COVID-19 Re-opening Information

ST. MARY CHURCH REOPENING
PENTECOST SUNDAY, MAY 31
MASS AT 10:30 AM

We are pleased to announce that we will reopen for the celebration of Mass starting on the feast of the birth of the Christian Church, Pentecost Sunday, May 31st at 10:30 am!

A committee of faithful parishioners and our parish staff are working diligently to prepare for this much anticipated event.   The backgrounds of the committee members include medicine, finance, law, and education. A detailed plan is being developed which follows the guidelines provided by federal and state agencies as well as the Archdiocese of Boston.

We are making every effort to make our Church as safe as possible by sanitizing pews, railings, doorknobs, and other surfaces before and after Mass.   Significant precautions will be taken when providing Holy Communion.  An essential part of our plan requires your cooperation.

Setting regulations and asking you to comply with them seems so contrary to our Parish’s welcoming spirit but it is necessary for the wellbeing of all who attend. Knowing our parishioners as we do, we are confident of your cooperation.  Please review the following:

  • Masks which cover your nose and mouth, must be worn by all adults and children 2 years and older. Please have them on before you arrive.
  • We will have greeters outside the Church to welcome you and direct you into the Church building.
  • Additional volunteers inside will assist you in identifying appropriate seating.
  • Please sanitize your hands as you enter the Church.  You will find some on the tables at the doors of the Church.
  • In addition to frequently sanitizing your hands, it is very helpful to you to not touch your face to the extent possible.
  • Appropriate social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet between non-family members is required while you are in the Church and as you are entering and exiting the building. We are blessed to have such a magnificent and spacious place to worship at St. Mary’s. The size of our church will enable us to configure seating arrangements which will maintain social distancing during Mass. Designated benches will be marked to ensure this distancing and directions will be given at Communion time to this end as well.
  • The use of missalettes and children’s books and coloring books are suspended as they are a means of transmitting disease.
  • For the safety of the children, gathering at the back of the Church is suspended. Children and families will be seated together in a pew.

Please avail yourself of the guidance of our volunteers should you have any questions.

We are excited to welcome you back to St. Mary’s.  Your presence has been greatly missed.  Though our gatherings in these time will be a far cry from what we’re used to, God’s grace and our spirits will make them as enriching and as rewarding as always.

We recognize that many members of our parish may not yet feel comfortable venturing out to attend Mass at this time. This is completely understandable and the reason that our Archbishop, Cardinal Seάn O’Malley, has continued the dispensation for Sunday Mass attendance. Likewise, we will continue to live stream Mass each week and will make that video available for replay at home on our Facebook page and here on our website.

Accordingly, we anticipate that the number of attendees will be fewer than normal in the early stages of our return to worship resulting in our decision to begin with just one Sunday Mass. We will closely monitor attendance as we progress through this return to a “new normal” and add Masses as circumstances warrant.

The Church speaks of the Feast of Pentecost as the Birthday of the Church. When a birthday is celebrated, inevitably one thinks back to that joyous moment of birth. For the Church it was a deeply tumultuous time! Confusion, misunderstanding, accusations and anger were all present. Nonetheless, that time was dominated by Hope. God has visited His people. The promise of ages, long awaited, has been fulfilled. Jesus is the long-awaited Christ and in His resurrection, ascension, and gift of the Holy Spirit, the Church was born and continues vibrant. The enduring message of the Good News continues unabated.

This Birthday celebration we will hold this Sunday comes at the most perfect time for each and all of us.

Fr. Ronan