Dear Friends in Christ,
Today’s email has two parts: first, the schedule for the livestreamed Masses for the next several days. Second, an explanation of how we will soon be starting to hear Confessions once again.
Livestreamed Masses. Masses celebrated at Sacred Hearts will be livestreamed on the Sacred Hearts Facebook page. Masses celebrated at St. Mary will be livestreamed on the St. Mary Facebook page.
Saturday, April 25. 9am. Sacred Hearts
Sunday, April 26. 9am. Sacred Hearts
Sunday, April 26. 11am. St. Mary
Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1. 6pm. Sacred Hearts.
We are planning to resume celebrating the Sacrament of Penance no earlier than May 1.
This past Wednesday, Fr. Tennant and I participated in a conference call with Bishop Brennan and nearly eighty other priests to receive instructions on how we are going to proceed with Confessions during this time. Because we still need to take steps to prevent the spread of a very contagious disease, our procedures will be different; they are designed to protect everyone’s health and to avoid contaminating church facilities.
Here are some of the things that will be different as we begin to hear confessions once more:
Day and Time. We will schedule opportunities for confessions on several days to give everyone an opportunity to receive the sacrament. Confessions will be by appointment only and will be scheduled every five minutes. We expect to begin making appointments early next week. We will let everyone know in a day or two how to make an appointment. Please do not contact us about this yet.
Content. Confessions will have to be kept brief. You will have a maximum of five minutes to enter the area, make your confession, receive an assigned penance and absolution, and leave. If you are looking for counseling, guidance, or direction, that will have to happen at a different time, outside of confession.
Posture. The penitent will remain standing, six feet away from the priest.
Precautions. The priest will wear a mask and gloves. Everyone going to confession should also wear a mask. Take your temperature before coming to confession. If it is higher than 100.4 degrees, stay home.
Location. We need to use an open space that allows for plenty of air circulation and can be disinfected easily. Penitents need to be able to enter and leave the area without touching any doors, door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, furniture, etc. In Marion, we will use the school gymnasium; entrance will be through the exterior door opening on to the South parking lot. That door will be fastened open. At Sacred Hearts, we will use Foeller Hall (the social hall); entrance will be through the double doors facing East; those doors will be propped open.
While this is not what we are used to, I know that we are all looking forward to the opportunity to experience the power of Christ’s Resurrection in the Sacrament of Penance.
Let’s stay united in prayer!Sincerely Yours, in Christ,
Father Thomas BufferPastor