Dear Friends in Christ,
Dear Friends in Christ, below is a letter from Bishop Brennan as well as diocesan guidelines to be followed when we resume public Masses on May 25. Please read both documents carefully. Each parish has to work out how to apply these guidelines to its own particular situation. During this week I have met with the parish pastoral council to develop and refine more detailed guidelines that will regulate public worship in our parish. We also discussed that we cannot schedule people in high risk groups, including those over 70 years of age, for certain volunteer activities. At our parish, we need to recruit some new ushers and train them before public Masses resume; we also need a few more volunteers to help with counting the collection after Sunday Mass. The ushers will have some additional duties, including dismissing people by rows to maintain six feet spacing during the Communion procession and helping everyone maintain social distancing inside the church. If you are able and willing to help as an usher and/or collection counter, please contact the parish office. As the Bishop says, our experience of Mass will be different, as we must take certain precautions to protect public health. I will be sharing more about this in the days ahead.
I would also like to remind everyone that there are still strict rules in place about visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Currently, the priests are not allowed to visit hospital patients and nursing home residents unless someone is approaching the end of their life. If you know of a Catholic who is in this condition and needs to see a priest, please have one of their family members contact one of the priests sooner rather than later, as it can take time to get permission to visit. We do not know how long these rules will be in place. Please pray for people in hospitals and nursing homes who are isolated from their families at this time.