For years the archdiocese has been after me to reduce our masses to a number that reflects our attendance, budget and the supply of priests available here in Milwaukee. Last year we averaged 640 a weekend over six masses with two priests. Most parishes in this diocese have at least one mass with that many people celebrated by a single priest. For the above reasons this arrangement is not sustainable.
With the Covid-19 shut down and the inevitable return of Father John Jenkins to his home diocese in Texas, the Pastoral Council saw that it was as good a time as any to reduce masses and make a change to four masses. The question was how to make that change fairly and equitably to all parishes so as not to eliminate one parish from having a Sunday mass? The council met with great trepidation but with prayer and great love and concern for the good of each parish they came up with an ingenious plan. The new schedule was voted for unanimously and the meeting ended with laughter and happy faces and grateful hearts that God had lead us to this innovative solution to a challenging and possibly contentious problem. That plan is reflected in two thoughts:
Same Old Sunday Schedule
Share the New Saturday Mass
The current Sunday mass schedule and times will remain exactly the same! Once a month, on a rotating schedule, each parish will host the NEW Saturday 5:00 mass in place of their regular Sunday mass.
Its that simple!
The new schedule begins with the weekend starting Saturday October 3rd with a 5:00 mass at St. Mary in Dover.
Each parish will still have its regular Sunday mass except once a month will Have a Saturday night mass instead of a Sunday morning mass. Much how St. Francis and Saint John have shared the Saturday mass on a rotating schedule for the last twenty years we will now just do it for all four parishes.
I know changing masses can be challenging but this was totally necessary and your understanding is much appreciated. We will be providing calendars, infographics, handouts, signage, a mass schedule hotline and digital media to communicate and further explain this new schedule.
Next Mass: Saturday October 3rd with a 5:00 mass at St. Mary in Dover