Today we are answering one of the biggest questions that people asked in June, and one of the most important questions for our life together as one united parish in three churches.
How do we arrange the weekend mass schedule? Here is our provisional mass schedule for August through December.
4:00 pm Saturday vigil Mass at Saint Stephen Protomartyr Church
7:00 am Sunday early Mass at Saint John the Baptist Church
10:00 am Sunday morning Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Currently we are working on air conditioner repairs at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. If the air conditioner is not fixed by August 1, we will swap the location of the 7:00 am Sunday early Mass and the 10:00 am Sunday morning Mass until the weather cools down or the air conditioner is fixed.
Here’s my big-picture thinking on the schedule. First, we want a Mass schedule that one priest could handle. Msgr. Bommarito will be a huge gift to our parish, but given his long experience as a pastor, the Archdiocese might send him to another parish if a priest there becomes ill. Second, as one community worshipping in three churches, it is better to treat three churches as more or less equal rather than have a hub church with more Masses and two other less used churches. Third, Mass felt wonderful back in spring when we had all three parishes gather a single church.
With that big picture in mind, I studied the survey data and consulted at all three parishes with the All-Things New Key Parish Leaders, the parish staffs, and the priests. A summary of the data is below; for more data, email me at email@example.com.
At all of SSP, SJB, and IHM, the most preferred Mass is the morning Mass; the second most is the vigil Mass; the third most is the early Mass. But at SSP, a great proportion liked the vigil Mass, and a lesser proportion liked the early Mass. At SJB, a greater proportion liked the early Mass. And IHM had the highest number of responses. These stats matched our historical mass attendance data for 2022 and 2021, except in 2022 SSP’s vigil Mass was bigger than its morning Mass. The above Mass schedule maximizes the number of people who can go to mass at their preferred time and church. It also helps retain people at SSP, SJB, or IHM who strongly prefer Mass at a specific church building. There was not enough interest in a noon Mass to justify one, but a minor bonus to the above Mass schedule is we can add a Sunday Mass at noon if we want to have a special event at one of the churches on some specific Sunday, such as an alumni Mass or a first Holy Communion Mass.
How do we arrange the daily mass schedule, holiday mass schedule, and confessions? Here is our provisional schedule for daily mass, holidays, and confessions.
6:30 am daily Mass at Saint John the Baptist Monday thru Friday
8:00 am daily Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
8:00 am daily Mass at Saint Stephen Protomartyr on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
During the school year, the school comes to SSP at 8:00 am on Tuesday and Thursday.
Confessions at Saint Stephen Protomartyr on Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Confessions at Saint John the Baptist on Sundays from 7:45 am to 8:15 am
Confessions at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Sundays from 9:30 am to 10:00 am
If we swap the Sunday Mass locations because of air conditioner repairs, we will also swap the Sunday morning confession locations.
On holy days of obligation like August 15, the Assumption of Mary, we will add a 12:00 noon or 7:00 pm mass to the church that does not already have a daily mass scheduled.
On civic holidays like September 4, Labor Day, we will only have the 8:00 am daily mass
We have lots left that we still need to figure out, including Christmas, Triduum, Easter, music, hospitality, handicapped parking, livestreaming, children’s ministry, readers, servers, and communion ministers.
Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit! Your thoughts are always welcome, and may God bless you!