Dear Parishioners of St. Patrick’s & St. Thomas Aquinas,
I am writing to inform you that we will begin offering public Masses here at St. Patrick’s & St. Thomas Aquinas this weekend, June 13th & 14th – now that we are able to accommodate up to 25% of the capacity of our churches. It is especially nice to welcome everyone back to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi. Our parish staff and volunteers have been working very hard to establish a plan that does everything we reasonably can to make this a safe reopening.
The seriousness of this pandemic dictates that we follow the guidelines and safety measures given by State and Local authorities and health officials, and the Diocese of Syracuse. Please read the following carefully to facilitate a smooth reopening.
Mass Obligation Dispensed
The dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation remains in effect. Please refrain from attending mass, especially those with COVID-19 or exposed to it, as well as those with upper respiratory or flu like symptoms or underlying medical conditions, the sick, the elderly, those who are living with or in the presence of any individual at risk, or those that still do not feel comfortable being in a public setting. When in doubt, out of charity for others, please stay home.
Below, you will find the revised mass schedule for weekdays and weekends. This is necessary because of the need to sanitize the church before/after masses – and we need two hours after each mass. After consultation with some of the leadership at both parishes, I decided to make the changes as listed below. PLEASE NOTE: This revised schedule is temporary – and will be re-evaluated once the restrictions are lifted.
Beginning Monday, June 15th the weekday Masses will be offered:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 am at St. Patrick’s & 10:00 am at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Saturday: 10:00 am at St. Patrick’s. The 10:00 am Masses will be live-streamed.
Weekend Mass Schedule
Beginning June 13th and June 14th, the weekend Mass schedule will be as follows:
Saturday: 4:00 pm – St. Thomas Aquinas
5:15 pm – St. Patrick’s
Sunday: 9:00 am – St. Patrick’s
11:00 am – St. Thomas Aquinas (live-streamed)
4:00 pm – St. Patrick’s
Confessions will be heard on Saturday’s: 11:30 am at St. Patrick’s (front and side doors of rectory) and 3:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas (handicapped entrance). Follow the directions posted at each location.
We will continue Eucharistic Adoration at St. Patrick’s Monday – Friday from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Please note change); 10:30 am – 1:00 pm on Saturday (may change due to funerals.)
Face Masks Requirements
You are required to wear face masks for the entirety of Mass. If you choose to wear protective gloves, they must be removed prior to receiving Communion on the hand. We will also ask everyone to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the church. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
Liturgical Ministers will be contacted if needed.
Music will be kept to a minimum: Entrance song – Presentation – Holy, Holy – Communion – Closing. The cantor will sing, you are encouraged to listen prayerfully and hum but please refrain from singing as it is considered a heightened way to project germs.
Missalettes will not be available during pandemic.
Given the new occupancy restrictions, we are only able to accommodate approximately 180 persons at St. Patrick’s and 250 persons at St. Thomas Aquinas per Mass. Because we need to track all in attendance we ask that you complete the enclosed ‘Household Contact’ and place in a basket provided upon entry each week.
When arriving at church, please keep socially distanced from other households as you enter. Please allow extra time to be seated and please understand that attendees will be directed by hospitality guides as they arrive. The guides will start seating 30 minutes before Mass begins. Please remain in your vehicles until the doors open to enter the church and please do not congregate by the entrance before or after Masses.
Communion – only those receiving communion should come forward.
When you approach for Communion, please follow the markings on the floor – keeping the distance of six feet. When it is your time to receive, keep your mask on while the Eucharistic Minister shows the Host and says, The Body of Christ. After you respond, Amen, approach the minister.
Receive the Host in your hand, then step six feet away from the minister. Then carefully loosen your facial covering, consume the Host, and replace the facial covering. Those who wish to receive Communion on the tongue are asked to go to celebrant priest at the end of the Communion line to help us accommodate this preference.
Collection baskets will not be passed but will be available for contributions at interior exit door of the church. Online Giving is another option available and can be found on our website at sta-sp.org or by clicking the ‘giving’ button on MyParishApp.
At the conclusion of Mass, the hospitality guides will dismiss rows beginning with those closest to the doors. As you go to your car, please keep socially distanced from other households as you leave. The church will be sanitized after each mass.
We look forward to seeing you! May I ask that you please be patient with us in implementing this plan and understand that we will make any changes deemed necessary to assure the safety of those attending, while also recognizing the importance of making the sacraments available.