Fr. Greg's Pastoral Letter | Sunday, June 28, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers -

Unfortunately, this weekend we bid farewell to Fr. Travis. He will move on next week, taking time for retreat, a visit to his family in Oregon, and a bit of vacation before heading east to begin his Executive MBA program at Georgetown University.

Ordained a year ago, we have been blessed to have him with us his first year as a priest. And our lives are richer for that. Fr. Travis generously threw himself into our parish life in many and varied ways: visiting you in the hospital, hearing your confessions, working with our SolidarityNetwork and helping to create and flesh out our Lenten theme of Displacement. He coordinated our Home4Dinner experience, as well as set tables and prepared food; led discussions at Zoom Hospitality; and helped establish a stronger social media presence for St. Ignatius Parish. Most important of all, Fr. Travis shared with us his love for and companionship with Jesus, primarily through his engaging homilies, which invited us to love and accompany the Lord more deeply.

I am extremely grateful to God, Travis, that you have been part of our community. We will miss you. You have left your fingerprints on so much of our parish; you have also left them on our hearts, and we will long feel your presence. On behalf of the good people of St. Ignatius, whom you have come to love and who love you, we thank you for all you have given and done, and we wish you all of God’s best as you continue to listen and respond to his call. As I said to Gary Price last week, the doors of our church and our hearts remain ajar and await your return to visit and pray with us. Godspeed.

There has been a great deal of confusion about public Masses as things open up. I think that the roots of the confusion lie in the plans the Archdiocese and parishes (including St. Ignatius) made in light of the guidelines given by the State of California at the end of May. When guidelines were issued by the County of San Francisco on June 15, they were far more restrictive. Some parishes continued their planning aligned with the State guidelines, and some complied with the local ones. St. Ignatius is in the latter category, for reasons you are familiar with.

This week, Archbishop Cordileone announced directives for parishes after fruitful conversations with the County, in particular with San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón. Those directives are the following:

1.     For the time being, parishes may hold Mass outdoors without any limit on the number of participants, but the safety protocols of the Archdiocese of San Francisco must be followed.

2.     Mass indoors may be celebrated with no more than 12 people attending in the assembly.

The Archbishop anticipates that public Masses inside of church with the number allowed by the state of California will resume very soon.

I will be discussing with the staff, with input from the Worship Commission and the Liturgical Ministers Committee, how and when we will implement these guidelines in the next weeks. As we have from the beginning, we will continue to do what is best for both the physical and spiritual health of our faith community. (Note that one of the primary factors we must consider is our priest staff: three of the four of us are in their late 70s and early 80s.) Please keep our decision making in your prayers. And, as always,

oremus pro invicem.

Fr. Greg