TO THE EDITOR:
As many in the Diocese return to Sunday Mass, there is much to celebrate. But the pandemic is not over. Nature does not let us decide that. While vaccines are showing promising results, I hope that pastors and parish leaders not forget the many Catholics who are still at a higher risk of infection: not only the elderly and seriously ill, but those with compromised immune systems and other invisible disabilities. Studies have not yet been conducted on the efficacy of vaccines on this demographic, so they have rational reasons to remain cautious — it is not fear. But should they be cut off from their communities? Some parishes have ended their livestream Masses out of concern that people will not return to the sacraments in person. Is this a quantified concern, or is it merely assuming bad behavior? When the stream goes silent, it is parishioners with continuing health risks that lose out the most as they are cut off from worshiping with their communities. I pray that our parishes continue to include and acknowledge those for whom the transition back to parish life will be more gradual. Let them know you are thinking about them. And encourage the in-person community to pray for them.
Dr. Arthur Urbano, North Scituate (Theology Department, Providence College)