Dear friends in Christ and colleagues in ministry,
I am writing to you once again to provide some updates on a number of things. Namely:
1. My own health status: As I enter into day 8 of being quarantined, my symptoms have subsided quite a bit. While I am still fatigued and have no taste or smell, the body and head aches are gone, the congestion has significantly improved, and I am no longer running a temperature. Tomorrow I will be receiving an IV infusion treatment. My age and my history with diabetes made me a candidate for this kind of treatment. At this point, I still plan on returning to work on Wednesday, October 13th. Your prayers, text messages, e-mails, etc. have helped a lot. I truly felt cared for and loved! Thank you!
2. In spite of our best efforts and continued diligence, 2 more prominent members of our staff have tested positive over the weekend. Our Principal, Ellen Knippel, tested positive on Saturday. She too has lost her sense of taste and smell, has congestion, and ongoing headaches. She is resting at home and will be quarantined until Monday, October 18th. All faculty, staff, and school families have been notified. They are being encouraged to be tested if they have had any prolonged contact or exhibit any symptoms. I ask for your prayerful support of Ellen.
3. Unfortunately, Fr. Ken Knippel, our regular weekend help-out also tested positive this Monday morning. His symptoms include some fatigue, headache, and congestion. He too will be quarantined until next Monday, October 18th. He will also be receiving an IV infusion treatment alongside me tomorrow. While he did preach and preside at the 5:00 and 7:30 Masses this weekend, he did wear a mask, did not distribute communion at the 7:30 Mass and did not greet people. Once again, if you were exposed to Fr. Ken for any prolonged amount of time and/or experiencing any symptoms, I encourage you to be tested. Also please note that both of us received double doses of the Moderna Vaccine. Again, please pray for Fr. Ken and his recovery!
In light of these recent positive cases amongst our parish leadership, I am asking the following:
To our faculty/staff/visitors to our school/parish offices: please continue to wear masks when outside the privacy of your own office space. Your support and cooperation are most appreciated!
To all committee and council members, know that zoom meetings may be an option. Please consult with your chairs and/or staff members.
To all parishioners attending Masses or other parish functions/activities/sporting events, while masks are not required, I strongly encourage and recommend that you wear them. This is to protect yourselves and others! Again, this act of charity and love is most welcomed and appreciated.
And finally, as the vaccines are soon made available to all ages, please prayerfully consider doing so. Please do your best to practice the recommended protocols of vaccinations, mask wearing, safe distancing, and hand washing, to keep our parish family and beyond safe and protected!