To the Parishioners of Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady Queen of Peace
I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, we are implementing a multiphase plan for reopening churches in our diocese. Specifically,
- Phase 1 allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees
- Phase 1A allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees
- Phase 2 allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Mass for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state. We do not have a timetable for Phase 2.
First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.
I have assembled a Parish Reopening Leadership Team to lead our efforts. Together, we will ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the diocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities.
We will need volunteers to assist with various aspects our parish reopening plan. Importantly, volunteers should not be part of a “vulnerable population”. I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:
- Set-up team – duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, window are opened, etc.
- Greeting team – duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.
- Cleaning team – duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies
The Reopening Leadership Team and I will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained. Please let us know by Monday, June 1 if you are willing and able to volunteer. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 397 2287 extension 11.
We will only be able to open our churches once the Reopening Leadership Team and I feel confident that we have the right number of volunteers in place to make it possible to reopen. Again, the need for parishioner assistance cannot be overstated.
May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at 234 6196 extension 1 ( please leave a message if I don’t answer)
Fr. Matt Elie