COVID-19 UPDATES AND RESOURCES
June 1, 2021 Update from Fr. Chris:
As announced several weeks ago, Bishop Shawn McKnight ended the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass in observance of Sunday’s and Holy Days, effective June 1. He subsequently announced that those who have been fully vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine do not need to wear masks at Mass, while urging those who have not been vaccinated to wear a mask. Prior to those announcements, the Boone County Health Department let the most recent Covid decree expire, and did not replace it with another.
With these developments in mind, beginning with the Masses on June 5-6, we will utilize every pew in church and masks will be optional. In line with Bishop McKnight’s request, I strongly encourage those who have not been vaccinated to wear a mask, and anyone who would like to wear a mask is most welcome to do so. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage those who have not been vaccinated to become vaccinated, unless it is medically not possible for you to do so. Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict have been vaccinated, and the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop McKnight have all strongly encouraged Catholics to become vaccinated to help end the pandemic, as well as for the safety of others and themselves. I have been vaccinated and hope you have or will be, too.
For those who would like to have more space between themselves and others, we will leave in place the chairs around the back of church, in the baptismal font area, and in the gathering space, and for an undetermined amount of time will leave the chairs in Flanagan Hall, where there can be more space and the availability of watching Mass on the large screens and receiving Communion. We eventually will restore coffee and doughnuts, but for now will make that space available for seating. In all areas, please be respectful of those wishing to avoid close contact, and please avoid crowding.
Several other changes will occur. We will return the offertory procession to Mass, and the hymnals and missalettes will be returned to the pews. For those who prefer not to handle paper items, we will continue to post the hymn lyrics on our parish website. We will include the Sign of Peace, but ask that you exchange handshakes or hugs only with your family members or people you are sitting with who you know are comfortable with it, as many people will not be ready to shake hands or hug. A smile or nod to those around you would be an appropriate way to offer the sign to others. The offertory collection and the option of receiving Communion from the chalice will eventually be restored, but not at this time. We will continue to live-stream the 8:30 am Mass on Sunday, the 6:30 am Mass (sometimes it will be the 8 instead of the 6:30) during the week, and the 8 am Mass on Saturday.