Updated May 22, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With the recent exemption for churches offered in the Governor’s restrictions for Phase II, Bishop Luis Zarama has issued the following guidelines for the celebration of the sacraments:
1) Provided parishes can meet appropriate social distancing requirements and/or logistical arrangements, indoor services can be conducted including Mass, the Sacrament of Penance, Adoration, and individual prayer.
2) All of the faithful continue to be dispensed from their Sunday obligation. While this dispensation is applicable to all, the elderly, those sick, those with pre-existing health conditions or other vulnerable people should especially continue to stay at home.
Mass guidance for St. Therese from May 23 until end of Phase II:
1) Beginning Saturday, May 23 we will restart our regular weekday and Sunday Mass schedule with restrictions. We have marked spacing in the church to accommodate the 6 foot social distancing protocol. In this way persons of unrelated households are required to maintain 6 feet of distance in all of our seating. This would bring total capacity, if all are unrelated, to 60 persons in the church and vestibule. However because households may sit together that number may increase, and for that we must maintain a total capacity limit of 125 persons, or 35% of total capacity in the church.
2) Additionally because we know more will ultimately, over time, wish to attend Mass and receive communion, we are opening up the gym for Mass attendance. Each Mass will be broadcast into the gym onto a large screen, and those attending will be brought communion. Additionally we had made provision for the Blessed Sacrament to be on reserve in the gym during the weekend so that those present may pray in the presence of our Lord. The total limit for participants is 60 persons of unrelated households, and no more than 100 persons in total.
3) Please note only the 8:30am Mass in English, and the 1:30pm Mass in Spanish will be publicly live-streamed to our youtube channel.
4) The previous protocols for sanitizing of communion ministers and servers hands, omission of sign of peace, and keeping safe distance in communion lines remain in force. * Please note the vigil Mass for Pentecost at 5pm, May 30 will be closed to the public to permit the presence of all those being received into the Church at that Mass including their families and sponsors.
We will begin our regular Thursday adoration and confession schedule on May 28 and our regular Saturday evening 4pm Confessions on June 6.
Please continue to keep the sick and all our health care workers in your prayers, and continue to follow other Covid-19 recommendations where applicable such as the wearing of masks, keeping proper distance especially as we exit the church after celebrations of the Mass.