Before anything else, I would like to let you know that the dispensation to attend Mass on Sunday is still in effect. People who are not comfortable to come because of dangers of being exposed to the virus, people who are 60 years old and over, people who have a compromised immune system because of already existing medical conditions, and people who are showing symptoms of illness no matter how slight the symptoms are, are all dispensed from the obligation to attend the Mass. I especially encourage those who are advanced in age and those who are feeling sick to please stay home and rest.
Mass Schedules and Sign Up
There will be a total of six weekend Masses. Two on Saturday (5:00 PM in English and 7:00 PM in Spanish) and four on Sunday (The usual 9:30, 11:30 AM and 5:00 PM Masses with an additional Mass at 3:00 PM.)
Our most updated parish directory will be divided into six groups – one for each Mass schedule. It is impossible for everyone to be scheduled in one weekend, so those who will not be scheduled to attend weekend Mass on a particular weekend will have to wait until their names are called.
Volunteers will call parishioners from each group alphabetically and assign them a slot for a specific Mass. For example: Volunteer Caller 1 will call people from Group 1 which is composed of parishioners with last names that begin with the letter A-F and assign slots for them to the 5:00 PM Saturday Mass. Volunteer Caller 2 will call people from Group 2 which is composed of parishioners who are Spanish Mass goers and assign slots for them to the 7:00 PM Saturday Mass. Volunteer Caller 3 will call people from Group 3 which is composed of parishioners with last names that begin with the letter G-L and assign slots for them to the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass, and so forth.
After all the people on the list of each group are called, the groups will be assigned to a different weekend Mass schedule and a new round will begin. That means on the next round, those who were scheduled to go to the 5:00 PM Saturday Mass will be assigned to the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass. I know that this will change your regular Mass schedule, but under the circumstances, let us together make these adjustments.
PLEASE DO NOT COME IF YOU ARE NOT CALLED. PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ON THE LIST TO ATTEND AN ASSIGNED MASS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE CHURCH.
Entrance to the church, seating, exiting the church and the Porter
The only entrance point into the church will be the breezeway doors facing the church parking lot (doors closest to the Adoration Chapel). There will be a “Porter” to welcome the parishioners as he or she checks the attendance.
He/she will have the list of scheduled parishioners for that Mass and will mark the names “present” if they show up and “no show” if they don’t. It is important to have this list as it will be used to call people later on IF we get a report that a person from that list tests positive for Covid-19.
The porter will lock the door when all the people on the list are in the church or when it is time to begin the Mass. The Mass will start even if all people are not present; the Porter will wait no longer than 10 minutes for them to arrive. The Porter (if not scheduled to attend the Mass) will then leave and come back before the Mass ends to open all the doors.
Parishioners are asked to leave the church using all the possible exits. Only the Porter will open and close the doors so that no one else will have to touch any door handle.
Upon entering the breezeway from the parking lot, Mass goers are asked to enter the main church only through the first door to the right which will be kept open until the porter closes it for Mass.
Once inside the main church, you will see that the pews are marked with “Sit Here” signs. Couples and families who live in the same household may sit closer to each other. Otherwise, please situate yourselves on the clearly marked spots.
Singing during the Mass, face masks, Offertory and Sign of Peace
The Archbishop is not requiring the use of face masks but people are encouraged to wear one. The priest will wear a face mask when it is time for the distribution of the Eucharist. The hosts that will be consecrated will at all times be covered. If you are not wearing a face mask, please don’t join the cantor in singing. The cantor will not wear a face mask but he or she will observe the proper distance and will not sing facing the people. So, if you want to sing during the Mass, please wear a face mask.
During the Mass, there will be no offertory collection. Instead, the offertory basket will be placed by the statue of Sacred Heart. You can place your donations in the basket as you enter the main church. There will be no handshakes, hugs or kisses during the giving of the sign of peace except for couples and families living in the same household.
Bulletins will be placed on the pews for you to take with you as you leave after the Mass.
Daily Masses and the Porter
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will still have the usual noon Mass and on Wednesdays and Fridays, we will have the usual 8:30 AM Mass with an additional Mass at noon. There will be no assigned schedules for the weekday Masses because our average number of weekday attendees does not exceed 25. The Porter will write your name on the attendance sheet as you enter the church and he/she will still be in charge of opening and closing the doors before and after Mass.
I know these can be too much to take in all at once, but if this is what we have to do to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, then so be it. I am appealing for all of your cooperation. We will make any additional adjustments if we see the need for them. But for now, this is the plan.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. The Holy Spirit is with us, let us be aware of His presence as together we go through this challenging time. May God continue to bless us all.