March 25, 2022 – Pastor’s Note


A few weeks ago, we had someone at one of our weekend Masses who was acting disturbed – waving his arms around, getting up and walking around regularly, returning to a different pew each time he sat down. This is not a particularly uncommon experience at our parish, being situated as close to downtown as we are. Most of the time, parishioners spot this kind of behavior immediately and feel uncomfortable for the remainder of the Mass because they do not know if the person poses some kind of threat or what to do about it if they do. But in the situation a few weeks ago, one of our parishioners, R.D., went over to sit by the man, to check in with him, to evaluate his wellness, and to accompany him through the rest of Mass. Parishioners took notice, and I heard from multiple people about how much they appreciated R.’s reaching out.

What many people do not realize is that one of the reasons R. took action that morning is because he is a member of the Safety Team and was responsible for taking care of safety incidents at that Mass. The Safety Team is an initiative (currently overseen by another parishioner, J.A.) which we are now recognizing and integrating as one of our liturgical ministries. Just like we need sacristans to set up for the Mass, hospitality to greet people, lectors to read, and EMHCs to distribute communion, we have realized that we also need people – both security minded and health minded – to keep an eye out at Mass for the safety of our parishioners, and to take responsibility for addressing any incidents that might arise. John has been providing excellent training for these folks, and that training is paying off.

However, just like our other liturgical ministries, it is always a struggle to make sure that four Masses every weekend have the personnel necessary to fill all of the roles. If you are willing to get trained and to help us take responsibility for the safety of our parishioners each weekend, please do get in touch with me or J.A. We do not yet have the people we need.

All of that said, another important piece to being a downtown parish is educating all of our people about the realities of homelessness. Many of the folks who act disturbed at our Masses are disturbed because of traumas associated with being homeless, and we all need to learn how to balance being welcoming with being safe with helping folks find the help that they need. That is why I am so excited that Hans Erchinger-Davis, the President and CEO of Lighthouse Mission, has agreed to join us after each of the English Masses this weekend to talk about the Mission and answer any questions we might have. He works on the front lines with some of our most marginalized people, and am I thrilled to learn from his expertise.

P.S. If you want to jump down a fascinating Fatima/Consecration rabbit hole, a surprisingly accurate article from Slate today.


Hace unas semanas, tuvimos a alguien en una de nuestras misas de fin de semana que se mostraba perturbado: agitaba los brazos, se levantaba y caminaba regularmente, volviendo a un banco diferente cada vez que se sentaba. Esta no es una experiencia particularmente poco común en nuestra parroquia, ya que estamos ubicados tan cerca del centro como nosotros. La mayoría de las veces, los feligreses detectan este tipo de comportamiento de inmediato y se sienten incómodos durante el resto de la misa porque no saben si la persona representa algún tipo de amenaza o qué hacer al respecto si lo hace. Pero en la situación hace unas semanas, uno de nuestros feligreses, R.D., fue a sentarse junto al hombre, para consultarlo, evaluar su bienestar y acompañarlo durante el resto de la Misa. Los feligreses se dieron cuenta, y escuché de varias personas lo mucho que apreciaban la ayuda de R.

Lo que mucha gente no se da cuenta es que una de las razones por las que Rik tomó medidas esa mañana es porque es miembro del Equipo de Seguridad y era responsable de encargarse de los incidentes de seguridad en esa Misa. El Equipo de seguridad es una iniciativa (actualmente supervisada por otro feligrés, J.A.) que ahora estamos reconociendo e integrando como uno de nuestros ministerios litúrgicos. Así como necesitamos sacristanes para organizar la Misa, hospitalidad para recibir a las personas, lectores para leer y ministros extraordinarios para distribuir la comunión, nos hemos dado cuenta de que también necesitamos personas tanto preocupadas por la seguridad de nuestros feligreses, y asumir la responsabilidad de atender cualquier incidente que pueda surgir. John ha estado brindando una excelente capacitación para estas personas, y esa capacitación está dando sus frutos. Sin embargo, al igual que nuestros otros ministerios litúrgicos, siempre es una lucha asegurarse de que cuatro misas cada fin de semana tengan el personal necesario para cumplir con todos los papeles. Si está dispuesto a capacitarse y ayudarnos a asumir la responsabilidad de la seguridad de nuestros feligreses cada fin de semana, comuníquese conmigo o con E.O. Todavía no tenemos la gente que necesitamos.

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