A Message from Deacon Rick Stachura on the Reopening of St. Mary’s Faith Community
To My Fellow Parishioners at St. Mary’s,
After the President’s press conference last week, the news has been reporting that churches can now reopen and we have received inquiries at the rectory asking when we will restart our Masses. Many are anxious to return to the celebration of Mass and the sacraments and I do understand how you feel, as I miss receiving Christ in the Eucharist as a sacrament immensely.
We have now received initial guidance from our Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Scharfenberger, on some reopening recommendations, including the distribution of Holy Communion.
That being said, protecting the vulnerable and placing the recommended protocols in place prior to our reopening, are important to the health and welfare of all our parishioners. We want you to be able to feel as safe as possible when you return to Mass here with your St. Mary’s faith family. Therefore, I wanted to update you as to where we are in this process in preparing for our reopening:
- A Parish Covid Task Force has already been appointed, to provide recommendations on how to open our church in a safe manor, following and merging all the guidelines from the CDC, state, local health departments and the Diocese. The Task Force includes physicians with infectious disease experience, an epidemiologist, liturgy, communications and facilities representatives and a lawyer for legal advice.
- We are creating a protocol to provide a safe environment for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We are investigating options for live streaming Mass and our liturgies that will continue after we reopen. Understanding, that many may not feel comfortable returning immediately to Mass, despite many safety protocols in place. Sunday Mass will continue to be recorded and available on our website. These Masses will stay on our YouTube Channel for indefinite viewing.
You can be assured that St. Mary’s will welcome all of us back as soon as possible and watch our website and Sunday’s Electronic News for updates. I ask for your continued prayers and support, that we make the right decisions, guided by the Holy Spirit, when opening the church to celebrate Mass in a safe and prudent manor, keeping all of you and our staff safe!
May God Bless All of Us,
Deacon Rick Stachura
St. Mary’s Swormville