Holy Infant Coronavirus “Reopening” Update
Blessings to all the Holy Infant Family. We pray that everyone is safe and healthy and ask the Lord’s grace, peace and love be with you all.
We began a “soft reopening” of Holy Infant in late May with the start of a single weekend mass at 10:00 AM each Sunday. The number of parishioners attending that mass has steadily increased the past few weeks as summer is almost over and the reopening team feels we can manage the addition of one more mass on the weekend to provide our Holy Infant family more opportunity to return to mass if they are comfortable.
Returning to a full set of church activities right now is still not practical and starting the weekend of September 19-20, the weekly mass times will be 5 PM Saturday, 10 AM Sunday and a single weekday mass at 8:30 AM each Wednesday (beginning September 23). The Sunday 10 AM mass will continue to be livestreamed on YouTube for the foreseeable future.
To allow mass on back-to-back days (i.e. Saturday at 5 PM and Sunday at 10 AM), we need to disinfect the sanctuary, entrance halls and restrooms after the Saturday evening mass. To accomplish that task, Holy Infant has purchased equipment and disinfecting chemicals and have a team in place to perform the disinfecting, if necessary, after each service in the church. Our initial approach will be to disinfect just after the 5 PM Saturday evening mass, so there are no risks for entering the church on Sunday morning for the 10 AM Mass.
Group meetings in the church on a regular basis will continue to be on hold until further notice to hopefully keep the facilities virus free for weekend masses. To support our disinfecting process, we continue to ask that you not enter the church complex for any purpose during the week. Please try and limit any access to the church complex, for purposes other than attending mass, to just after the Sunday 10 AM Mass or the Wednesday 8:30 AM Mass times. If it is essential to enter the church at other than those times, that access needs to be done through the Office doors and not through the main doors so that Church Staff are aware of that entry. Again, we must try to eliminate, as much as possible, all traffic in the church building during the week.
As we continue this “soft reopening” approach at Holy Infant, here is some other information that will assist you. These changes in Mass practices and facility uses will be in place until further notice. Please do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions or concerns about these changes or any other questions you have about the church.
- Starting the weekend of September 19-20, the weekly mass times will be 5 PM Saturday, 10 AM Sunday and a single weekday mass at 8:30 AM each Wednesday (beginning September 23).
- We strongly encourage the use of a face covering while attending mass.
- Only every other pew will be available to be occupied and will be marked accordingly with signs indicating “Sit Here” or “Do Not Sit Here”. Families may sit together but should stay six (6) feet apart from others in the same pew. Please move to the center of the pew so others will not have to cross over you for seating
- Missalettes and hymnals have been removed.
- The Cry Room and Nursery will be closed.
- Holy water fonts will remain empty for now. Contact the church office if you would like holy water for private use.
- There will be collection boxes located at each entrance for your offertory contributions. Collection baskets will not be passed among the pews at the Offertory.
- The physical exchange of the sign of peace will be modified to include a simple bow, hand wave or other non-contact option.
- Distribution of the Eucharist will be by host only and communicants are strongly encouraged to take communion in the hand rather than by mouth. The Eucharist will be distributed in the pews utilizing the empty rows, rather than from the altar. Gloves should not be worn to receive Communion.
- After Mass, the Ministers of Hospitality will initiate an orderly exit starting from the rear of the Sanctuary to the front. Parishioners will be asked to exit the Church and not congregate in the gathering space to maintain proper social distancing.
- Bishop Raica has extended the dispensation for the obligation to attend mass on Sundays and Holy Days through Sunday, November 22, 2020 (the last Sunday of the liturgical year).
Where Help is Needed
- Additional volunteers are needed for the Ministers of Hospitality (contact Vic Graffeo at 205-999-9991). Younger parishioners (High school senior or older) are especially encouraged to consider volunteering for this activity.