Letter from Pastor Fr. Michael Burt

May 27, 2020

Dear St. Mary- St. Paul Parishioners;

I am excited to inform you that we will resume weekday and weekend Masses at St Mary-St Paul Parish beginning Friday, May 29th.  As we welcome parishioners and visitors we will need to make some adjustments.  Here is an overview of some of the changes we will need to implement.

Mass attendance will be limited to 25% of our parishioners.  Our older parishioners and those with underlying health conditions are encouraged to delay their return to public masses.  The dispensation from the Sunday mass continues until June 30th.
Weekend Masses:  All weekend Masses will be celebrated at the St Mary worship site.  This will help accommodate the attendance of 150 parishioners and visitors.
Other Dioceses who have resumed public masses did not experience a large number of people returning to Mass.  In the future we may need parishioners sign up for the mass they would like to attend using an app called Sign Up Genius.
Weekend Mass Times:  5pm Saturday, 9 and 11am Sunday.
Weekday Mass and Times:  Masses during the week will be celebrated at the St Paul worship site.  We will maintain the schedule in place before public masses were suspended, i.e. 9am Monday, 8:30am Tuesday, 7pm Wednesday, 7am Thursday with exposition until 5pm and 12pm Friday.  The 12pm livestream Mass via YouTube will be discontinued.
Worship Site Access:  Entrance to the worship site will be limited to the front doors only.  Signs will be posted on side entrances directing people to the front entrance.  Side entrance will not be unlocked when opening the church.
Pews:  Hymnals and worship aids have been removed.  The pews will be taped off to maintain 6 foot social distancing.  Families may sit together.
Sign of Peace & Our Father:  The sign of peace is temporarily suspended.  The joining of hands during the Our Father is also suspended.
Offertory and Presentation of the Gifts:  Baskets will be placed near church entrances.  Parishioners are encouraged to utilize online giving, mail their envelopes or drop them off at the office.  Bread and wine will not be brought forward during the presentation of the gifts.
Music Ministry:  Music ministry is limited to one accompanist and one cantor.  Choirs are not to be used.  Song sheets will be provided and discarded at the end of each mass.
Distribution of Communion:  Only the body of Christ will be distributed.  6 foot distancing is to be observed when coming forward to receive.  The body of Christ will be distributed in the hand.  Communion will not be denied to those wishing to receive it on the tongue.
Facemasks:  All members two years and above will need to bring and wear appropriate face covering.  Please keep pastoral sensitivity in mind when a parishioner arrives without a mask.
Cleanup after each Mass:  Ushers or a group of volunteers MUST wipe down frequently touched surfaces after each Mass. These areas include but are not limited to:
     o Tops of pews where people place or rest their hands.
     o The endcaps of pews where communicants may place their hands while coming
     o Bathrooms
     o Drinking fountain handles
     o Door handles and door push plates
I realize this is a lot of information.  It is imperative that we make the safety of our parishioners/visitors and ourselves  a priority.
Fr Michael