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    THE PASTOR......
    "A GOOD START…A LONG WAY TO GO"
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  • July 5, 2020

    A GOOD START…A LONG WAY TO GO

    A total of approximately 140 parishioners attended the three weekend Masses on June 27-28 and everything went as smoothly as could be expected for a first time experience with endless protocols in place. People seemed happy to be here, followed all the guidelines, and had no trouble maintaining social distancing while still enjoying this time together. So much of that was due to the presence of generous volunteers on the three committees—set-up, greeting/ushering and clean-up—who followed through, in a gracious and welcoming manner, with the myriad instructions the Archdiocese had provided and the team captains had shared with them. We should all be grateful to them. And if you’d like to join them, just e-mail me—not directly from this message if you receive it as an e-mail—but at rkyfes@posjhomewood.org and I’ll pass your contact information on to the appropriate person.
     
    Going forward, we’ll be keeping the same weekend schedule and observing the same safety protocols for as long as those are required by the Archdiocese. Even though we were able to welcome a few walk-ins because we had not reached our maximum capacity, it is still important to sign up for whatever Mass you wish to attend—Saturday at 5:15 or Sunday at 8:00 or 10:30. In addition to online sign-up, now that we’ve resumed regular office hours, you can call the rectory, M-W-F from 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., T-Th. until 7:30p.m., Sat. 9:00a.m. to 1:30p.m. and Sun. from 9:00 to 10:30 to sign up for a mass. Please try to do that by 3:00p.m. on Saturday, and remember that you should list all the names of those in your household or the names of neighbors or friends for whom you’re signing up. And if, at the last minute you’re not able to come or you need to switch to a different Mass, don’t worry, it will be just fine.
     
    Beginning Tuesday, July 7, morning Mass will resume at 8:30a.m., Tuesday thru Friday only for now, and you also need to sign up for those Masses, ideally by 4:00p.m. the previous day, or you can sign up once for more than one day if you wish. Remember that the sign-up requirement is for purposes of contact tracing so that, if you become ill, you can let us know and we can then contact all those who were at a particular Mass with you so that they can be tested. By now, everyone should know the symptoms to look for, and you’re asked to stay home in the first place if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms. I have no doubt that everyone is being very conscientious and considerate in that department.
     
    As we move forward through July, we’ll re-evaluate the Mass schedule and consider the possibility of adding a third Sunday Mass; but it’s unlikely, due to sanitizing requirements, that we’ll return to four Sunday Masses anytime soon, if ever. We just have to wait and see. Remember, too, that the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass continues until September, especially for those with underlying health conditions or those of a certain age! Bottom line: be patient & use common sense!
     
    Finally, beginning July 6th, we’re also ready to resume funerals or schedule Memorial Masses for those who passed away during the past months when funerals with more than 10 participants were not permitted. Using the guideline of 15% of church capacity, that means that we can accommodate, with social distancing, up to 135 people, certainly more that usually attend a funeral. Just call the rectory to arrange a Memorial Mass or ask your family funeral director to arrange it for you.
     
    Once again, thanks to all the reopening volunteers, all our liturgical ministers, all those who attended last weekend, and all of you who are still being cautious and patient as we move forward. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll be back to something resembling normal—whatever that may be.
     
    Fr. Bob
     

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  • Mass intentions for cancelled masses during these days of suspended gatherings will be rescheduled at a later date. Whenever masses resume, just call the rectory for a new date. For this purpose only, we will waive the canonical limit of two intentions per mass.