Updates on Masses

May 29, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Yesterday Governor Northam announced some changes regarding face masks. In response the bishop has given some updates. Priests and deacons will be in face masks during communion and at all other times while not speaking. No one over the age of 10 will be permitted to enter the church without a face mask. This is a change from the original stipulation.

Should you have any other questions, the ushers will be able to assist you as you enter church.

Fr. Joe

May 16, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

You might have heard that the Governor has permitted churches to begin gathering at 50% occupancy starting this weekend. Bishop Knestout has released the latest instructions for all churches in a detailed 59 page manual. Please note that as we move forward, we are in a state of maximum precaution.

  • No one is permitted to have a public Mass until the weekend of 5/23-24

  • Each parish must submit a detailed plan for approval on the layout of the church for social distancing, and the organization of ushers and cleaners to coordinate each Mass

  • There is no requirement to attend Mass in this transition phase, and in fact you will not be permitted to enter the church if you meet one of the following:

      • You have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19

      • You have any new symptoms of cough or shortness of breath

      • You or anyone in your household had a fever within the past 2 weeks.

Actual capacity of the church for gatherings will turn out to be much smaller than 50%, perhaps more like 20%. Since we need time to form our teams of ushers and rehearse the complicated logistics for all Masses, this is going to be a process. If you are anxious to come to Mass, please be patient, keep joining us for live-stream, and let us work out all of the kinks.

For the weekend of 5/23, there will be one public Mass on Saturday at 5pm at Sacred Heart. This is the only location where we already have a time ready to rehearse all of the details. I have consulted continually with the leadership at St. John and St. James and there is a strong preference for precaution above all. Furthermore, we cannot open the doors until we organize the teams and rehearse how Mass will work.

On Wednesday May 27th I will give an update on the plan for the following weekend, reviewing the latest news and parish recommendations. I am doing my best to keep everyone's needs in mind, as well as encourage you all to love the Lord in this strange time of transition.

Sincerely,

Fr. Joe