May 16, 2020 New Information: Letter from Fr. Tom & Diocesan Directives



Saturday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter 

The Feast of St. Brendan the Navigator 

16 May 2020 

Dear St. Brendan Parish Family, 

The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world and that which contains all things understands what is said, alleluia. Pentecost Sunday, Entrance Antiphon; Wisdom 1:7 

Church will reopen for daily 8:30am Mass beginning on Wednesday, May 27 and for Pentecost Sunday on the weekend of May 30 for Saturday, 5pm Mass and on May 31 for Sunday, 9 and 11:30am Mass. 

We thank God that church is being reopened; however, we proceed with Christian charity, common sense, and caution. While the nation and the state plan a soft reopening, the Diocese has also issued directives in having the public celebration of Mass. The medical community advises us that the coronavirus is still very much a threat. As a parish community, we will follow these standards listed below so that we can take care of each other during this time. Please read this letter thoroughly. 

• SUSPENSION OF THE SUNDAY OBLIGATION: The obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been suspended by the Ohio Bishops for all Catholics in Ohio until further notice. You do not have to attend Mass on the weekend. Even though church will be reopened for those faithful who wish to be present, Mass will continue to be recorded from the main body of the church on Saturday at 5:00pm. The recording will be made available on the parish website by Sunday morning. 

• THOSE WHO SHOULD NOT ATTEND MASS: Those who are high risk in being infected by the coronavirus should NOT attend Mass and should strictly observe the “stay at home” policy. High risk would include those over the age of sixty, or anyone at any age who are diagnosed with COPD, asthma, diabetes, immune deficiency, any stage of cancer treatment or remission, etc. If any of this applies to you, please do NOT attend Mass. Mass can be viewed from the parish website throughout this soft reopening period. If you fall into this category, it is more Christian for you to stay home than to attend Mass at this point. While we will not have “age police” stationed at the doors, please use common sense and careful discernment if you are slightly over the sixty year age range and in perfect health. 

• EXPECTATIONS OF THOSE WHO WILL ATTEND MASS: (this applies for weekday Mass too) 

o RSVP is required for Mass: If you plan on attending Mass (weekday at 8:30am, Saturday at 5pm or Sunday at 9am or 11:30am) you need to RSVP through the parish website. We have a program called Eventbrite on our parish website that will allow you to sign up for attendance. It will also help you know how large of a crowd will be at a particular Mass. Our capacity for those attending any one Mass in order to adhere to social distancing standards is 200 individuals. A printed or electronic ticket is necessary for entrance into the church. For those without internet/computer capabilities you must call the parish office before Friday at noon. Gina Coyle will register you. Your ticket must be picked up before 2pm that Friday. If you do not register in advance, please do not attend Mass that weekend. You may register for Saturday or Sunday Mass up until 3:00pm on Saturday. You may RSVP for Mass, Monday through Friday, up until 8:00am on the day. 

o Children at Mass: Each parent is responsible for the behavior of their child(ren) if they bring them to Mass. Children are not exempt from these expectations. If they cannot adhere to these protocols they should remain at home for the time being. The “Cry Room” will not be open during this time. Restrooms are to be utilized for emergencies only. This includes the restrooms being available for children. 

o Take your temperature: Take your temperature before leaving home for Mass. If you or a family member have a temperature of 100.4 or more, the whole family should stay home. 

o Required face masks: You need to bring a face mask or a face covering. It is to be worn from the time you exit your car until the time you return to your car. Your face mask may only be lowered when receiving Holy Communion. Limited supplies of face masks will be available at church. Without a face mask you will not be permitted to remain in the church building. 

o Arriving at church: Side doors of the church will be utilized for emergency exits only. Only enter through the propped open front doors of church. Go immediately to a pew for personal prayer. Pews will be roped off and marked in such a way so that everyone adheres to distancing. Your “regular pew” may not be available. Families may sit close together. However, six feet distance should be observed from other families or individuals. DO NOT SOCIALIZE IN THE GATHERING SPACE OF CHURCH. 

o Exiting the church: You will not be able to leave church all at once. Sections will be dismissed one at a time with social distancing in mind. Everyone should return immediately to their cars. DO NOT SOCIALIZE IN THE GATHERING AREA OF THE CHURCH OR FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME OUTSIDE. 

o Reception of Communion: Until further notice Communion on the tongue is not 

encouraged. Communion in the hand should be observed. 

o Mask removal: As you are the next communicant in the Communion line, you are to lower your mask and respond to “The Body of Christ” with your “Amen!” Receive Communion and as you are walking back to your pew, your mask should be raised in place. Those parents with children who have received their first Holy Communion should be attentive to their needs at this time to help facilitate this action. 

o Signage: Please pay special attention to signs on the floor for social distancing at Communion time as well as other signs in and around the church to facilitate a healthy, safe environment. 

o Restrooms: The church restrooms should only be utilized for emergencies only. We cannot ensure the safe cleansing of facilities in between each individual use at this time. 

EXPECTATIONS OF THE PASTOR FOR A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT 

o Pews: Pews will be roped off and floors will be marked so that an idea of social distancing can be observed. Pews and high traffic areas will be disinfected after each Mass. 

o Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer will be located at the entrance of the church for your use 

upon entering and exiting. 

o Worship Aids/Flyers: Hymnals and all extraneous materials have been removed. A one- time use worship aid will be given to each attending participant. It should be discarded in appropriate receptacles at the church doors as you exit. Worship aids can also be accessed electronically from our parish website to be used in church or at home. 

o Holy Water: Holy water fonts and baptismal font will remain empty for the time being. 

o Clergy Hospitality: For now, clergy will not greet people before or after Mass. Opening procession will begin from the sacristy and at the end of the Mass will return immediately to the sacristy. If you need to communicate with the clergy, call the office or email us. 

o Lay Liturgical Ministers: For the time being regular ushers, cantors, altar servers, lectors, or extraordinary ministers of Communion will not be utilized. Fr. Tom and Deacon Bob will be the only two distributing Communion. We will assess this as we understand the pattern of Mass attendance over the next few weeks. 

o Cry Room: Cry Room will not be used during this time period. 

o Offertory Procession: Bread and wine being presented to the priest by the faithful will be suspended. The altar will be set up beforehand with all necessary vessels and materials for Mass (as the video Mass shows now). 

o The collection: Baskets will be made available on the tables at the entrance of the church; however, it is strongly recommended that online giving is utilized or mailing in your envelope to the parish office should continue in order to limit contact with recently touched surfaces. Ushers will not be passing baskets or taking up a collection during Mass. 

o The Sign of Peace: Sign of Peace will be omitted. 

o The parish bulletin: The parish bulletin can still be accessed online from our parish website. This saves trees and the environment. However, limited copies of bulletins will be made available in some capacity after Mass. Copies will still be placed in the outdoor library/red box in front of the school. 

o The end of Mass: At the conclusion of Mass, Fr. Tom or Deacon Bob will dismiss 

sections of the church so as to observe social distancing. 

o Confessions and Office Hours: Please look to the parish website for updated information regarding the soft reopening directives for the Sacrament of Confession and for the reopening of our parish office. 

For some this may seem over-the-top, for others this may not seem enough. If you have concerns that this is not enough please stay home. If you want to attend Mass but do not want to observe these standards, you too are encouraged to stay home. In these current times, this

is the best way to take care of each other. The full four page text of directives from the Diocese of Cleveland can be found on the parish website. This is how our parish will be implementing those directives. It may seem strange and uncomfortable for some time; however, we will adjust as long as we respect each other’s space and remember the reason why we come together for Mass in the first place – to encounter Christ: in the Word proclaimed, the Eucharist received, the priest serving, and the community gathering. May Christ be encountered by all of us gathering together whether in church or through video at home. 


Peace to you in the Risen Lord, 

Rev. Thomas G. Woost 

Pastor

 

Calling on all parishioners in the age range of high school through to early 50’s... 

Fr. Tom needs you. 

Church will be open for Sunday Mass beginning on Pentecost Sunday May 30 and 31 for our three weekend Masses (Saturday 5pm, Sunday 9 and 11:30am) I need a regiment of at least ten cleaners to stay after Mass each weekend to help sanitize the church (many hands make light and quick work). Face masks, gloves, supplies will be provided. 

We need the youth of the church now more than ever. Without this battalion of cleaners we cannot open church. 

Please call Gina Coyle (x. 12) or Ed DeVenney (x. 19) or Fr. Tom (x. 11) at the parish office, leave a voicemail message with your name and phone number and which Mass time you prefer in which you can help make St. Brendan Church a safe place to pray. 

PLEASE RESPOND BEFORE MAY 25.


 


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St. Brendan Parish

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