Dear Friends in Christ,
Several items for your review:
1) I was ordained to the priesthood on 10 July 1993, which means that next month I will have been a priest for 25 years – 17 of them at St Mary’s! Since the actual anniversary date is on a Tuesday this year, I am moving the celebration to the previous Sunday, 8 July 2018, and there will be three events that day: the Solemn Mass at 11 am, Sung Vespers at 5 pm, and a reception in Gallivan Hall immediately after Vespers. All are invited to participate in any or all of these festivities, and please continue to pray for more men to answer the call to serve Christ and His Church in the sacred priesthood.
2) Father Rhett Williams was ordained last Friday evening in our Cathedral Church in Charleston, and it was a day he will never forget for two reasons. At around noon last Friday, a heavy storm settled over Charleston at high tide and dumped more than 2.5 inches of rain in just over two hours. By mid-afternoon several parts of Charleston were under water and the Cathedral Undercroft (where the only public rest rooms are located and where all the clergy vest for the liturgy upstairs) had several inches of water standing on the floor. Fortunately, an emergency team was located just in time to pump out most of the water and set up large fans and dehumidifiers, but it was a close-run thing. A priest’s ordination day stays with him for the rest of his life for obvious reasons, but now Fr Williams has a particularly striking memory to go along with the grace of his ordination.
3) July is fast approaching, and as ever we will modify our sacramental schedule for the entire month. The noon Mass on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday is canceled throughout July, as is the Wednesday afternoon Holy Hour with Confessions. The Holy Hour is also canceled on 1 August and will resume on Wednesday 8 August 2018.
4) In addition to those usual changes, though, we are also canceling the 7 am Mass on all the weekdays of the final two weeks of July because of the need for painting and maintenance work which makes it impossible to use the church except on weekends. Ordinarily we would just move the 7 am Mass to another location on campus, but that is precluded by construction taking place at the same time in several other buildings. So, the church will be closed from Monday 16 July through Friday 20 July and again from Monday 23 July through Friday 27 July, and the normal Mass schedule will resume the following week beginning Monday 30 July. Please note that during the two weeks of closure, it will not be possible even to enter the building for private prayer. We regret this inconvenience, and ask for your patience while we make improvements to our beautiful church.