Ask the GM: Increased Opportunities for Mass

As we watched our Seasonal Parish Family members return to the area this past month, many of us started to feel the crunch of the size of our Ballroom in providing the best experience for Mass, the core of our faith.  Fr. Tom, our clergy, our Liturgical Committee, and our staff have been planning the eventuality of outgrowing the Ballroom for several months now while we await the renewal and reopening of our church building. You are now experiencing the effort to ensure there are plenty of seats and opportunities for our entire Parish Family to enjoy Mass on campus throughout this waiting period.  Here are some of the most asked questions on our new increased opportunities for Mass.

When are the new Mass Times?

We have increased the Masses by instituting a full duplication of the Mass for 3 PM on Saturdays and 9 AM and 11 AM on Sundays.  We have those 3 Masses in the Pulte Family Life Center Gym (PFLC), with a potential seating (comfortable chairs with armrests) for 500.  In order to accommodate the various Masses, we have included a 3:15 PM on Saturday as well as 9:15 AM and 11:15 AM on Sunday in the Parish Activity Center Ballroom, where we have traditionally had our Masses

Are These Masses Overflow?

No, not at all.  These new Masses are completely separate and inclusive as their own Masses.  That is specifically why we are not calling them “overflow”.  The additional opportunities will give people a chance to find a Mass time and location that they feel most comfortable in during the weekend.

Why Different Times?

We chose the 15-minute increment for starting the Ballroom Masses later to allow for the traffic pattern of parking in the Back Lot for the PLFC Masses to be filled up first, keeping the Middle Lot for our Ballroom Mass times.  This will also allow the traffic from that Back Lot to leave campus first while the Ballroom Mass has not yet been completed.  Additional Traffic Management from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office will be onsite within the campus to assist with this process.  Please see this picture of our campus so you can plan your parking.

It is a Sizable Campus.  How can I get to Mass?

We have ensured handicap parking availability near all our Mass locations.  We hope you will all respect the need to have priority locations for those with special needs that have the proper placards.  There are many new parking spaces in our Back Lot, so please take advantage of the PLFC Masses and the enhanced parking opportunity.  We have golf carts on the way (if you have a larger 6 or 8 passenger cart you would like to donate, please contact me) to assist in getting our Parish Family from the Front Lot and the adjacent Naples Park Elementary School Parking as well.

Is There Anything I can Do to Assist?

Absolutely!  We need as many people as possible to assist us with celebrating these additional Masses, especially our Liturgical Ministries.  From Lectoring to providing the Eucharist to Altar Serving to Greeting, we need every member of our Parish Family to pitch in.  The more people we have involved in the Mass, the better experience it will be for everyone.  Please take a look at our Liturgical Ministries on Page 2 of the bulletin and contact the leadership of one if you can help out.

So, When are We Getting Back Into the Church?

This is the most asked question, and unfortunately, it is the one I cannot answer.  We do not dare even utter a range of dates for the completion of the church, given the significant variables we still have to deal with.  From the potential delays of the Italian marble being held in Customs, to old / faulty wiring for the lighting system, we have a complicated road ahead of us to complete this renewed worship space for all of us to enjoy.  I appreciate your patience as we face that journey together.  We will continue to update you every step of the way.

I wanted to thank all of you who have continued to participate in Mass here at Saint John the Evangelist.  We are a Parish Family no matter where we celebrate Mass, as long as we are together.  The clergy, staff, and Ministries are doing everything possible to provide a joyous and loving environment in our Church for anyone who steps on campus, and we appreciate all of your patience, flexibility, and good will.  God Bless You!

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