By May 7, 2020 No Comments


Let’s say that I accidentally – because no one would ever do such a thing on purpose – drop a piece of paper on the floor in the church. What happens to it? Answer: It stays there until someone picks it up.

Of course it does? Of course it does. The laws of physics – and thermodynamics, and biology, and chemistry, and epidemiology – work just as nicely inside church buildings as they do outside. And outside they work like clockwork. Predictably, even, which is why we call them laws. Drop something and it falls to the carpet. Touch a surface that’s been contaminated with the coronavirus, scratch your nose with your contaminated finger, transfer the virus to your mucous membrane and … come down with COVID-19. Clockwork.

Jesus loves you. Jesus is crazy about you. So’s his Mother. And his Father. But, barring a miracle – and miracles can happen but they hardly ever do which is why they’re called miracles – the laws that govern the universe are not going to be suspended for you.

All of which is to say that we’re getting ready to open St. Ignatius Loyola Church BUT NOT THIS WEEKEND. NOT THIS WEEKEND. Yes, I know that many of us received a text message from the Archdiocese to the effect that LIMITED public masses may resume May 9 (and please keep that word LIMITED in the front of your mind). Yes they may, but they need not, and it will vary from parish to parish. Pastors will need to consult with parish councils and parishioners and staff members and health experts and archdiocesan authorities so as to make the best possible decisions, parish to parish. We at Loyola are going to continue to err on the side of safety. We care too much about your health and well-being to do otherwise.

What needs to be done before we can resume public masses at St. Ignatius Loyola? Tons of things, many of which we’re already working on. We need to figure out the safest possible seating arrangements. We need to figure out the safest possible traffic patterns. We need to figure out how to clean and sanitize the church between gatherings. We need to do some more deep cleaning inside the church. We need to figure out an equitable way of allowing people to come to mass. We need to recruit people to help with all of this, and more. In sum, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do the best job with it that we can. WE’RE NOT READY.

There are a lot of things you’ll need to bear in mind in the coming weeks. To this end, PLEASE sign up for FLOCKNOTE! You can do so by visiting the website: loyoladenver.org – but of course you already know that because that’s where you’re reading this. On the website, go to CONNECT and then to FLOCKNOTE. You can unsubscribe whenever you want, but please, for the duration, sign up for FLOCKNOTE. And check the website regularly.

Some people – and people who should know better – are acting as if the pandemic has ended. IT HAS NOT. IT HAS NOT. IT HAS NOT. Death tolls continue to climb. In fact, if we are not careful, if we rush into things, if we don’t think things through, the virus – which is still out there, in force and doing its best to spread – will come ROARING back.

Dear ones, you must understand the following: NO AMOUNT OF PLANNING OR PREPARATION CAN GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY. We’ll do the best we can, but you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the risk. As ever, if you’re 65 or over, if you have underlying health conditions or reduced immune function or if you live with or care for someone who does, please consider staying home for now. Err on the side of safety.

You know why? Because we miss you terribly as it is but we’d miss you a hundred million times more if you were to be taken from us by the coronavirus.

You are beloved. You belong. Rejoice and be glad.

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