My Dear Parishioners,
Today is Pentecost, when we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples of Jesus, as He promised, to guide them and be with them until the end of time. The Holy Spirit is technically identified as a “Procession” from the Father and Son. This means that the Spirit was not created but rather proceeds from the love of Father and Son. It is a fine example of how divine love is dynamic and fruitful. It is so strong that it bursts forth with another person of the Holy Trinity. Today is also identified as the birthday of the church. It is fitting that as we are re-opening our churches and adjusting to modified celebrations, we celebrate the church’s birth. It is a kind of re-birth, if you will.
As of Saturday, June 6th St. Joseph Church will be open for public Mass and devotions with certain restrictions in place. The Saturday morning 8:00 Mass will be the first “open” Mass. I attended a webinar that generally described how we will do this, but by the time I submitted this column for print, the detailed instructions were not available. I will recount them as I recall them.
- The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for all people remains in place until further notice.
- You are still encouraged to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day and if not joining the community for Mass, then consider viewing on TV or computer.
- Those who are sick or otherwise compromised are not to attend Mass.
- Those who are at risk because of health, age, or issues of comorbidity are not to function as Liturgical Ministers.
- When coming to Mass we are asking all people to wear masks – liturgical ministers exempted while performing their ministry. Those unwilling or unable to wear a mask may be asked to sit in a separate section.
- In the “Yellow Phase” we will be permitted up to 50% capacity of our church.
- We will have every other pew taped off
- Please try to keep 6 feet of distance between households. (Families may sit together, while keeping 6 feet from non-household members)
- There is to be no congregating in the church, the hallways, or doorways either before or after Mass.
- Maintain safe distance in the line for Holy Communion and also when exiting.
- Masks are to be worn for the Mass and then removed before receiving Communion and then replaced after receiving communion. Gloves if worn – should be removed before receiving Holy Communion. You are requested to receive Holy Communion in the hand, if this is not possible, please see me and arrangements will be made.
- Missalettes and Song books will be removed from the church. If required, you are encouraged to bring in your own, or use a digital platform such as ibreviary.
- Ushers will be using our regular long baskets for the collection, please help them out by having your closest household member drop your donation in the basket.
- The Sign of Peace is not to be exchanged.
Because our regular weekend assistance is not available to us, I will have to adjust the Scheduled Mass times. STARTING JUNE 6TH WE WILL HAVE CONFESSIONS ON SATURDAY FROM 4:00 – 5:00 P.M. FOLLOWED BY THE 5:30 P.M. VIGIL MASS, which will also be videotaped for our website. SUNDAY MASSES WILL BE AT 8:30 AM AND 11:30 AM. ONLY – for the time being. This is what I am calling our Soft Opening. I apologize that I am not able to commit to our usual 4 Sunday Masses at this time. Hopefully as things open up and our need grows we will be able to offer more.
God Bless you,