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Notes from Father Dan

posted Mar 4, 2020, 7:32 AM by Dianne Gavin   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 11:45 AM ]
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In response to the advance of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as the seasonal flu, Saint Mary Parish is following the guidance set forth by the Archdiocese of Chicago, especially regarding our liturgical celebrations as we gather in church. Until further notice we will:

  • Refrain from physical contact during the Sign of Peace (note: the Sign of Peace can be exchanged without physical contact with a wave of the hand, nod of the head, simply speaking the words, “Peace be with you.”)

  • Refrain from distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion via the chalice.

  • Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva and breath in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, each individual is asked to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being out of consideration of our Ministers of Communion.

  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Refrain from using Holy Water fonts.

  • Refrain from general shaking of hands in greeting each other. As you arrive and leave church, please just say “hello” and wave to the priests/deacons rather than seeking to shake their hands.

  • Ministers of the Eucharist will sanitize their hands in the church sacristy with an alcohol based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.

  • If YOU are sick or are experiencing symptoms of sickness, you are not obliged to attend Mass and even out of Christian charity towards others you ought not to attend in order to prevent the spread of germs. The teaching of the Church allows for you to miss Mass – Catechism 2181 allows for reasons like illness.

It may sound and feel like we are creating an “antiseptic” atmosphere and these guidelines may alter some of our habits and preferences. But please consider this a time to actually watch out for one another, to care enough for each other to not spread germs.

Lent is a time of thinking beyond ourselves, a time of thinking of others and their well-being even ahead of ourselves. The Lord sacrificed his life for us that we may have life; this is a time for us to make some small sacrifices in our habits so all in our community may not be anxious about being at Church.

I thank you for your understanding during these times. Let’s hold each other and our world in prayer.

God’s Peace, 
Father Dan