SANTA CRUZ – On Wednesday, 16 June 2021, the Shrine of Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, 544 West Cliff Drive, released the following statement from the Very Rev. Matthew Spencer, O.S.J., on its Facebook page:
Dear Shrine family,
On June 14, 2021, we received a memo from Bishop Danny Garcia, indicating that he is relaxing most of the pandemic restrictions we have been observing in the Diocese of Monterey. Praise the Lord!
Bishop Danny has not yet reinstituted the Sunday obligation to attend Sunday Mass, but there are many changes that directly affect our celebration of the Mass. Practically speaking, what this means for our Shrine community is the following:
– Social distancing is no longer required in the chapel, and adjusted capacity limits are no longer in effect. Our Sunday 11:00 AM Mass will be held indoors.
– The Shrine chapel will be open again during the day for pilgrims and those wishing to pray.
– Congregational singing is now permitted at our Masses.
– Per the direction of the Diocese and the Department of Public Health, “for fully vaccinated individuals a face mask is not required; for non-vaccinated individuals, a face mask is required indoors.”
– The Sign of Peace can be resumed, either as a gesture or a traditional handshake.
– Holy water is now present in our fonts, and the holy water dispenser is available in the Shrine / Shrine Coffee lobby.
– For the moment confessions will remain outside, but eventually they will return to the confessional once we resolve a few practical matters.
– We will discontinue our daily live-stream so as to focus better on our celebration in person; while the obligation for Sunday Mass attendance is lifted, we will continue to try to stream the Sunday Mass.
St. Joseph Marello, the founder of the Oblates of St. Joseph, often used to exclaim nunc coepi, a Latin phrase meaning “now I begin.” By this he meant to remind himself that every day, every moment, is a new once, and we must be renewed at every moment. I can’t help but think of these words as now we embark upon strengthening our Shrine community every day.
Thanks for your patience as we work out the kinks! Blessings, in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
– Fr. Matthew, osj