Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to share with you some recent news and developments regarding the reopening of our parish.
As you may already know, Archbishop Allen Vigneron has granted permission for parishes to begin resuming the celebration of Mass starting next week. As we open up our church, please know these celebrations will not be exactly what we are used to or expect. Even though the coronavirus curve is flattening, the pandemic is not over. Thus, we must take precautions here at St. Clement that will keep our risk as reduced as possible.
With that being said, certain protocols have been developed to keep everyone safe when we return to public worship. One of the biggest changes here at St. Clement will be in our weekend schedule. Beginning May 30th, St. Clement will celebrate Masses as follows: Saturday (5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (7:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 7:00 p.m. Spanish.). There will be no daily Masses until further notice.
While we are eager to see one another, Archbishop Vigneron has provided necessary guidelines for all of us to follow and practice when entering our church. Such guidelines include:
- The wearing of face-coverings in and around the church;
- The practice of physical and social distancing in the church and on church property;
- The cleaning and sanitizing of parish facilities before and after Mass;
- The limitation of seating to 25% of our church’s capacity;
- The suspension of all non-liturgical gatherings until further notice;
- The strong recommendation that those sick, older than 65, those with compromised immune systems, or those caring for the sick, remain at home; and
- The suspension of the Sunday obligation for all of the faithful until at least Sunday, September 6, 2020.
There will also be some other noticeable changes with the way we celebrate Mass at St. Clement, including limited singing, separate seating arrangements, and the distribution of Holy Communion. As we implement these changes, your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.
As you can imagine, although we have not been together for some time, our operating costs have continued nonetheless. St. Clement has recently implemented a new online giving platform that allows you to contribute via our website, http://www.stclementromeo.org, or cellular phone by texting “stclement” to 77977. You are also welcome to mail in your envelopes as well.
In closing, I would just like to thank you for all your prayers and support during this difficult time. It is my true hope that this experience will make us stronger as a faith community. Together, we shall move through this time of pandemic. And together, we share our Lord’s blessing and love.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Father Stephen C. Reckker, Pastor