Dear St. Mary’s Parishioner,
I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. It has been five months since we opened our Church for Masses and in person worship ceremonies and sacraments. We have stayed focused on the plan that we presented many months ago to our Diocese in order to ensure that we prioritized the safety and well-being of all, while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and the liturgical norms of our faith.
With that said, we are taking appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities. Parishioners and guests should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 anytime they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection. We encourage those of you who are part of the “vulnerable population” i.e., underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer treatment patients, those 60 and older, to consider the risks to yourself before you come back to the Church.
Masses in Church take place every day of the week. We use that day’s liturgy for the celebration, but any Mass during the week will fulfill your Sunday obligation. Dispensation from this obligation continues throughout this pandemic time for those unable to attend. The times are as follows:
Saturday 4:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Monday 6:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am
Wednesday 9:00 am
Thursday 9:00 am
Friday 9:00 am
We will still offer on-line recorded Masses and bulletins for those who are not able to join us.
Scheduling for Baptisms, Marriages, and Funerals is taking place within the guidelines that our Diocese has directed. Procedures for the occasion will be discussed when the arrangements are made. Please call the Parish Office at 630-969-1063 to set a date.
We use a scheduling tool to “reserve” a Mass time for you and your family. We are limited at this time to 125 attendees at each service. We may not be able to accommodate walk in participants due to the social distancing that we will have to maintain in the Church. This link for access to the Mass reservations is located on our website on the Monday before that weekend’s Masses begin. Sign up for enough seats for all of your family members. If you are not able to access the Internet to sign up for Mass times, please call the Parish Office at 630-969-1063 and we will add your reservation to the Mass time of your choice.
On the day that you attend Mass, we ask that you enter the Church from the Parking Lot door only. Exiting the Church after Mass will be through the Prairie or Wilson exits only. It may take a little longer to seat everyone in the Church than usual, so please plan accordingly.
We ask that you exit the Church immediately after Mass through the Wilson or the Prairie exits. Bulletins, as well as baskets for your offertory, will be available at the exits.
I have included for your review a tri-fold flyer that will help you better understand the precautions we are taking to keep you and our staff safe. Please read this carefully. We will have similar postings at the entrance to the Church as a reminder for you. There will be hand sanitizer at the Parking Lot entrance for your use. You will only be permitted entry if you have your own mask and you are properly wearing it over your nose and mouth.
Confessions are heard on Saturday mornings, from 8:30-9:30 am. We ask that you enter the Church through the parking lot door. You will enter the confessional directly (please do not enter a pew) and then exit the Church after a priest has heard your confession. Please say your penance in your car or at your home.
I know that this is a very different experience for all of us. You have all had some “practice” with social distancing at your grocery stores, hardware stores and doctors’ offices. Now is our time to get together and re-energize our Parish community with in-person worship. Our collective patience, willingness to help and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.
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 us at 630-969-1063.