Parish Response to the Coronavirus pandemic
May 20, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We would like to share with all of you some good news! The most important good news: HAPPY PENTECOST! The tomb is empty. Jesus has risen as He promised, and He is sending us the Advocate – the Holy Spirit. Secondary to the Good News of our faith is the good news that we will soon be celebrating public Masses.
As we prepare to have the public celebration of Mass once again there are a few important things to keep in mind:
Things to keep in mind before coming to church
- All the faithful in the Diocese of Gaylord are still dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, September 6, 2020. Those who wish to attend Mass may consider that they have fulfilled their Sunday obligation not only on Sunday but by attending Mass any day of the week. It is helpful to spread Mass attendance throughout the week since we are not allowed to go over 25% of the capacity of the church. We will continue to record and post videos of Mass each day. No one has to come to church at this point. It is a beautiful expression of our faith together for those who are vulnerable to this virus to continue to worship and pray at home.
- Those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another with the virus within 14 days need to stay at home. Members of the same household are to remain home as well. Before coming to church, everyone should take their temperature at home. If a person’s temperature is at or above 100.4 (CDC guideline) they and members of their household must remain at home.
- Those who are at risk because of age (65 and older) or because of an underlying health issues are strongly encouraged to remain at home. Remember that by the power of the Holy Spirit we are all still united in the Body of Christ even at home!
- It is expected for people to wear face coverings/masks inside the church. Parents should consider health guidelines and then use their judgement regarding whether small children can or should wear them.
- It is important that we wash/sanitize our hands often before, during and after church. Please bring your own hand sanitizer.
Our first phase of reopening the Holy Family and Sacred Heart parishes is to offer Holy Mass at the at the following times: Please note that this schedule is subject to change at any time and we just have to be flexible with each other. Our hope by adding an evening Masses during the week is that those who work have an option to go to Mass other than on the weekend. Our schedule is designed so that one priest could cover most of the Masses if needed. This schedule begins Wednesday, May 27th.
Saturday Confessions: Noon
Saturday: 5:30 pm
Sunday: 9 am
Tuesday: 9 am
Friday: 9 am
Saturday Confessions: 3pm
Saturday: 4 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am
Wednesday: 8:30 am
Thursday: 8:30 am
Things to keep in mind while at church (see enclosed flyer)
- The capacity of Sacred Heart church during this first phase is 150 people (25%). We will have greeters opening the outside doors and someone counting. It will be important for us not to congregate in the gathering space. The hope is that we will all spread out to the various Masses offered throughout the week.
- To help us get an idea which Mass you may wish to attend during the week please fill out this survey: https://forms.gle/Gx9updHPoDDuHvWD7 link also on parish website)
- Restrooms will be sanitized and ready, however it would be best for us to try not to use them because it is difficult to totally sanitize between each use.
- It is necessary to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from anyone of a different household. Every other pew can be used.
- For those wishing to leave an offering, a basket will be set up near the baptistry (on the rock). Leave your offering their as you enter church. It will be stored safely just before Mass begins.
- We were required to temporarily remove all the hymnals from the church. Singing during Mass will be simple and easily repeatable.
- For receiving Holy Communion:
- In this first phase, we will distribute Holy Communion after Mass. After Mass, the priest will go to each individual section. Be attentive to the indications from the greeters.
- Before coming up for Holy Communion it is recommended to sanitize your hands.
- The priest will say “The Body of Christ” only once to the entire congregation and everyone will respond “Amen.” Greeters will release pew by pew for the reception of Holy Communion. There are visual cues in the isle to help maintain the 6 feet spacing in the Communion line.
- When approaching for Holy Communion, communicants first lower their masks and then present their hands, remembering to not say anything. The communicant reverently places the Eucharist in their mouth and immediately replaces their mask. Gloves cannot be worn. After receiving Holy Communion, it is recommended to use hand sanitizer as you return to your car.
- Once you have received you are invited to make your way out to your car for prayer and thanksgiving. We will not be exiting the church at the same time. Remember, it will be important for us not to congregate in the gathering space.
- Before and after each Mass the entire public space of the church will be thoroughly sanitized.
Please know of our prayers for you during this time. It is such a blessing of our faith that we are invited to the Supper of the Lamb to receive Him in Holy Communion. Please remember that if you have a reason you are not able to come to Mass at this time, unite yourself spiritually to Him. God’s amazing grace comes to us in more ways that we will ever know on this side of Heaven.
Please remember that it is important to be secure in your own personal decision for your health or others not to come to Mass at this time.
Know we are praying for you!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Charlie Donajkowski – Pastor Rev. Tyler Bischoff, Parochial Vicar Please call the parish office at 989-739-9511 if you are coming .
Please call the parish office at 989-739-9511 if you are coming .