COVID updates for Mass starting May 15-16
Friends, it has been a long year and I know everyone is exhausted. I have been hearing from a number of different parishioners wondering when certain precautions will loosen up and from other parishioners worried things might open up too quickly.
I am proposing the following changes for the weekend of May 15-16, the first full weekend when most of our student population is home for the summer:
Suspension of the 9 a.m. Mass
- The 9 a.m. Mass was always presented as temporary for the time of the pandemic.
- With the students home for summer break and many traveling in the summer months, we should be able to safely accommodate our numbers at the 4:30 p.m. and 11 a.m. Masses (see change below for seating at other Masses).
- The entire section behind the priest chair will serve as a lower protection section for family, friends, and those comfortable being in closer proximity to others.
- All of the chairs will be returned to that section so social distancing will be minimal.
- If you generally sit in that section and are uncomfortable with the lack of social distancing, please sit in the other three sections of church seating.
- If you are comfortable with no social distancing, consider moving to that section during the summer months, especially at the 11 a.m. Mass.
- Masking continues to be generally required at our Masses.
- I continue to maintain my policy of not policing those who do not wear masks.
- At daily Masses or other Masses with ample room to spread out, I see no issues with people removing their masks if they are a considerable distance from others and with people from their household.
Hymnals placed back in church
- There is quite clear data at this point that surfaces are not significant carriers of the virus, so we will put the hymnals back in church.
- Since we will not be sanitizing the hymnals after each Mass, those who are uncomfortable with touching the hymnals have the option not to use them.
Water in the Holy Water Font
- There is no significant data on water transmission, so we will put water back in the holy water font and those who are comfortable are free to use it.
Communion Outside at the 11 a.m. Mass
- We will continue this practice but it will be done by the communion distributor who is returning the ciborium to the tabernacle after communion in the church is over.
- So while it happens now at the beginning of communion in the church, it will now take place when communion in the church is over.
Other Changes for the Summer Months
Office Hours & Student Receptionists
- With the move to student receptionists this year, we will no longer have a receptionist during office hours over summer and winter breaks.
- Our office hours will remain the same and one of the staff members will be happy to help if you stop by.
- If you call during office hours, you can use the automated phone tree to select what staff member you would like to talk to.
Daily Mass Schedule
- The daily Mass on Mondays at 12:05 p.m. is moving to Thursday at 12:05 p.m. for the summer months. Thus, starting the week of May 10, the three daily Masses each week will be on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday at 12:05 p.m.
- On student breaks, I am able to get away a little more and moving Monday Mass gives me more opportunity to do so.
- There will also be a few weeks of cancelled Masses when I am away from the parish so I will pass out a summer schedule for those who attend daily Mass.