank: Expanded food distribution hours (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday). Please spread the word to those in your network that we have food for anyone needing it. Delivery service is available for seniors and other vulnerable people, including non-parishioners. Please contact Marlene Moore, Director of Community Services at (626) 403-6140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the stay at home period began, Holy Family has redistributed more than 10,000 pounds of food to other organizations and food banks, such as Catholic Charities and Dolores Mission.
Pastoral Care: To date, 43 Holy Family Staff and volunteers have called over 750 senior households (aged 65 to 110 years) and/or vulnerable parishioners to ensure they are cared for and have an ongoing connection to the Church. Additionally, 16 volunteers are calling 50 seniors weekly to engage in ongoing prayer. Dozens of food deliveries have been made to those who are vulnerable and need our help. Should you wish to have, or become, a prayer partner, or desire to put someone on our prayer list for intentions, please contact Mary Ternan at email@example.com.
Needing a Priest: Please call the Pastoral Center at (626) 799-8908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Wall: Enlist a loved one on our prayer wall: https://padlet.com/holyfamilysp/prayerwall
HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL and FAITH FORMATION
Our faith formation ministries, Religious Education, and the Holy Family School student population have successfully engaged with catechists and teachers in daily remote learning, utilizing technological resources to provide dynamic lessons through iPad applications and live online meetings, literally from the start of the safer-at-home orders. Our teens are meeting online for Youth Nights, ensuring that they are personally supported and offered hope in these times, while our Trinity Young Adult Ministry quickly galvanized to offer creative ways to engage our young adults. They have increased their social media presence with a new Facebook group for community discussion, launched a Trinity podcast, organized book clubs with virtual discussions, and are gathering for online community dinners.
HOLY FAMILY BOOKSTORE – TAKING PHONE ORDERS!
The Bookstore is taking phone orders, via credit card, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at (626) 403-6133. In addition to books, the Bookstore can fill orders for monthly Mass publications, Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, tea, and other devotional items and Monsignor Connolly has curated a list of essential spiritual reading for getting through a pandemic. The Bookstore is even offering curbside pickup! The Bookstore truly appreciates your support!
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, our beloved Auction will not take place this year. We are so grateful to our Auction Chairs who have worked tirelessly to create a successful event! Because they are eager not to lose this significant fundraising opportunity for the parish and school, the Chairs hope you will consider making a contribution to Holy Family’s Crisis Relief Fund (if you have not already done so) or to Holy Family School, in lieu of attending the Auction. For those of you who have already bought tickets, made a Patron donation, or bought a Raffle ticket, we invite you consider this a donation to the Crisis Relief Fund or Holy Family School. For further assistance regarding your donation, please call Theresa Shaw in the Pastoral Center at (626) 403-6102 or email her at Theresa@holyfamily.org and we will happily assist you. Look for a special Auction video the week of May 11th! Thank you for your support!
HOLY FAMILY CRISIS RELIEF FUND
The parish is sincerely grateful for your extraordinary support of the Crisis Relief Fund. We thank each and every person who has already contributed. Every gift is a selfless and meaningful sacrifice, and we are truly, truly grateful! Thank you!
The Holy Family Crisis Relief Fund has been established to support the parish in a variety of ways during this very challenging time of the COVID-19 crisis. Your generosity enables us to keep our Giving Bank operational and to supply our clients, who rely on us daily for food and support, with important necessities. Additionally, the Crisis Relief Fund helps our staff to be safely present for our home-bound, sick and elderly parishioners who need our help. Your support allows us to provide for your spiritual well-being through the livestreaming of daily Mass, seven days a week, and enables us to continue to expand our social media and web presence, bringing you regular emails and Videos of Comfort. Finally, the Crisis Relief Fund ensures that our parish remains operationally viable, especially while Mass attendance, which ensures important weekly offertory, is at a stand-still. We are deeply grateful for your contributions which help to sustain our parish during this unsettling time. Donations can be made online, mailed, or dropped into the white lockbox just outside the Pastoral Center door. For more information about how you can make a difference during the pandemic, please contact Mary Hatton, Director of Parish Stewardship at email@example.com or (626) 487-0908. Thank you!
Blessings of health and peace and may we all be together again soon!
Cambria Tortorelli, Parish Life Director
P.S.: If you have a new phone number or email address, or do not currently receive any emails from us, PLEASE let us know your email address immediately by calling the Pastoral Center at (626) 799-8908 or emailing Theresa@holyfamily.org.