Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
I wrote in my weekly letter last week that, “nothing is as constant as change.” How true that is in these uncertain and unpredictable times. As you are likely aware, we are adapting again this week to new guidelines and restrictions in Monterey County that affect the celebration of Mass.
On Monday, Governor Newsom ordered all houses of worship to suspend indoor services in the 30 counties currently experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases, including our own county of Monterey. Outdoor services, where feasible, are still allowed. Following Diocesan guidance, we will be celebrating the Mass outdoors in our Central Courtyard beginning this Sunday, July 19, at 8:30 am and 11 am. The 11 am Mass will continue to be livestreamed on our website, carmelmisison.org, for those who cannot join us in person. Bishop Garcia’s dispensation from attending Sunday Mass remains in place.
The Basilica and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel are closed until further notice, and there will be no Daily Mass at this time. We will continue to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Central Courtyard on Saturday from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, and the Mission Store remains open to welcome our visitors and parishioners. We will be expanding our Daily Prayer Message schedule to Monday – Friday beginning Monday, July 20, so please do join us online each morning to reflect and pray together.
I cannot thank you enough for your support and flexibility as we navigate these difficult and ever-changing times. The health and safety of our parishioners, staff and visitors remains our first and guiding priority. We are very fortunate that our courtyard will allow us to continue to celebrate the Mass together at this time. We are blessed that not only do we have adequate outdoor space to allow us to continue to celebrate Mass, but that it is a truly beautiful setting, made even more enjoyable by our recent re-paving and other improvements.
I invite you to visit our Advisory Page on the website, where you will find all the latest information on these and all current conditions at the Mission. It is updated daily and will be the best source of up to date information.
In the Gospel this week, Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed. The tiny seed that grows to a large, strong bush that provides homes for all the birds. In these challenging times, we all must foster the mustard seed of our own faith, encouraging its growth. Our world needs great strong mustard bushes that can spread their branches and provide shelter for many. With your support, Carmel Mission can continue to be such a mustard bush in our community.
I continue to wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health, renewed hope, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.