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St. Patrick Update to COVID-19


Dear Friends and Parishioners,

I pray that you and your loved ones are well and healthy.  During these ever-changing times, I hope you are excited but cautious about all that is to come in our parishes.

  • Slowly, we are progressing within our “new normal.  To date, approximately 25% of our parishioners have returned to celebrate Mass.  We could accommodate more at some of the 7 Masses that are available, so please spread the good news: “It is safe to comeback to Mass.”
  • We are fortunate that we have only had a few parishioners who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Praise the Lord that it has not spread to large numbers in our Parish community.
  • Please keep praying for a safe and successful opening of the St. Andrew Parish School during the first week of September!  Our new Principal, Michael Brown, created a re-opening task force who, along with the school advisory committee, are setting guidelines to create the safest learning environment for our students and staff.
  • Fall also marks the beginning of the new year for our Faith Formation Program.  Ray Henderson and his team are planning for the new year.  Adjustments have been made in an effort to keep everyone’s health and safety a priority.  Registration for the new year will begin the first weekend in September.
  • Parish finances are fair.  We are grateful for any and all support, but contributions have been low.  Grant money from the Federal Government has helped a lot, but we will need to review those parts of the budget contingent upon fundraisers.
  • St. Patrick Parish School has been sold to the Elkhorn Area School District for $1 million.  This is a huge step forward toward the mission of preaching AND teaching the Faith to our Faith Community at ONE location.

Last week, Archbishop Listecki announced that the Archdiocesan wide dispensation from Sunday Obligation will expire on September 14, 2020. Let me share with you some extracts from the archbishop’s email:

“Father, is it really a serious sin to miss Sunday Mass?” I would answer directly and firmly “yes.”  Then, I would qualify that certain circumstances exempt a person from the obligation. Some look upon the obligation as fulfilling a law that the Church imposes. Laws are given to us to assist us and protect us in our journey through life. But, we must always look deeper, seeing the person and the relationship, which directs and defines the law. I would always attempt to have the students understand that our obligation comes from a deep relationship we have with God and the acknowledgment that His Son, who is our Savior and Redeemer, was raised on this particular day of the week. The importance of celebrating this day was something even the earliest of Christians could not live without.

What made sense for many of my students was the example of how we, as family members, are expected to attend certain family gatherings or functions, which demonstrate our belonging and the value that we have as family members. It is a means of acknowledging our identity and growing in our experience as a family. For instance, in my home, as an extended family member, you were always expected to attend Christmas Eve dinner at my grandfather’s home and only a serious situation would justify your absence. Our family history and relationships were built upon this gathering and others that were deemed essential.  The same holds true for Sunday Mass.

Our obligation to attend Sunday worship reflects the very character of who we are as Catholics. When we fail in our responsibility before God, we sin. Therefore, we need to form our consciences so that we can be fully informed in making decisions about our actions. The Church in Her wisdom offers us guidelines to help in our formation.

On September 14, 2020, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation will expire, and it will be the responsibility of those who are capable and not prohibited by other circumstances to attend Sunday Mass. Those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin.

There are circumstances where the obligation cannot be fulfilled. One example is the impossibility to attend Mass. When our Churches were closed and offered no public Masses, it was impossible for people to attend, and so there was no sin for missing Mass. If a person is ill, especially during this pandemic, they should remain at home. Likewise, if a person is at risk because of age, underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system, one would be excused from the obligationIf a person is caring for a sick person, even if they are not sick, they would be excused from the obligation out of charity. Fear of getting sick, in and of itself, does not excuse someone from the obligation.  However, if the fear is generated because of at-risk factors, such as pre-existing conditions, age or compromised immune systems, then the fear would be sufficient to excuse from the obligation.

It is up to each individual to weigh their own circumstances through an examination of their conscience and determine, by use of their conscience, whether or not they are excused from the Sunday obligation. Remember, a well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. 

Our Sunday worship is a joyful obligation.  It is a witness to God as the priority in our lives.

+ Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

Do you have questions about the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays? There may be individual cases that do not allow a parishioner to attend Mass. In these cases, I have the authority to dispense from the obligation on a case-by-case basis. You should only inform me of your situation and then I will decide that there is a "just and reasonable" cause for granting the dispensation.  Please, if this is your situation, feel free to contact the parish offices to share your situation.

Finally, I am excited about the new school year and for the faith formation program to begin. I have missed seeing the kids these past several months. I am looking forward to seeing all of you back at Mass.   Peace, Oriol



Dear Friends and Parishioners,

As we move through the summer in these unprecedented times, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have been attending Mass these last few weeks. Your desire to celebrate Mass and receive the Eucharist has matched my own.  Coming back together as a parish family to worship together fills me with joy and I look forward to seeing you each weekend.

Slowly, step by step, we are opening up again.  Our pastoral staff is joyfully planning four Confirmation Masses this week to be celebrated by Bishop Jim Schuerman. We have over 60 young people who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation and we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them and give them strength & wisdom throughout their lives.

In addition to celebrating Confirmation this week, we will take another small step towards opening more fully.  Beginning next weekend, July 11th - 12th, those who wish to attend Mass will no longer need to RSVP ahead of time. Next weekend, as you enter church, one of our ushers will seat you in order to maintain social distancing between households, however we will no longer be assigning seats ahead of time.   The safety and health of everyone who enters our church remains a priority and we will continue to take the safety precautions of practicing social distancing while at mass as well as cleaning the church daily and after every Mass.

Many of you have chosen to come back to Mass and participate in person while others of you continue to celebrate Mass at home out of a legitimate concern for your health.  Whether you are celebrating Mass at home or in person, I want to thank you for your continued financial support of our parish.  Your contributions have helped us to keep the doors of our church open daily for people to come and pray.  Your generosity in your financial support has made all the difference. Thank you for your kindness and sacrifice.

Slowly, step by step, we are opening up again to once again “Pray, Grow and Serve” as a faith community. Remember, “You Belong Here.”

Please know that you and your family are in my daily prayers. Stay safe and be well.

Peace, Fr. Oriol


Dear Friends and Parishioners,

By small, incremental steps we begin the process of returning to a "new normal."  Our Sunday Mass schedule has resumed.  We will begin to celebrate baptisms, weddings and funerals again limiting the number of people in attendance to less than 50.  We are open, but we are taking each step slowly and carefully in order to be as safe as possible.

I want to thank all of you for your response to these unprecedented events. Your patience, cooperation, and understanding has been wonderful.  I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Our next small step is to resume a limited daily mass schedule.  The Archbishop has said each parish may begin celebrating no more than two daily masses per week. Beginning on TUESDAY June 23rd, we will celebrate daily mass at St. Andrew at 8:00 am in English and 7:00 pm in Spanish.  On FRIDAY June 26th, we will celebrate daily mass at St. Patrick at 8:00 am in English and 7:00 pm in Spanish.  For those of you who desire to attend mass every day, St. Benedict in Fontana will have Mass on Mondays & Tuesdays at 8:15 am and St. Francis de Sales in Lake Geneva will celebrate Mass on Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:00 am.

In the interest of the health and safety of all in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Listecki has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass through August 2nd.  We continue to encourage those who are most vulnerable to keep celebrating mass at home. 

I am happy to report to you that Fr. Brian Holbus, former pastor of St. Andrew, who was hospitalized for COVID-19, is now home and recovering.  We continue to pray for his quick recovery and return to good health.

Peace, Fr. Oriol




Dear Friends and Parishioners,

Though we cannot host Mass at this time, we want to invite you into prayer and offer several spiritual resources to strengthen your spiritual journey toward Easter.

As an alternative to gathering together on the weekend, we have developed a St. Andrew & St. Patrick Parish YouTube Channel to post videos which include Sunday services, reflective prayers, and a celebration of Mass with spiritual communion.

Below you will find several options for prayer at home. I hope these resources will help you find God with you and within you.

Our Parish Resources (Let us keep connect):

·       St. Andrew and St. Patrick YouTube Channel

·       St. Patrick Parish Facebook Page

Other Resources:

·       Archbishop Listecki's Reflection on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee YouTube Channel

·       Access daily readings on the USCCB's website.

What About Mass? Live Streamed Mass

Celebrate an In-Home Celebration of the Word                     /                 How to Make a Spiritual Communion

In this season of rapid change, our parishes are providing ministry in new ways each day by offering online prayer support at our YouTube Channel, confessions on demand and visits to the sick, and reaching out to those most in need. We are continuing to meet the needs of our parish family and our community in any ways we can, and all of these things require financial resources.

I encourage you to take a moment right now and make a gift to support ministry. You can easily make a one-time or recurring gift by:

• Visiting our website:

St. Patrick Parish Donation Page

• Mailing a check to the parish office:

St. Patrick Parish / 107 W. Walworth St. Elkhorn, WI 53121

Thank you for being a part of what God is doing. Let’s pray for the offering we are about to receive.

Peace, Fr. Oriol