May 28, 2020

 

Dearest Parishioners,

First and foremost, I hope & pray this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well and in good health.  Although a much needed necessity for the health & safety of all of us, I can only imagine and know personally how very difficult these past weeks of “staying at home & sheltering in place” have been for everyone.  Please know that all of you are continually in my thoughts and prayers.

Although we were very excited to hear Governor Newsom’s announcement (last weekend) regarding the re-opening of Churches and all places of worship there are still certain limitations in place.  Unfortunately, Santa Clara County (to which our Diocese of San Jose belongs) is one of the 11 counties  (of 58 total) that have notyet given any definitive directives and protocols for Churches to follow. Considering that our Santa Clara County has been the epicenter of the pandemic and that we haven’t really reached a health level where we can all be safe if and when we expose ourselves to large gatherings, the head of the SCCHD (Santa Clara County Health Department) -Dr. Cody -is very hesitant about implementing a “re-opening” at this time. Therefore, in the absence of a clear “green light” from the SCCHD, Bishop Cantu feels we cannot yet take the risk of opening our Churches.  

In the meantime, the Bishop has asked each diocesan parish to use this time to “prepare” and “get ready” for re-opening (once permission is given to us, of course). He emphasizes the “constants” which will be required and practiced by all of us, that include but may not be limited to: Wearing of facial masks, sanitizing our hands,  Social distancing, etc.   (Special note:  We have already begun purchasing some of these items and will be placing orders for additional supplies as well.)   

In an effort to be as “pre”-prepared as possible, we will be needing Volunteers that our parish can train to perform certain assigned tasks.  Volunteers should preferably be under 65 years of age who will be able to help with sanitizing the Church before and after Mass.   Other Volunteer tasks would include: Ensuring that all Mass attendees have sanitized their hands & are wearing facial masks when they enter; That facial masks are worn throughout the duration of the Mass (including children over 6 years of age); Guiding attendees to their seats upon arrival and also during the distribution of Holy Communion.

Bishop Cantu wants to reassure us that he and his office are in constant dialogue with the SCCHD officials and will keep us posted with any new developments. In addition, he also wants us to know that anyone in Santa Clara County can now get tested for the virus. The Diocese is working with SCCHD and with two of our larger parishes where parishioners can go to get tested (St. John Vianney Parish Gym in Alum Rock and St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Gilroy). We will keep you posted with detailed information as soon as these facilities are ready for use.

We will continue to live stream our Parish Mass at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and of course, on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. through our parish Facebook homepage. Kindly go to our parish website and find the link: www.sanjosetransfig.com   

According to Bishop Cantu, the General Dispensation in attending the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays continues until such time when everyone can safely come to Church and everything comes back to normal.

Let us continue to hold each other in prayer. At this time, we must already be aware, as our faith tells us, that nothing else can truly save us from this deadly virus but the power of prayer and God’s grace working in the lives of people, particularly those tasked in seeking a cure for this pandemic.

God bless us all and take care always. I miss all of you.

Fr. Tito