I am pleased to let you know that we submitted the completed certification form and achieved our Phase 1 & 1A certification from the Archdiocese. Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees. Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees. We were told that we are among the first parishes to obtain the certification!
Beginning Sunday, May 31st (Solemnity of Pentecost, and feast of the Visitation) we will reopen the church for private prayer from 9 to 12 noon each day.
According to diocesan guidelines, there will be a limit of 10 people allowed in the church at any one time. The same is true for Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals.
Before making your way to the church, please read through these guidelines. They are guidelines provided by the Archdiocese, and we do not have the ability to alter them:
- Everyone must wear a mask in church before entering the church. (There will be a supply in the vestibule on the side table for those who need one ($1 suggested donation).
- Every participant must sanitize his/her hands upon entering and exiting the church. Wall-dispensers will be available in the vestibule and at the exits.
- Those who have compromised immunity, are over the age of 65, have been in the presence of someone with the Corona Virus, or have symptoms, should not enter the church, as a way of protecting self and others.
- The Eucharist will be reserved for adoration on the altar.
- Pews will be roped off.
- We will use 10 of the wooden chairs for prayer, these will be in the front of church. If there are 10 people in church, others are asked to wait outside (keeping proper social distancing).
- If there are people waiting outside to pray, those inside the church are asked to limit their time to 20 minutes.
- There will be disinfectant and paper towels (on 3 tables) near the chairs; we ask those who come for prayer to wipe down the chair before their prayer time, and to dispose of the towel in the trash can provided.
- Entrance will be by way of two front middle doors only. In the vestibule will be posters with the “rules” for entering the Church.
- Individuals may light candles, but only one person is allowed in the candle area, assuming there are no more than 10 people in the church.
- The cry room, confessionals, and restrooms will be locked, and are not to be used. Please plan accordingly.
- Exits will be the side doors (on Artesian), and the back doors, (left side by the sacristy) and (right side, by the cry room). Arrows on the floor will mark those exits.
Next Saturday, June 6th, we will resume confessions. At this time, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place at 12 noon.
- We will use the ushers’ room. There will be a wooden chair for the celebrant and one for the penitent.
- Entrance will be the left door of the rear center doors. If someone is receiving the sacrament, the next person in line is to wait outside.
- If the door to the room is open, that will indicate that the presider is available.
- Once the penitent is finished, he/she is to leave by way of Artesian side corner door, next to the restroom. The door is to be closed behind them, and the priest will wipe down the chair, and door knob, then open the door, indicating the next person may come in.
- Penance is to be done outside of church.
- We will evaluate the need for extended times of Reconciliation.
We have no indication when weekday/weekend Masses will resume. This will take a lot more time, and a lot more planning.
In Order to get to that phase, we will need many volunteers. These volunteers will watch a webinar, and undergo training before we begin Masses again. Volunteers will need to “check in” attendees (we have registered for an app that will help us with reservations). We will need people to usher parishioners to open seats; and we will need help with disinfecting the church after each use.
Please consider being a volunteer. My fear is that we might be delayed in opening for Masses, or have to drastically limit attendance, if we do not have enough volunteers. Contact me at the parish office, with questions, or to volunteer.
Looking forward to some semblance of constancy, and return to the Sacraments,
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Steve Dombrowski