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I tried to go down the road of asking for an outdoor mass at my church in the Joliet diocese. I was told that the " committee " had already decided that it wasn't feasible and that they would still have to abide by all the restrictions/ protocols ..and what about if it rains?? Ugh... where is the love!? Where is the sacrifice right!?? Jesus didn't say " gee.. I don't want to go down there and get all messy, and maybe I'll have to die for them too... " my stomach turns just thinking about the email I received.... so long story short they didn't see any benefit to it. I . Just. Couldn't go down that rabbit hole with them... and I had a pretty good relationship with people at the parish... I go elsewhere now because I just can't stomach the nonsense- and it truly makes no sense. Our church is also not open for private prayer while others are. We also had at one time perpetual adoration... but none of that is happening... the " committee.." again... again, I've moved on. We know where the true Shepards are now... the masks have come off.... and sadly you can count the good ones on like 2 hands... shake the dust from your feet and move on... for the sake of your soul... move on.. at this point we need to be fed and be in a place that will accept the help we can give. I tried, and no one wants the help... ( and I'm a young mom with a lot of friends in the parish... supposedly the type they want to attract back.... nope.. they really don't care....and I say that in all honesty... in all humility.. they don't care. ..... I won't judge as to why they don't care..m but the INACTION speaks volumes. As St. Maximilian Kolbe said, " Love is the only thing that creates." If there is inaction there is no love at this point. No love for Christ, no love for souls...at least not enough to do anything. Lord have mercy.
Yes, this is one of the main things we've been pushing for from the very beginning as an obvious solution. https://www.openourchurches.org/what
Some dioceses have encouraged their priests to hold outdoor Masses as a good way to both increase attendance capability, and to lessen the need for cleaning. Others have specifically banned it. Why? Well...draw your own conclusions, I guess. :)
The issue in most dioceses, then--ours included--is to make the case that this is preferable to the provisions currently in place. Not an easy case to make, unfortunately. I've stood outside the doors of a local church during Mass this summer--even on temperate days--and I gotta say, that sun got really uncomfortable pretty fast. I'd hate to have to wear an alb and chasuble over my clothes in that...
Also keep in mind that in San Francisco, they have only recently been allowed to hold these ridiculously restrictive outdoor-only Masses for 12 people--and not because Abp. Cordileone wants it that way, but because the local authorities are openly persecuting the Church. Otherwise Catholics there have been without the Mass and Sacraments since late February/early March. And there were only 60 people at this outdoor Mass, there with 5 priests, despite having not one, but three huge terraces that size...Thanks be to God that Cordileone had the courage to take this step, and let's pray he continues to grow this witness to ever larger proportions.
As for Chicago...I would honestly say that this comes down to the individual priests at the various parishes. Parishioners have to develop good relationships with their pastors and respectfully ask for these things. However, I would say that even with outdoor Masses, they will insist on the contact tracing garbage. You may just have to vote with your feet and dollars by going elsewhere...
That is encouraging! Maybe we could all form some sort of group to encourage this within our area!
Each Mass was for 12 people because of government restrictions and so at least 5 priests were saying Mass at the same time in different areas on the huge plaza and they did this multiple times during the day. People were socially distanced and wore masks but it looked like a much better (and more public witness) experience than what is now being done in Catholic churches in Chicago. And, I don't think you need all of the multiple volunteers to clean things, etc. I wish we had that her as we would definitely go to an outdoor Mass where we didn't have to sign up in advance and be treated like children being given orders and instructions. There is a video you can view in the article. May God bless Archbishop Cordileone!