By Father Paul Zywan 

With the new parish groupings announced and changes anticipated, questions are being asked by parishioners across the diocese. This is also true of parishioners of St. Alexis and St. Alphonsus Parishes. The following is a common concern that has been expressed to me:

What will the new Mass times be? 

The revised Mass schedule has been discussed among members of our Clergy Team, which includes Fr. Joe Freedy, Deacon Al Heiles, Deacon Jeff Ludwikowski and me. A draft of this proposed schedule was submitted to diocesan representatives at a June 11 meeting of all the new parish administrators. Fr. Philip Farrell, our Regional Vicar, will review this proposal before presenting it to Fr. Thomas Kunz, who serves as the Judicial Vicar. Our proposal will either be accepted or returned for further review and adjustments.

Once the proposed schedule has been approved, an announcement will likely be made in August.  The new Mass times for St. Alphonsus and St. Alexis will go into effect on October 15, 2018.  This schedule will serve for an interim period of six months during which time it will be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.

It is always difficult to change Mass times. We become comfortable in our habits and patterns, which makes change unsettling. Please keep in mind that there are numerous challenges involved in creating a Mass schedule for two or more communities that are becoming one.

In addition to reducing the number of Masses, other factors need to be taken into account such as: potential attendance, seating capacity, handicap accessibility for the church, and restrooms and parking lot availability. The schedule will attempt initially to be as evenly distributed among the churches as possible.  However, adjustments will have to be made by all and it is impossible to please everyone.

The one thing we do know is that no matter where the Eucharist is celebrated or what time that might be, the menu is always the same – Jesus! Keep focused on our heavenly guest and strive to become what we eat – the Body of Christ.

Effective Oct. 15, Father Zywan will be the administrator for the St. Alphonsus-St. Alexis parish grouping.