FROM FR. JOE
LIMITED PUBLIC MASSES
By the time some of you read this, you may be already well aware of the details I am about to discuss. However, I wanted to make sure it was written out somewhere for people to be informed.
The Catholic Bishops of Minnesota have agreed to allow limited public Masses, with no more than ten (10) people, to resume in the state. The parishes of St. Cecilia and Mary Immaculate are offering our usual schedule of public Masses with the ten person limit as of Tuesday, May 19. This means we will offer our usual weekend schedule of Saturday at 4:15 and Sunday at 8:30 and 10:30 at the usual locations, but with the required ten person limit. Please call our parish office at (218) 885-1126 to sign up for a Mass. The Eucharist, under the form of the Body of Christ only, will be available for those at Mass who wish to receive. Instructions on how we will do Communion will be given at Mass.
Please be aware that a few things will have to be different in order to protect ourselves since the threat of the disease still exists. The usual sign of peace is not allowed at Mass, and everyone is encouraged to refrain from greeting each other by touching. Music will need to be limited as singing can help spread the virus quicker than just talking. Everyone is asked to keep six feet of distance between them and anyone else not in their household. To help with this, only every third pew is open for sitting; all others are taped off. There are also tape marks six feet apart on the pews and on the floor for Communion lines. Arrows are also on the floors to indicate which direction to walk in the aisles.
To be clear: the usual Sunday Obligation for Catholics is still lifted. Therefore, no one is required to come on Sunday, especially if you feel sick, are worried about getting sick, or are considered “at risk” for COVID -19. It is okay to continue to stay at home. For people’s convenience, I will continue to offer Mass online with live streaming on Facebook (www.facebook.com/fatherjoseph.sobolik) and uploaded videos on our parish website (www.scmicatholic.com).
I know that it can feel frustrating that we can only have ten people at a time at Mass. We hope that before too much longer we will be able to allow up to one third (1/3) of the seating capacity. How long it will be before we can finally return to normal church attendance is well beyond my paygrade. I encourage us all to keep praying for an end to this pandemic and that the Holy Spirit will guide the decisions of our leaders. If you wish to read the latest letter from our Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Jim Bissonette, the letter is posted on the main page of our website. God Bless!