We are pleased to tell you that the Mass is returning to St. Joseph Parish this weekend starting at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020.
Our Mass schedule will be as follows: Saturday: 4:00 p.m.; and 5:30 p.m.; Sunday: 7:30 a.m.; 9:00 a.m.; 11:00 a.m.; and 5:30 p.m.
Here are some details regarding the reopening.
What has changed:
- All missalettes have been removed from the pews. Please bring your own prayer book. We like the Magnificat and the Word Among Us. For smartphone users, we like the free App – Laudate.
- Holy water fonts have been removed.
- Seating areas have been taped off. We are limited to allowing 40% of our total capacity for Mass. In the church, we have taped off every other pew. We also have limited seating in the chapel and in the parish hall for overflow.
- The offertory basket will no longer be passed from person to person. Please drop your offertory donation in the basket in the foyer either before or after Mass.
- We no longer have altar servers.
- We no longer have the sign of peace.
- We no long distribute Communion on the tongue
- Bulletins will be distributed by the ushers at the end of Mass.
Here is what we need parishioners to know to attend Mass:
- Masks are required. Everyone who is able, from child (unless under age 2, or at parent’s discretion up to age 5) to adult, must wear a mask while in the church as it is the most effective way to stem the virus. If you cannot wear a mask, we ask that you abstain from attending church for your health and the health of others.
- When you enter the foyer, please put your offertory in the foyer.
- Bring your own hand sanitizer. We have a supply but it will be quickly depleted if people don’t bring their own.
- Please don’t sing. The Archdiocese has requested only the musicians sing at Mass.
- Don’t hold hands during the Our Father prayer
- Don’t offer the Sign of Peace
- Keep socially distant. Whether sitting in the pew, walking up to Communion, or leaving the church, please keep a six-foot distance between you and others outside your household circle.
- Don’t climb over people in the pews. Try to sit in the middle of the pew if you are there first to make room for others.
- Wear your mask for Communion. The proper way to receive Communion is to approach the Minister or Priest with your mask on, receive Communion in your hand, step to the side, hold the Host in one hand while you raise or lower your mask, and then consume the Host. We cannot give Communion on the tongue.
As you exit from the church, those closer to the exit should leave first.
- After Mass, please leave the church premises. Some like to remain and pray, but we need to clean the church thoroughly for the next so the church must be emptied.
When Mass ends, please do not congregate in the foyer. Groups of people talking, whether socially distant or not, can make it difficult for others to leave. Please exit to your car. This will help make room for the next group coming in for Mass.
- If you park in our parking lot, please pull all the way up. Everyone will be leaving at the same time so there should be no delays.
- If you don’t park in our parking lot, please do not park in the local business lots. The business owners get extremely upset when parishioners park in their business lot
- You are welcome to park at St. Joseph School, which is one block away at 15 Gould Street.
We hope that by following these guidelines, we will keep everyone healthy and safe, especially Fr. Ron. You can also consider attending one of our daily Masses. We have a 6:45 am Mass, and a 9:00 am Mass, Monday through Friday, and a 9:00 am Mass on Saturday. This Monday, the 9:00 am Mass will take place at Forest Glade Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day.
I ask that you be patient as we go through this process. We are the first church in this area to reopen after weeks of closure. There are sure to be bumps in the road. One challenge is that we are mandated to limit our capacity to 40% and ensure social distancing. That means our capacity is probably closer to 30%. How many people will attend this weekend is a vast unknown. Fr. Ron has added the 5:30 pm Mass to aid in accommodating anyone seeking the Mass. Once we are at capacity, we will put a note on the church doors stating that the church is full and offering the time of the next available Mass. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause as we strive to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.