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I hope and pray this communication finds you in good health – physically, mentally and spiritually. Beginning the weekend of August 29/30 some changes will be taking place at our parishes.
We are now able to extend the capacity in the church for a Mass to 35%, this includes weddings and funerals. Attendees will still be encouraged to social distance and seating will remain available in every other pew. The chapel at St. Mary and the Cry Room at St. Charles may not be used for seating. The choir lofts at all three parishes may not be used.
35% = St. Mary – 190 St. Charles – 140 St. Joseph – 78
Even though Archbishop Listecki has reinstated the Sunday obligation for all Catholics to attend Holy Mass, all of those who as defined by the health department as more vulnerable (60+ years of age, those with compromised immune systems, those with underlying health conditions, those who are anxious about being in a large group, etc.) as well as children under the age of 7, are encouraged to stay at home. At this time Sunday Masses will continue to be taped and available on the parish websites. 11:00 AM Mass at St. Charles will now be offered in Spanish only.
All entrances and exits will now be used at all of the churches. The middle aisle will also be open. Attendees will now be able to enter a pew from either side. Holy Communion will also be distributed in two lines down the middles aisle of church. We encourage social distancing while in line to receive Holy Communion. Parishes have also been given permission to enlist the help of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The Archdiocese at this time asks that Holy Communion be received in the hand.
Weekday Masses/Confessions/Parish Offices
Beginning September 1st two Masses will be offered during the week: Tuesdays at St. Charles and Fridays at St. Mary’s. Both Masses will begin at 8:30 AM. All of the precautions taken at weekend Masses will also be in effect during the week. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered the 1st and 3rd Saturdays at St. Charles. Confessions will be heard at 4:00 PM in the Cry Room of church. You may also call one of the priests to schedule a time convenient for you. The Parish Offices will resume regular hours August 31st. Please check the bulletins for information on this.
Cleaning of Facilities
Frequently touched surfaces such as pews/pew tops, doors handles as well as bathrooms will continue to be cleaned and sanitized by CDC recommendations after every Mass. All ushers/greeters will wear masks and gloves while taking up the collection. At this time, Archbishop Listecki has mandated that masks must be worn in church. Masks will continue to be available at the entrances.
Please know of my continued prayers for all of you. May Almighty God continue to bless, watch over you and keep you safe!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Very Reverend James T. Volkert, Pastor