Church is Opening Up for Public Mass in Limited Capacity
It is with great joy and enthusiasm that I am able to convey to you that the church building will be reopened for public Masses
in a limited capacity!
The Archdiocese has issued guidelines for the reopening of Masses starting this weekend. We will have the regular schedule of Masses starting with the Vigil at 5:30 pm on Saturday, May 2, 2020. At each Mass, for now, we will have to limit the congregation to 25% of the occupancy, which is around 400 people.
In addition to the limit in the size of the congregation that is allowed, you are reminded that you are dispensed from attending Mass and should, and in some cases must, stay home if you suspect that you have been exposed to the Coronavirus and have to self-quarantine for the prescribed time, and if you are among the at-risk group, such as those over the age of 65 years old or if you have any underlying health condition that would make contracting the virus more dangerous.
We anticipate that we can keep the number of those attending Mass to the prescribed 25% of the occupancy if you keep the following considerations in mind:
1. The dispensation for attending Mass is still in effect for everyone so the
Sunday obligation is not required for anyone at this time
2. We also will have our regular
, celebrated in the main church so that everyone can spread out and we can have up to 400 people at any daily Mass, Monday through Friday at 9:00 am;
3. We will still live-stream the Vigil Mass on Saturday and have Mass ready for streaming on Sunday, for those who would like to continue to attend in spiritual communion with the community; and
4. The church will be open for private prayer and devotion Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
At all of these times, we will keep to the prescribed social distancing measures to ensure that everyone remains safe while in the church.
Finally, if you do attend one of the Masses at our parish this weekend, please know that the Mass will look a little bit different upon return. The health and safety measures will be for the most part temporary precautions that we would have to make. The Archdiocese is requiring the following:
1. For the safety and well being of everyone in attendance, everyone who attends Mass in the congregation will wear a facial mask (except children ages 10 or younger).
You must bring your own mask to wear.
We will not have extra masks to hand out
2. Families will physically distance themselves from other families in the pews and throughout the church. Every other pew will be roped off to facilitate this measure;
3. There will be no Communion by the Chalice at this time and the Eucharist will be received in the hand by everyone;
4. There will be hand sanitizers at all entrances to use as you enter the church; and
5. Please know that the ushers and the Pastoral Council members will be on hand and have been instructed to inform people who arrive if we have reached our 400 limited capacity number. It is what is being asked of us to do and it will be taken with the spirit of cooperation. People will be reminded of the additional Masses later on in the day and later in the week for daily Mass that they can still attend in the event the capacity has been reached.
I imagine that all of this information sounds new and overwhelming, yet I wanted to at least highlight some of the new procedures during this time of coming together. We will get through this together. As Christians, we are a people of adaption to the circumstances that providence provides us as it unfolds because we trust in the Lord.
There are additional information that is worth mentioning. First, the Archdiocese also requested that each parish form a
Pandemic Response Team
. I have asked certain parish staff members as well as our Pastoral Council to be part of this Response Team, headed by the Chair of the Pastoral Council, Tommy Noto. He will work with me and the rest of the clergy on answering any questions you may have. The Response Team will assist in what I am calling, the ministry of transition, in responding to issues that may arise during this time of change and transition. You can email your questions to:
The most important message is, the Sacrament of the Eucharist is now opened up for us while allowing us to stay healthy and keep others safe as well. This is a good start and we will transition into this new circumstance. There are other guidelines regarding First Communion, weddings and funerals that we will develop and start implementing, now that we have received the details from the Archdiocese on how to proceed. Let us all keep one another in prayerful remembrance, invoking the guidance of Christ the Good Shepherd, whom we will be honoring this Sunday at Mass, by our obedience and our devotion. As always, take care and God bless you!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Fr. Tom Lam
Fr. Tom Lam
on Wednesday, April 29 at 3:47PM