ST. JOHN CANTIUS CHURCH
24 May, 2020
I am filled with great joy and excitement that we can open our church and celebrate Sunday Mass once again. I truly miss everybody. Effective the weekend of May 30/31st, we can open our doors for Mass (4 pm Saturday May 30, 9:30 am and 11:30 am Sunday May 31) - the feast of Pentecost (let’s give a shout to the Holy Spirit!). We will also open for daily Mass beginning Tuesday May 26 at 8:30 am, Wednesday May 27 at 6:30 pm, and Thursday May 28 at 8:30 am (No Mass Friday).
There is a list of requirements that need to be enforced as we prepare to open for public worship. Some of the requirements are for the parish staff and others directly affect you. First and foremost, everyone is still dispensed from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass particularly the elderly, those with a weakened immune
system, those suffering from respiratory issues, or other pre-existing conditions that would place them in any danger of contracting the COVID 19 virus. If there is any health concern or question regarding your ability to attend Mass publicly, please consult your physician and not the pastor before making a personal decision to come inside a public building with others in close proximity. Below is the list of
requirements that will directly affect anyone wishing to attend Mass.
1.) Masks/facial coverings are REQUIRED by everyone - NO exceptions
2.) No hymnals, books, papers or missalettes allowed in the pews. New missalettes for the next few months will be available at each door for you to take home. Once you touch it, it’s yours to keep. Do not leave the missalettes in the pews after Mass as they will be discarded if you do not take them home for the next Mass.
3.) Hand sanitizer is required to be available at all entrances of the church and NO holy water allowed. Please sanitize your hands as you enter the church.
4.) 6 feet between all families in the pews (we will block off every other pew to help). There will also be an “X” with tape every 6 feet apart in all the pews to help with social distancing.
5.) We are mandated to create a communion line that maintains 6 feet of space between communicants. I have decided to curtail this requirement as it is written because of the confusion it could create in forming a proper social distancing Communion line. To comply with directive and remain distanced, we will bring communion to YOU as you remain in your seats. We will walk in between the roped off pews to distribute Holy Communion. If you wish to receive, simply remain standing with your hand open and mask down and we will distribute the Eucharist to you in your hand. If you do not want Communion, simply sit down as this will alert us not to distribute to you.
6.) Communion in the hand is STRONGLY urged as touching your saliva, then another tongue or hand can create a conduit for a virus to spread. If for any reason during this time of the pandemic you object to receiving on the hand, I am asking you to please refrain from communion during the regular distribution time and just be seated. You may see me immediately after Mass to receive because I am required to sanitize my hands immediately after each communicant receives on the tongue. It’s physically impossible to hold the ciborium of hosts, keep one hand free to
distribute and somehow juggle a pump bottle of sanitizer. Thank you for your understanding during this time.
Other “behind the scene” sanitary requirements will be put in place by our staff and will not directly affect you. I want to reiterate again that the dispensation from attending Mass remains in effect until it has been revoked. If you have the slightest hesitation, doubt, or question about your physical ability to gather publicly - CALL
I know with the Grace of God and the blessings of His Holy Spirit “we are more than conquerors in all things . . .” (St. Paul)
Sincerely in Christ,
Reverend James M. Roach
Pastor, St John Cantius Parish