Our region is moving into the yellow phase of the state-restrictions caused by the virus. This will allow our churches to offer public services but only in a restricted way. The mandate indicates that twenty-five percent of the seating capacity of a church can be used for church services.
For us, that would be 125 people per gathering. In order to get our quota, we will inaugurate a registration process on a first come/ first served basis. This can be done by contacting us via e/mail ([email protected] or [email protected]) or by telephone (610-863-4777.) Please try to apply before noon of each Saturday.
When we reach our allowance for each Mass, we will inform subsequent callers that their request cannot be honored at that time. Attending Sunday Mass is not, as yet, obligatory for the Catholics of our diocese, so if a person still feels fearful about public gatherings, they are not obliged to attend, but I certainly hope that no one uses this dispensation as a glib way of missing a chance to worship.
We will still stream one of our Masses which will be accessible via Facebook any time of the day.
The times of the weekend Masses are 5 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. (streamed-live) and 11 a.m. starting the weekend of June 6- 7. Public weekday Masses will begin June 5 (First Friday) and June 6 (First Saturday) at 9:00 a.m. Registration for weekday Masses will not be necessary. Subsequent weekday Masses will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 8 a.m. People should wear masks for the Masses, and not linger in the gathering space after Mass; please leave the church immediately.
It is strongly suggested that reception of Holy Communion be done by hand (which is actually the more historical mode of receiving) since it is the more hygienic way of reception. Only the priest and deacon will distribute Holy Communion. After the reception of Holy Communion, recipients should return to their same space without touching any parts of the pews on the way there. Registered families can sit together, but registered singles will be appropriately spaced.
It is hoped that our ushers will seat registered parishioners when they enter the church according to safe-distancing norms, and collections will not be taken in the usual way during this phase. Collection baskets will be placed in the aisles for donations to support the church.
We offer two Masses on Sunday, instead of three, because the church has to be sanitized after each Mass. We need volunteers who would stay after each Mass to accomplish this. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the rectory. We will inform volunteers as to how this is to be done.
These are strict measures to observe, but they have been mandated to increase safety. Please observe them! Needless to say, if you are experiencing symptoms, do not endanger others. Stay safe and remain close to God as we face together, but apart, the ravages of this virus.