May 29, 2020 – Parish Update

Dear Faithful Friends,
Thank you for making Sunday such a wonderful celebration. I was very encouraged to see how joyful you were to attend Mass again. Several people said that coming to Mass again felt as joyful as their First Holy Communion. Your joy was contagious. Thank you.
Mass
Please continue to register online for each Mass you attend. County regulations require us to maintain a list of who attends each Mass, and the online registration helps us do that. Online registration also helps you know if a seat will be available.
Please arrive 15 minutes early, so we have time for everyone to check-in. We will close and lock the church doors a few minutes before Mass begins so that our volunteers are able to attend Mass.
For those who stay home, we will continue to live stream Mass every morning at 9:00 am.
Confessions (Cancelled)
With the added Mass times, we cannot continue to hear confessions on Saturday afternoons. We will continue to hear confessions on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Beginning June 5th, we will add confessions on Fridays from 6:00pm-7:00pm. We will continue to have confessions outdoors, near the entrance to the gym so we will cancel if there is bad weather.
Deacon Tim’s Ordination
It has been a true joy to have Deacon Tim with us these past two months. If you would like to learn a little more about him, you can watch this interview: https://youtu.be/tqDFeRABgq4
Tomorrow he will be ordained a priest, please pray for him. You can watch the ordination at 10:00 am by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/CatholicDioceseCOS/
Pentecost
On Sunday we will commemorate the Holy Spirit descending down on the Apostles while they prayed in the upper room. Let me leave you with a prayer from Mass, one of my favorites:
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.
Fr. Nathaniel

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Update from Father Nathaniel

Dear Parish Family,

Last night the law in Douglas County changed. We can now have a significant number of people at each Mass. The staff and I spent the morning working to make sure we can follow the law, keep everyone safe, and welcome you to Mass tomorrow.

Please remember, that everyone is still excused from the obligation to attend Mass. If you are vulnerable or don’t feel safe, please stay home. We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of disease, but there will always be some risk. It is your choice if you attend Mass or not.

Things will be a little strange and awkward at first. You can watch this little video for a preview of what it will be like.
What to expect when you arrive at Ave Maria
Here is a list of things to keep in mind:
Please check the registration link below to register for Mass this weekend.
You will need to check-in when you arrive. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
Our bathrooms are closed.
We encourage everyone to wear a face-covering during Mass.
Please maintain a six-foot distance between people of different households.
To help maintain a six-foot distance between households, you will see blue tape marking where to sit on the pews.
Please receive communion in the hand.
Stay at your seat to receive communion: we will come to you.
After Mass, you will be dismissed by pew.
May 23 and 24th Mass Registration
We’ll use our experience this weekend to guide decisions about next weekend, and then communicate the plan to you. Please be patient with us and our volunteers as we make this happen.

Fr. Nathaniel Hinds, Pastor

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Interview with Deacon Timothy O’Connell

Ave Maria Catholic Parish Youth interview with Deacon Timothy O’Connell. Deacon Tim talks about his vocation.

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Have you signed the petition for Initiative 120?

As you may know, Initiative 120 would prohibit abortion in Colorado after the 22nd week of pregnancy, with an exception for the life of the mother.  Here at Ave Maria, we collected signatures for this petition back in January.  Bishop Sheridan and Father Nathaniel support this effort and encourage your participation.  

The Secretary of State has determined that of the 137,624 signatures collected, 22,977 were invalid.  So the effort is 9,985 signatures short of the 124,632 threshold to qualify for the November ballot.  We have until May 28 to collect the additional signatures.  

If you are a registered Colorado voter who has NOT YET SIGNED the petition for Initiative 120, and would like to do so, please sign up TO BE CONTACTED at this link, https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040845aea72aa4f58-becontacted

PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOUT INITIATIVE 120        

More information about Initiative 120 is available at www.duedatetoolate.com

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Update from Father Nathaniel – May 9, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This week I walked through the church with an expert from the health department; she was very helpful in explaining the current guidelines and suggesting ways to keep people safe when we begin in-person services again. The diocese of Colorado Springs is reviewing a proposal for us to re-open. We are preparing for the next stage. When the details of our plan are approved, we will send you a note and post information on our webpage. I know some parishes in Denver are having congregations attend Mass today, and I am hopeful that I will see some of you in the pews soon–but not this weekend. 

I am hopeful to see some of you soon. It will only be some of you. Some of you are at high risk and should stay safer at home; remember right now no one has an obligation to attend mass. Furthermore, given the current restrictions, no one will be able to come to mass very often. Think about the size of our parish: if we can only have a handful of people at each Mass, each family will only be able to attend Mass once every few weeks. Until the government relaxes the limits placed on religious gatherings, we are going to be dependent on technology.

We will start having in-person services, and over time we will be allowed to have larger and larger crowds. These difficult times of separation will come to an end. But right now, many people are still hurting from sickness, from loneliness, from a loss of income, from the strain of keeping kids at home, and so on. When I hear their stories of hardship, I also hear wonderful stories of your love and devotion; you continue to feed the hungry, encourage the lonely, and pray together. Your light is shining in these dark times. Thank you for your service and generosity to our community!

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Nathaniel

PS Nearly 200 hundred people expressed interest in participating in adoration! We need to cover the pews with plastic before we begin this beautiful liturgy. If you joined the Eucharistic Adoration group on Flocknote, you will get an email this week about signing up for a time. If you are interested in joining this group, just click here: https://AveMaria.flocknote.com/Adoration2

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Parish Update – May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

I hate fasting. I am very glad that Lent is over. Lent was forty days long. Easter is fifty days long. Even the Church likes feasting more than fasting. Please don’t forget to celebrate Easter during these weeks.

Mass, First Communion & Confirmation

It was nice to hear people driving to work this morning. Many sectors of our community are reopening. However, the governor continues to limit religious gatherings to ten people. Speaking to pastors last week Polis told us to plan on only having online services for at least another month–and after that the size of the congregation will be very limited. 

The political landscape is shifting as people make their voices heard, but I expect it will be some time before I see you back in the pews. Sadly that means we will need to reschedule both First Communion and Confirmation. We anticipate spreading these celebrations out over several different Masses, but we cannot finalize a plan until after the new regulations are published. We will keep you posted. 

In the meantime, we will continue to live stream Mass every morning at 9 am, and the intentions are posted on the website.

Adoration

In adoration the Eucharist is taken out of the tabernacle and placed on the altar so that people can gaze on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament while they pray. It is a beautiful way to encounter God in our lives! 

I would very much like to re-launch adoration at Ave Maria. We would have adoration in the main church so that we can practice social distancing; we would need to limit it to ten people at a time, and observe several other practices. Before setting a schedule for adoration, it would be helpful to know how many of you are interested in participating. If you are interested in coming to adoration, would you please join the “Eucharistic Adoration” group in flocknote. To join the group follow this link: https://AveMaria.flocknote.com/Adoration2 or log into your flocknote account and select the group from the list on the right side of the screen.

Confessions

We continue to hear confessions every Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 and Saturdays from 3:30-5:00 in our “drive up confessionals” located near the dumpster East of the Church.

Scams

Sadly, even in a time of crises people attempt to scam us. Please be cautious of emails and text messages pretending to be from the parish. If something seems suspicious do not hesitate to call the parish and ask about it. We will never ask for your account numbers by text or email, or ask you to send gift cards. 

We are infinitely grateful for your generosity, you can securely give by following the “Online Giving” link on the parish website, or by mailing checks to the parish. Your continued generosity in the midst of the present uncertainty and hardship has been unbelievable. Thank you!

Good News at the Parish

  • We are amazed and grateful for the outpouring of notes, cards and messages of support.  It makes us all feel more connected even though we cannot gather together.
  • The Ave Maria Quilters made beautiful masks for the staff to wear.  We are very grateful for the hours they dedicated to making the masks and keeping us safe.
  • On Good Friday, the Ave Maria Youth Group did a beautiful job creating the Stations of the Cross with chalk. Along the paved trail near Riva Ridge, Ave Maria youth worked on the different stations and received many compliments from the walkers, runners and bikers that passed them by. 
  • With the help of the Leisure Club we’ve been able to call and pray with most of our elderly parishioners. (And many of our not-yet-elderly are being called now.)
  • Many parishioners are connecting with Zoom to pray the Rosary together.   Although apart, we continue to build community. 
  • Father Tom has become a video pro, bringing us Father Nathaniel every day for the daily and Sunday Masses.   Unfortunately, his calendar is full and cannot take anymore bookings for documentaries or feature films.
  • Did you know our Sunday Mass averages over 1000 views?  It is such a blessing to have the Mass online. 

May the Joy of Easter fill all your hearts,

Fr. Nathaniel

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