Face Coverings Required for Mass Attendees

06-20-2020Pastor's LetterFr. Will Schmid

Dear Parishioners of San Francisco de Asis,

After reviewing Mayor Coral Evans’ recent proclamation concerning face coverings in public, and after consultation with Bishop Olmsted and other members of leadership in the Diocese of Phoenix, beginning Sunday, June 21, San Francisco de Asís Catholic Church will be requiring all Mass attendees five years of age and older (who do not have a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental disability, or is unable to remove the face covering without assistance) to wear face coverings during Mass with the exception of the moment when they approach to receive Holy Communion.

We recognize that this is a decision that not everyone will agree with. This is understandable. Many find face coverings to be disconcerting for a variety of reasons. Yet, we must remember that the purpose of wearing a face covering is to protect each other, especially those of us who are most vulnerable. It’s an additional precaution highly encouraged by medical professionals (including many within our own parish community), and it is a reasonable practice at this time, especially in light of the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in the state of Arizona. This is particularly important when we realize that the virus is spread in persons who are asymptomatic. By wearing a face covering, we are doing something to protect each other and to help each other feel more at ease. This is an example of Christian charity. Although wearing a face covering at Mass will never feel completely “normal,” the overwhelming majority of Mass attendees over the past month have been wearing them diligently and have become accustomed to this practice.  If you are planning on attending Mass and do not have a face covering, masks will be available for you at each church entrance, courtesy of Mammoth Restoration.

These are certainly strange and difficult times. Please know that you are in my daily prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for myself, our parish staff, Bishop Olmsted, and all priests and church leaders, that we receive constant guidance from the Holy Spirit in making wise and prudent decisions for the common good of the faithful.

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Will