December 4, 2020
As we continue to navigate the multitude of challenges presented by the global pandemic, we are unfortunately still not in a position to reopen our building.
There are many reasons for extending the closure. Twenty-six friars live at 100 Arch St. Three friars are graduate students and the rest of us have an average age of 72. Yes, we are older than we look! The population that we attract for worship is an older group and inherently more vulnerable.
Many of our day-to-day worshipers work in the local hospitals and medical offices in our neighborhood. We serve the downtown homeless population, for whom the standard COVID precautions (hand washing, distancing, face masks) can be more challenging. If we were to open, we would be bringing together a very complex combination of vulnerable populations who are at high risk for COVID-19.
The good news is that we have found alternative ways to continue our ministries. Spiritual direction, the food center, counseling, 12-step groups, addiction counseling, homeless outreach, and many other services have all endured despite the building being closed.
We livestream Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
Our building may remain closed for now, but the spirit of our worshiping community is very much open. We are all praying for the day when we can be together again.
Fr. Thomas Conway, OFM