Please review the new Mass procedures below before registering.
Registration opens at 9:00 am on Monday, July 20 and closes at 12:00 pm on Friday, July 24 (or before if seats are full) for the upcoming weekend Mass: July 25 – 4:30 pm at Old St. Mary. A registration button will appear right below this paragraph. (If a button does not appear when registration opens, please refresh your page or go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4641546.)
June 29, 2020
As I have mentioned, to not immediately reopen our churches for Mass has been the most difficult decision for me in 31 years of priesthood. The Holy Eucharist is our greatest gift, and the Real Presence of Jesus helps us as we try to be really present to each other and to a world which needs Christ more than ever.
As time unfolds and the path of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve (about every 15 minutes!), aware of the requests from many parishioners, I have decided to reopen, but will continue to do so cautiously and carefully, following the guidelines issued by the Archdiocese and with an eye on the continuing unfolding of a still active pandemic.
We are ready to enter Phase One of our Family of Four Comeback Plan.
OUR ONLINE MASSES WILL CONTINUE ON INDEFINITELY AND REMAIN OUR PRIMARY MASS. (Archbishop Listecki has extended the dispensation releasing Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person until at least August 2.)
As we establish our capacity for cleaning and disinfecting each of our church buildings, our return to public Masses will be a gradual one, beginning with one Saturday and one Sunday Mass per weekend throughout our Family of Four Parishes.
There is set of protocols for safe gathering. To see what would be expected of you if you should choose to come to Mass, please see the guidelines issued by the Archdiocese in its Catholic Comeback Plan and Matrix at www.archmil.org and see below for specific guidelines and procedures at our parish.
In order to help us maintain social distancing and to control the number we are allowed in each church (25% of church’s capacity), we will utilize a weekly online sign up tool that will be available beginning on the Monday before the celebration of Mass at a parish. In person Masses are meant for members of the individual parish at which Mass is celebrated. We will need to cut off sign-up when we reach the 25%.
I thank you in advance for your patience and prayers.
Fr. Tim, your pastor
TO BEGIN, IN PERSON MASS WILL BE ROTATED WITH ONE SATURDAY AND ONE SUNDAY MASS EACH WEEKEND:
SATURDAY, JULY 4 – 5:00 PM STS. PETER AND PAUL
SUNDAY, JULY 5 – 8:30 AM THW-ST. HEDWIG
SATURDAY, JULY 11 – 4:00 PM OLDP-ST. CASIMIR
SUNDAY, JULY 12 – 9:00 AM OLD ST. MARY
SATURDAY, JULY 18 – 4:30 PM THW-ST. HEDWIG
SUNDAY, JULY 19 – 9:30 AM STS. PETER AND PAUL
SATURDAY, JULY 25 – 4:30 PM OLD ST. MARY
SUNDAY, JULY 26 – 10:00 AM OLDP-ST. CASIMIR
Phase 1 Mass Procedures
Online Sign Up
In order to ensure compliance with the Archdiocese’s directive that only allows the parish to have 25% of seating capacity used during phase 1, online sign up through the parish website is required to attend an in person Mass.
Online registration will be available on the Monday prior to the Mass being celebrated.
All those as defined by the health department as more vulnerable (i.e. 60+ years of age, those with compromised immune systems, those with underlying health conditions, those who are especially anxious about being in a large group, those in regular close contact with vulnerable individuals, etc.) are strongly encouraged to stay at home.
Archbishop Listecki has extended the dispensation releasing Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person until at least August 2.
The YouTube Mass remains our primary Mass within the Family of Four Parishes.
In person Masses are meant for members of the individual parish at which Mass is celebrated. (For example, if I am a member at Old St. Mary, there will be two opportunities for me to sign up for Mass during July according to our current schedule: July 12 and 25. I should allow members of other parishes to sign up for the remaining 6 July Masses and participate in the YouTube Mass for the weeks that Mass is not being celebrated publicly at OSM.)
Before Coming to Mass
Please be sure everyone in your household thoroughly washes their hands for at least 20 seconds before leaving your home. Also, please have everyone use the bathroom before leaving home so that we minimize foot traffic during Mass.
Bring a mask for every member of your household and a bottle of hand sanitizer. We plan to have both masks and hand sanitizer available in the church as long as we can secure supplies moving forward.
Please dress for the weather as there may be a line outside of the church prior to entry.
When You Arrive at Church
We ask you to wear a face mask during Mass. Please put your mask on as you exit your car.
Entry into the church will be limited to the main doors of the church along with handicapped entrances where applicable.
Doors will open 20 minutes before Mass.
Entrance doors will be propped open whenever possible to limit contact with door handles.
No latecomers will be admitted. The outside doors of the church will be closed as the Gathering Song begins. It is imperative that you arrive early for Mass.
Procedure for Entry and Seating
Ushers will not make physical contact when greeting parishioners.
Households/families who wish to sit together must all enter the church at the same time.
Parishioners will be directed where to sit by an usher.
Social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet between people not living in the same household must be followed. No more than two households per pew.
Every other pew will be used for seating. Intervening pews will be cordoned off.
Seating will begin front to back, in the center two sections of pews and will continue outward to the remaining sections.
Vigil lights will not be available for lighting.
Priests, deacon, and sacristan will process from sacristy and recess from sanctuary directly to sacristy.
There is to be no presentation of gifts.
Receptacles will be available to collect your donations as you enter and exit Mass, and will be secured by members of the parish staff.
No physical contact during the Sign of Peace is allowed.
Distribution of Holy Communion
Clergy, with the assistance of the sacristan, will distribute Holy Communion wearing masks.
Hand sanitizer is to be used before the distribution of Communion. If inadvertent contact is made, the priest or deacon is to stop and sanitize his hands before continuing to distribute Communion.
Parishioners are encouraged to use hand sanitizer immediately prior to receiving Holy Communion.
Communion is to be received only in the hand in accord with the directives of Archbishop Listecki.
Per the Archbishop, Communion may not be received on the tongue during Mass. Reception on the tongue may be sought after Mass with one of the priests so that the priest can sanitize hands between each communicant.
Consistent with the Archbishop’s directives, the Precious Blood will not be offered at this time.
Communion will be distributed to one section of pews at a time.
The priest, deacon or sacristan will come to your pew and will distribute from the pew in front of you.
Replace your mask after receiving Communion.
Communion for the sick will not be available during Mass at this time per Archdiocesan guidelines.
At the End of Mass
Everyone must remain in their pew at the conclusion of the closing song.
The assembly will be directed to exit section by section and row by row, as is common at a wedding or funeral.
When directed, you must leave your pew and exit the building.
Bulletins will not be distributed until we enter phase 3 of the Catholic Comeback Plan as determined by the Archbishop.
The outer church doors will be closed and locked once all have left the building so that all surfaces and restrooms may be cleaned and sanitized in preparation for the next Mass.
Clergy will not be able to greet parishioners before or after Mass.
If any clergy tests positive for Covid-19, the Archbishop has mandated that parishes close public Masses for at least 14 days.