May 20, 2020
Dear St. Mary Parish Family,
Under guidance and advice from Bishop Ricken, we will be able to offer Holy Communion during limited hours on Sundays, beginning on May 31st. It is important to remember that no Catholic is required to receive Holy Communion during the pandemic. We are cautiously happy to be able to offer this to our parishioners that desire to receive and can safely do so. Those age 65 or above and those with compromised immunity are encouraged to stay home. If you choose to come you will need to follow some strict procedures for the safety of all.
We will be able to take groups of no more than 8 at a time to come into the church. They will participate in a brief prayer service, receive Communion and leave the church without congregating. People will enter and exit through different doorways. Those age 65 and older or who are in the high-risk category are asked to stay home at this time.
You will be able to sign up through a SignUpGenius link on the Mass page of the parish website beginning on Tuesday, May 26th or by calling the parish office during office hours, Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, for a time slot. Please note that the office will be closed on Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day. Sign up times for Sundays will range from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, with each time slot being 15 minutes. We will begin with a schedule for two Sundays, and we are asking that you choose either Sunday, not both, to give other faithful a chance at receiving Communion. We can add additional times if response reflects there is a need. Depending on when we can again have public Masses for limited groups, we may add more Sundays for Communion distribution.
Those who are coming will need to do the following:
● Take your temperature before leaving home. If your temperature is 100.4 or greater, please stay home. If your family is coming, please stay home if anyone in your family has a temperature of 100.4 or greater.
● Bring and wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, there is a limited supply of cloth masks in the parish office. Please call the parish office during office hours, M-Th from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, to make arrangements to get one.
● Park on State Street in front of the church and wait in your car until the outside hospitality minister indicates your group can come in. They will hold up a sign corresponding to your time slot.
● There will be a collection box in church for those who would like to bring their offering with them.
When your group is signaled to come in:
● Approach the center doors of the church (door 7), with your mask on, covering your nose and mouth, and maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet. Families living in the same house may forego the 6-foot distance from each other. If you have special needs to enter, please see a Hospitality Minister and they will assist you.
● The hospitality minister will direct you to enter the building, and where to be in the queue. Your temperature will be taken and if you or anyone in your family has a temperature of 100.4 or greater, we will have to turn your family away.
● In case of inclement weather, people will enter through the doors by the main office (door 1).
● When instructed by a Hospitality Minister, proceed to the center aisle of the church, maintaining a safe distance by using the tape markings on the floor. After a brief prayer service, the Eucharistic Minister will be ready to distribute Communion.
● A hand sanitizing station is located at the entrance and in the center aisle near the altar. When you reach the station, sanitize your hands.
After receiving Communion:
● Walk to the right, pause in front of the St. Joseph statue briefly to place the host in your mouth, reposition your mask and exit through the side door and down the ramp.
● Go directly to your car, do not congregate with others.
We are hoping that this arrangement will work well, but may need to make some changes if needed. While this offering is not ideal, it is a step forward and we hope that it will bring comfort as we carefully move toward the next steps in reopening. We are all looking forward to the day when our parish family can gather again. Please continue to pray for the health and safety of all.
Deacon Gerry and the response team