The Latest News

The Latest News for our Parish

5/19/2020

As we begin to plan for re-opening our churches for Mass, there are several items we want you to be aware of. There will be no Holy Water available, we will have baskets in the Narthex for your collection envelopes. We will have seating marked according to social distancing, but families may sit together. There will be no Altar Servers or Choir and the Nursery will remain closed. While masks are not required, if you prefer to wear them please feel free.

The Dispensation for attending Mass is continued until the end of June. Our Masses will continue to be live-streamed for those who prefer not to attend.

Saint Francis will have Sunday Mass as usual. The doors to the Church Hall and the Narthex will remain open so that more people can hear/attend if necessary.

OLSS live Daily Masses and the Saturday Vigil Mass will be the same times as normal but in the Main Church.  Sunday Masses will be at 11AM and 4PM.

As we will only be able to accommodate 100 people per Mass, please begin calling the office to let us know which Mass you would prefer to attend.

Other directives will be communicated as they are determined.


4/23/2020

Letter from Bishop Hartmayer

Dear Friends in Christ,

Knowing how much Catholics everywhere are yearning to return to the Eucharist and to gather once again in our churches, we must communicate that, having struggled with our decision, we believe that we must yet maintain the current practice of sheltering in place. With input and support from the priests of both the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah, we are, for the safety of all Georgia residents, not authorizing the return to congregating at churches or making our churches available for devotions. This determination extends through the month of May. If the sheltering-in-place and social distancing guidelines are altered significantly during this time, we will reexamine the possibility of congregating at churches.

We took many factors into account in coming to this conclusion. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has been updating data daily and providing guidance on when next steps might be safe. Their current report on Georgia indicates that waiting until June to shift social distancing strategies would be the best course of action.

Many of our priests fall into the high-risk category for this virus, as do a good number of the faithful. In addition to that, priests are reluctant to put their congregations at risk. With more than 200 churches and more than one million Catholics in the state of Georgia, in a great variety of circumstances, we are not able to offer a workable strategy that could apply throughout our diverse population.

If one church offers a unique liturgy or devotion, it might be flooded with attendees. Normally that would be a welcome response, but in the current environment this would not respect the need to remain, for safety’s sake, in place. The same is true for drive-through services and devotions. Parishes that could accommodate a drive-through service or reconciliation for their own members would not be able to safely accommodate the additional people from surrounding communities.

We will take the time from now until we do resume regular liturgies and sacraments to carefully plot the conditions--including matters of numerical management, required spacing, and sanitation--under which churches may safely return to offering regular gatherings,. The dispensation from Saturday or Sunday Mass attendance is, of course, still applicable, although Catholics are expected to avail themselves of the virtual Mass each week.

Preserving the bonds of parish life is particularly important, even as we see evidence of the strengthening of family worship and devotion in our homes. Parishes are reaching out to the elderly and homebound, which we heartily endorse. Providing encouragement, especially in light of the protracted absence from normal activities, is a proper work of mercy.

Parish catechetical activities such as Parish Schools of Religion or other faith formation opportunities should be offered digitally. Both Arch/Diocesan staff and Parish staff have put together resources for both catechetical leaders and families to use, and they are updating their website resource pages almost daily. The employees of the Chanceries will continue their working remotely, and parishes are strongly encouraged to do likewise.

This is an unprecedented time in history, and we hardly imagined a time when we would have to weigh our Church’s spiritual progress against the brute necessities of general health and survival. But, we live in the reality of Easter, and even now we rejoice in the goodness of God and the saving grace of the Risen Lord. May the ever-new and ever-wondrous Paraclete, the Spirit of all truth, sustain us in hope and keep us united in the confession of our Catholic belief.

Given April 23, 2020 in Savannah, GA.

Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM, Conv.
Bishop of Savannah/Archbishop-designate of Atlanta

Bishop Joel M. Konzen, S.M.
Diocesan Administrator

 

4/8/2020

We will be live-streaming Masses for Holy Thursday at 6PM, Good Friday at 6PM, Easter Vigil at 8PM and Easter Sunday at 10AM.

Holy Week at Home

4/6/2020

As per directives from the Diocese, there will be no public Masses, no private prayer in the Chapels or Churches and no Holy Week activities at Our Lady Star of the Sea or St. Francis of Assisi.  There will be live-stream Masses from the Cathedral and from OLSS. These will be posted on the "Live Stream Masses" section of the Parish News Alert tab of our website as well as on our Facebook page.


4/2/2020

Due to the suspension of all public worship services in our diocese because of the pandemic, we will be postponing the celebration of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.  We will also postpone Vacation Bible School at this time.  Let us all unite in prayer for our families, friends, our faith community, and all those effected by the Corona Virus.  We will reevaluate on May 1st and provide an update at that time.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Jake