Letter from Fr. John Firpo Regarding Mass Time Changes

July 20, 2013

Dear Parishioners,

As you know, over the last several years, many parishes in our Diocese have needed to adjust their weekend mass schedules due to factors such as declining attendance and decreasing availability of priests. Last year, I convened a group of parishioners to consider what our parish would do if we needed to make a change in our weekend Mass schedule. I did this pro-actively so that any recommendations would be made from our parish strengths rather than a moment of crisis. This Mass Study Group met with me frequently over several months with the intention of recommending to me a weekend mass schedule of three Masses rather than our current four Masses.

A primary concern was to choose an option that would best suit our parish situation while preserving all of what we value in our St. Charles Borromeo community. Whatever option we chose, we wanted to enhance our Eucharistic celebrations so that we would have full, conscious and active participation.
We recognized that any change in Mass schedule would impact our parishioners’ Sunday routine and family patterns. We set as our goal to minimize the effect that this would have on our parishioners. With this sensitivity, we analyzed about a dozen combinations of a “Three Mass Schedule”. It was imperative for us to assess a new schedule that would allow the following: continuation of our family and children’s ministry, music ministry, adequate parking, reasonable distribution of attendance at the weekend masses, hospitality and other Sunday programs.

Given our own strengths and viability as a parish and the additional responsibilities to meet the sacramental and liturgical needs at Holy Name of Jesus parish, I believe now is the time to adjust our weekend Mass schedule. Starting the weekend of September 14 and 15, 2013, the times of our weekend liturgies will be Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.; Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. After careful consideration, I am accepting this recommendation with the consent of our Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Council.

As we move forward, I have asked our Parish staff to work closely with the leaders of our various parish ministries and groups at St. Charles Borromeo. This will help to ensure parishioner input and participation as we work out the details of how the changes impact individual ministries.

In the following weeks, there will be a Q&A fact sheet inserted in the bulletin to explain further this change. I ask that we all work together to make this necessary change as seamless as possible and to be an opportunity to strengthen our communal prayer life around the Lord’s table. As usual I and the Parish staff and the members of the Mass Study Group are open to receive questions and comments.


Fr. John Firpo, Pastor