June 28, 2020

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These past weeks I have had several very good conversations with parishioners about why more people at Mass are not wearing masks.

I summarize the Governor's Executive Order as the Bishop has: as an “expectation” but not as a “requirement”. There are so many exemptions to the state law that I wish to avoid interrogating those without a mask before they enter or after they are seated.

The alternatives are 1) overstating the case and saying that everyone must wear a mask when I know that a) the law provides for exceptions and b) parishioners will confront each other over the issue in church or 2) treating the Church as my private property and expelling those not wearing masks, which any homeowner or business owner has the right to do.

Everyone should know that Holy Communion is available after every Mass in the vestibule whether or not you listen to Mass outside via the speakers or watch online. Anyone not wearing a mask in the pews should keep in mind that their not doing so has been keeping people at home.

Everywhere in the Commonwealth we are allowed to dine inside restaurants without wearing face coverings. By the end of July restaurants probably will not even have capacity limits, only spacing requirements.

Throughout Virginia the number of Covid hospitalizations continues to decline. Visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/ coronavirus/ to see the raw data. In Northern Virginia the decline has been as steep since late April as the rise was before.

That should be encouraging.

Most heartening is that Jesus died for every single one of us.

Please direct your comments to me personally at [email protected] and may God bless you!

Yours in Christ through Mary,

Fr. Christopher J. Pollard

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb 13,8