I am happy to report to you that our parish has received Phase II certification from the Archdiocese. This means that we will be able to reopen our church for Sunday and weekday masses. We will have Sunday Mass this coming weekend, June 20-21.
While we are resuming Masses, we are not able to resume as if there was no COVID-19 pandemic. There are a lot of changes we will have to adjust to and new procedures we will have to follow. It will take time and some trial and error to get to the point where everything is running smoothly. For this reason, we are resuming Masses, but on a very limited basis.
There will be three Masses the weekend of June 20-21. The Masses will be at 4:30 PM on Saturday, June 20, and at 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 21. We are starting with a limited schedule because the church has to be cleaned and disinfected after every service. We don’t know how long that will take at this point. Once we know how long the cleaning and disinfecting will take, we hope to add additional Masses.
Seating at these Masses will be limited to 50 people at first. Seating is being limited because we do have to practice social distancing, which limits our seating capacity. You will have to make a reservation to attend Mass. You can make a reservation here. Reservations can be made beginning at 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, June 17. If you do not have internet access and thus are unable to use Sign Up Genius, please call the rectory (708-425-5354) and we will try to make other arrangements to accommodate you. There will still be a Mass available on our website for those who are not able to attend in church. Again, as we adjust and get used to the new procedures, we will increase the number of people in attendance at Mass.
Please keep in mind that facemasks must be worn throughout the Mass. Hand sanitizer must be used when you enter the church and before receiving Communion. Because of social distancing, you may not be able to sit in the pew you have sat in all your life. Please, follow the directions of the usher or greeter rather than argue about it. There will not be any missalettes or hymnals in the pews. While there will be music, there will not be congregational singing at this time. Ushers will not pass the collection baskets. You are asked to put your Sunday offering through the book return slot at the Parish Library in the vestibule. Unless you are handicapped and must use the north door on the east side of the church, all should enter through the main entrance on 96th Street.
For information about Reconciliation and the resumption of weekday Mass, please check the parish website. That is the best place to find the most up-to-date information. Even though it’s just on a limited basis at this time, we look forward to welcoming you back to church this weekend.
Fr. Jim Hyland, Pastor