LETTER FROM FATHER JEFF ON RESUMPTION OF MASSES
Paul writes in his Letter to the Romans 1:11 “For I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened.” I must state I understand this line in his letter much better now. I understand how Paul missed terrible the parishioners at each Church that he had started. Being in Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart without you, the parishioners, has been a very lonely experience. It is with great Hope that we can begin to take the small steps to have the Churches opened and you in the Churches. We have been working during this time to acquire the items that will be needed to safely open the Churches.
There are two guiding principles in this process that I am following. The First is the responsibility the clerics and the staff have to make certain that the Churches are safe. I am confident that that we have done that. Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart all have Bipolar Ionization Device attached to the air handlers as of May 20, 2020. This device targets airborne virus and germs and kills them. Each Church has a fogging machine and a water soluble sanitizing solution. Using the fogger will allow for a more thorough coverage of all surfaces in the Church and can be done with 1 to 2 people. We have gallons of hand sanitizer along with no touch devices that will squirt the hand sanitizer. We have people who have generously made face coverings and we have face coverings. We will be stating in this letter the procedures in place for being in the Church.
The Second Guiding Principle is that you as a parishioner must take responsibility for your safety and the safety of those in the Church at the same time as you. Please note that Bishop Robert has dispensed all Catholics in the Diocese of Columbus from the Sunday Obligation through September. So If you are at risk individual for Covid 19 you are allowed to remain at home and not attend Church. Please know that Deacon’s Ron & Lyn, Fr. Tom and myself with bring the Eucharist to you. If you have, or don’t want your children in the Church then please know that Deacon’s Ron & Lyn, Fr. Tom and myself will bring the Eucharist to you. If you are sick or think that you might be sick then please stay at home and again Deacon’s Ron & Lyn, Fr. Tom and myself can bring the Eucharist to you. If you plan on praying in the Church and attending Mass then we will need everyone to do the following: wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer frequently maintain social distancing from those you are not isolating with, wear a face mask, following the seating plan, follow the movement plan and be Holy as God is Holy. I get that some of you will be upset with the need to wear the face mask and you can site facts that support your stance. I am not trying to act as an authoritarian in making this request; I am simply following the request of Bishop Robert. I personally think the request to social distance, wash hands/sanitize frequently and wear the face mask are reasonable requests. If you have a problem with the face mask please bring it to my attention, Fr. Jeff, and not to Deacon’s Ron & Lyn, or Fr. Tom or the staffs in the office at the Church. I personally think that each of us has a responsibility to make certain that we act in a manner that protects those around us at all times.
Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart will be determining the new seating capacity for each Church following the Guidelines set forth by Bishop Robert. All 3 Churches will have Mass on Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 25. Holy Trinity will then start off with the following weekly Mass schedule: Thursday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 4:30pm and Sunday at 9am. Immaculate Conception will have a daily Mass at 8:15am Monday through Thursday and then Mass at 5pm on Saturday and 8am and 11am on Sunday. The Sunday schedule at IC has been changed because the fogging process takes about 30 minutes and then allowing the vapor to dissipate for 30 minutes. Sacred Heart will have a daily Mass at 8:30am Tuesday through Friday. It will have Mass at 5pm on Saturday and 8:30am and 11am on Sunday. Each parish will need to develop a time frame for the Sacrament of Penance. And each parish will need to offer time to pray in Church. We will be expanding what happens at the parishes slowly over several weeks. We want to build on success.
#5 The first Holy Trinity Mass will be Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day) at 9:00am. Our first weekend Masses are Saturday, May 30 at 4:30pm and Sunday, May 31 at 9:00am Doors will be open 15 minutes before Masses.
A group of volunteers from the parish will be calling people to invite you to Mass, so we can get some idea how many people are planning to attend. With the social distancing and new set up of chairs, we anticipate we can safely accommodate about 70 people per Mass. Hands free hand sanitizer dispensers will be on table in hallway for your use. Masks are available for those who don’t have one.
Please follow signs and guidelines when you enter church.
We realize that some people will not be ready or comfortable returning to church yet and that’s okay. Bishop Brennan has given dispensation not to attend through September 13. Sunday Masses will be livestreamed and can be viewed on Facebook at church of the holy trinity Zoar.
Fr. Andrew and Deacon Lyn will continue to bring the Eucharist to those who are unable or uncomfortable to come to church.
Please be patient, kind, and respectful as we learn and adjust to our new parish life.