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Father Gregory A. Reichlen

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Church of St. John Christmas 2020: A Christmas to Remember! (Video Coming Soon)

Posted In Church Bulletin | Posted On November 2020 | Posted By Heathers

Dear friends of St. John’s,

             The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives, and it’s no different for the church.  I am grateful for the staff and volunteers who have helped us create a safe environment for in-person worship, while also maintaining our online and virtual outreach and engagement.  Since the pandemic began in March, perhaps about half of our parishioners have been present inside the church at least one or more times, while many others, understandably, continue to follow us online.  We continue to have a large online audience, which includes some of your friends and relatives living elsewhere, or parishioners who have moved away from our area, and we are thrilled that in the next few weeks our Live Streamed equipment will be significantly improved.   

             In this letter, I am excited to let you know our Christmas plans for 2020!  The staff leadership, Pastoral Council, and ministry leaders have actually been talking about Christmas since August, and after much discussion and consideration, here is our plan:

  1. We will produce a high quality Live Streamed Christmas Mass that will be encored repeatedly on our website and social media on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We will work on this along with our newly forming Tech Team and our musicians.  In addition, we are encouraging families to have a Family Watch Party, and to encourage you, we are going to prepare “Watch Party Kits” which will include a candle for the singing of “Silent Night” at the time of Communion, instructions on how to best “Live Stream” the Mass, and some Christmas goodies.


  1. The in-person Masses will be Thursday December 24 at 4 pm, 7 pm, and 10 pm; and Friday December 25 at 10 am (no Midnight Mass this year).   Because we expect all of the Bishop’s requirements of social distancing, wearing a mask, and limited participation (i.e. no singing, etc.) to still be in place, we know that this experience will not be what we normally expect for Christmas worship. Covid may still be around, but we will make every effort to protect everyone and still REJOICE!   Reservations will be required for these Masses, and an online registration system will be set up which will go “live” on Monday December 14.  There will be a very limited number of spots available for walk-ins; thus, we ask everyone who plans to attend an in-person Christmas Mass, to register beforehand.  


  1. Besides decorating the inside of the church, we are going “all out” on decorating the outside of the church this year.  Different parish organizations have been assigned different areas of our campus to decorate.  To get in the Christmas spirit, we invite everyone to “Drive-By with Santa” on Sunday December 13 from 4 to 7 pm.  This will be an opportunity for you and your family to: (1) see the beautiful light display; (2) visit Santa – socially distanced; (3) pick up a Christmas Mass “Watch Party Kit;” and (4) drop off donations of non-perishable food items and winter coats, which will go to our Partners in Mission. 

More details will follow in the next few weeks.  We are in this time together!  Please be assured of my prayers and love.  I wish you and your family a blessed and safe Thanksgiving and Christmas season. 


Sincerely in Christ,                                                                          

Fr. Reichlen                                                                                                          


Communion Prayer


My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.


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