PARISH OPERATIONS UPDATE JUNE 1, 202007/16/2020
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Francis Xavier,
Considering the Bishop’s Decree, effective today, I wanted to offer a “Parish Operations Update”. This is very lengthy, but you need to be aware of the changes that allow us to open to the best of our abilities! As with family members, I would like to point out three realties that guided my/our interpretation of the directives. First, we may not always agree, but we are called to love. Please remember that as you are reading these directives. They may not be what you want, but they are for the good of everyone. Second, please have patience. Again, resuming our “normal” life will take time. Third, and most importantly, please consider everything you read through the power of Prayer. This is the main and only reason why we are taking such lengths to be safe, healthy, and prudent in the many in-person and virtual options that you will be able to take part of. I know this is LONG, but please read it to the end!
- PRAYER LIFE: PUBLIC MASSES RESUME TODAY. Remember, the Church remains open for Personal Prayer 24 Hours/day. We are continuing many if not all the “remote/virtual” activities (Livestreaming, 24 hours for the Lord, at Home, etc.) However, for us to resume Public Masses, please be aware of the following directives per Diocesan/Local/State/Federal Guidelines as we welcome you back:
For Weekend Masses:
- The Obligation to attend Sunday Masses is suspended indefinitely, meaning, if you do not feel comfortable coming, don’t come.
- We will be continuing the livestreaming of Every Mass on our Facebook and Website pages. (see more information under “Communication” below).
- The maximum number of participants is limited to 1/3 of building capacity allowing every third pew to be used. DO NOT move any tape, barriers, etc. Households can sit together, and multiple households can sit in the same pew, providing the 6 feet social distance rule.
- Access to the Church is through the Main Entrance only as the Gathering Space is Closed. You are welcome to enter the Church 30-20 minutes before Mass begins (to ensure that we have enough time to sanitize the pews). Please do your best fill in from the Front to the Back.
- We have been asked to remove anything from the pews (hymnals, cushions, etc.).
- Currently, there is no use of the Restrooms. This will change eventually, but we do not have the manpower to clean them as often as would be needed. Please plan accordingly. (Also, we like any other Public Building do not need to offer a Public Restroom).
- You must wear a face covering/mask while in the Church and keep proper social distance.
- For the Distribution of Holy Communion: I will explain our flow and logistics at Mass; in short, please keep Mask on until you approach myself, Deacon Ron, or an Extraordinary Minister, receive Communion (preferably on your Hands, do not cup them to minimize us touching you), consume Communion to our left/right, and then replace your covering on your face.
- The Entrance Procession, Gift Procession, Offertory Collection, exchange of the Sign of Peace, Distribution of the Precious Blood, Closing Procession, and placing of Holy Water in Fonts remains suspended.
- We are to keep our Masses very simple and please do not be offended if I do not shake your hand (we are not allowed to).
- The Church Pews will be wiped down after every Mass.
- Regarding Liturgical Ministers: In the coming days we will also be reaching out to our Liturgical Ministers to ask of their comfortability to returning to duty. Please note that there will be no schedules for the Month of June for any minister, at all. We will temporarily be doing sign-ups for these ministries’ week by week in the Sacristy. When exercising your duty (in the Sanctuary only), you are not required to wear your Mask, but we will practice social distance.
- If you do not feel comfortable coming into the Church but are able to access the livestream in your car, you are welcome to stay in the Parking Lot. If you would like to receive Communion, please stay in your car, turn your lights on, and myself/Deacon Ron/or an Extraordinary Minister will come to you to give Holy Communion.
- Regarding our Collection: Please see below details how you can give under “Finances”. If you bring your envelope to Church, there will be a box at the Door to place your offering in as there will be no passing of the basket.
For Weekday Masses/ Personal Visits to the Church: All of the above apply (as applicable) in addition to the request that you continue to sign in/out to ensure security and safety of each other and the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration.
Please know that we will monitor both the seating and scheduling. After two weeks’ time, I will decide to add more Mass(es) if we need to, and if we must go to a reservation system/ticket. Please know, I will make sure we do everything to ensure that you can get to Mass safely every day. In summary regarding Masses, I want you to come back, but please, if you do not feel comfortable; are in the vulnerable category because of health or age; or do not feel well, please stay home. I will communicate non urgent changes to our protocol at the beginning of every Month if needed and on emergency basis. (Please see “communication” below).
Outside of Mass, please note the other Spiritual Offerings that are either virtual (livestream, electronic, etc.) or in person (in the Church).
Adoration: Please join us for Adoration daily beginning at 9am. You are always welcome to stop for a visit, but please think about committing to an hour of Prayer daily or a few times a week as we need committed adorers. The sign-up sheets are at the front of the church (they are not online) by the Altar. The end time changes depending on the day, so please check our Website, Facebook, MyParishApp, and Twitter for the latest schedules.
Confession: We have resumed our regular schedule of Confession on Saturday’s from 4pm-4:40pm. There will also be 1-2 additional opportunities offered weekly as well. Again, check our Facebook, Twitter, ParishPay, Website for the latest schedule. Also, if this schedule does not work for you, feel free to contact me to set up a time!
First Reconciliation, First Penance, and Confirmation: Those Sacraments have been rescheduled, the families notified, and your prayers appreciated.
Baptisms, Funerals, and Weddings: Those Sacraments are taking place with the Diocesan/Local/State/Federal guidelines in place. Please contact the Office to set up a time for any of the above.
Home Visits: These visits (First Friday Visits, Sunday Communion Calls, etc.) can resume, but only myself or Deacon Ron are permitted to make the visits, pending the regulations of the house, nursing home, or living community.
First Friday Visits, to ensure the safety and health of all, we will be temporarily moving the normal First Friday Calls to the First Thursday of the Month. This will allow me to use First Friday to go to the congregational facilities (e.g. nursing homes, independent living, etc.) without bringing any possible germs to our homebound parishioners.
Anointing of the Sick, for Parishioners who are in the Hospital, Nursing Home, or Homebound continue to take place anytime in emergency situations. If you know of someone who needs the Anointing or Confession (in emergency circumstances) please call the Office as you normally would day or night.
24 Hours for the Lord, At Home: Please join us every weekend for this endeavor. All you are asked to do is sign up for an hour (there is a sign-up sheet in the Church, or on our website) that you commit to pray in some way during that hour. You can fulfill this opportunity at home. It could be watching the Mass, Rosary, Scripture, Music, etc.. The hope is from every Saturday at 6pm – Sunday 6pm we are praying. The intention of this “24 hours” is for us, our families, our parish, our world, an end to this pandemic, as well as your own prayers. Please consider joining us as an individual or family. There is more information on our website, facebook page, and bulletin.
Thursday Evening Adoration: We will be resuming Thursday Evening Adoration via Livestream around 8pm and every Thursday thereafter. This Hour is filled with Music, and Prayer. Join Us.
Holy Water: Even though there is no Holy Water in the Church, feel free to bring your own jug, and I will be happy to bless it for you.
Prayer line/Livestream Prayers: In addition to our prayer line that can be used at any time (please check our Bulletin and Website for more information), please feel free to take advantage of the many opportunities on our Social Media and Website pages for Prayer as well. Again, please check them daily!
Again, our Prayer Life is paramount for helping us. There will be other opportunities offered so please check our Website, Facebook Page, Twitter, MyParishapp, and Bulletin DAILY for the latest information. Also, please see the “Spiritual Resources” on our Website and after the end of this Letter for more ways to grow Spiritually.
Regarding the other important areas of our Parish:
- FAITH FORMATION: We are working on registration for the 2020-2021 Year. Please visit our Faith Formation portion of the Website to read the full update as well as download the forms that need to be sent back to the Church Office. PLEASE REMEMBER, IF YOU WERE ALREADY REGISTERED THIS PAST SCHOOL YEAR (2019-2020), YOU DO NOT NEED TO RE-REGISTER, but if any of your contact information has changed, PLEASE LET US KNOW ASAP IN THE OFFICE. We will be sending registration packets to all parishioners with children going to be four years of age by September 2020 to register. If you have not received that packet, please let the office know.
- OFFICE HOURS: We may be resuming regular Office hours on Monday, June 8, however, please call before.
- FOOD PANTRY: We are thankful for the continued support that we all share in this mission of our Community. Please, before you donate, kindly check the Bulletin, Website, Facebook, Twitter Pages for the UP-TO-DATE list of needed. While we appreciate the support, please help us by only donating the specific items that are needed. Also, if you know of anyone in need of food, please contact me or the Church Office as this information is kept confidential and we can give the help that is needed.
- ERRANDS: Please Contact Michelle Curtze at 476-7438 if you need any groceries picked up, errands ran, or anything else that we can do for you. Again, she has her team ready to go, please let us help you!
- FINANCES: Thank you for your continued support. We know this is not an easy time for any of us. Whatever you can give as a gift we will gladly accept. There are three ways you can donate:
- F.T. (Electronic Funds Transfer): Please see the information in our Bulletin and on our Website, how you can securely give online.
- MAIL: Please feel free to Mail your envelopes in.
- CHURCH DROP OFF: There is a box located in the Church marked “Weekly Donations” that you can drop your gift in, or you can drop it by the office during our hours we are open.
Also, the Peter’s Pence Collection has been delayed to October 3-4 from June 27-28. Again, any and all help is appreciated. We continue to cut costs while still maintaining the property and slowly and cautiously moving forward with essential projects. You will soon receive at CSA reminder reminding us to also help our greater Church. There is also information at the end of this letter explain EFT as well.
- FACILITY ACCESS/CLEANING/SECURITY: Please remember that as we continue to resume operations, our facility/property remains restricted to keep us all safe. Even if you have a key, you are NOT PERMITTED to use the Key at any time, without permission. Further, other than the Church and Offices, the rest of the Property remains CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. However, usage of the Parish Center is only being permitted on case-by-case basis pending the guidelines, and availability. However, because of the evolving situation, availability remains restricted and limited. If you would like to book the Parish Center, please call the office regarding possible availability. You may be asking why there are so many restrictions? This allows us to keep the Property Clean and Safe for ALL of us during this time; as we have taken every step possible to keep us clean, safe, secure, and most importantly OPEN.
- The Church is cleaned multiple times per week.
- While in the Church or Office, you must
- Access the Church through the Main Entrance of the Church only. (The Gathering Space is Closed as Offices are accessed through that Entrance only).
- Wear a face covering and social distance.
- MUST SIGN IN/OUT. (This allows for contact tracing in the event of sickness).
- Wipe down your area before you leave.
- Please note that right now there is no access to a Public Restroom.
- WE ARE IN NEED OF HELP WITH CLEANING! PLEASE CONTACT MYSELF OR THE CHURCH OFFICE TO SIGN UP! The Pews need to be wiped down between Masses, and our Regular Cleaning Crew would appreciate help!
Regarding Security: In addition to what is mentioned above regarding Facility Restrictions, we do now have two cameras that help the Property to be secured.
- COMMUNICATION/CONTACT: We hope that you have received a call from a fellow parishioner that has checked in on you on my behalf. While I am doing my absolute best to keep us connected Spiritually through our various media accounts; Michelle Curtze and her team are helping us to stay connected through outreach. Please let her or me know if you have not received a call. Also, as another way of communication, we have begun emailing updates to you. PLEASE LET THE OFFICE AND/OR MICHELLE KNOW WHAT YOUR EMAIL IS SO THAT WE HAVE IT IN THE DATABASE. We do not give your personal information out to third party companies as it is only Michelle’s Team and our Office who have access to this information. Further, please stay up to date by regularly/daily checking our Website (www.stfrancisxaviermckean.org), Facebook Page (St. Francis Xavier, McKean, Pa), Twitter (@SFXMckean), and MyParishApp for the LATEST Further, I know that some of us may not have internet/computer. Please look out for each other and communicate to those who do not have technology any urgent changes. This will be the only bulk mailing sent out to everyone via mail regarding communication, but I will send a monthly update at the beginning of the month, and urgent communication as it happens. Please, if you do not have the internet, etc., let us know in the Office (or let Michelle Curtze know) so we can call you with any urgent information. As you know, this has been an evolving situation.
I know this was a LONG update, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you need anything, have questions or concerns, or other ideas of how we can continue to stay connected during this unprecedented time. Most importantly, know of my continued Prayers!
In the Lord,
Father Jason R. Feigh, Pastor
Aside from the MANY and FREE items on the tables at the entrances of the Church, please feel free to visit the following electronic mediums (please “search” for them in your search bar of choice):
- “3 Minute Retreat” from Loyola Press
- “Laudate” App
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION PRAYER:
(To be said when you may not be able to attend Mass, or in our Case, when you are watching Mass, during Communion time, from www.ewtn.com)
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
We are very cognitive of the dire situation within our country currently. We know that we may not be meeting for some time and that some of you may even be out of work. Please know that you are all in our prayers currently and we are only a phone call away.
That being stated, we will be offering you the opportunity to still contribute to your parish through electronic funds transfer. Simply go to: stfrancisxaviermckean.weshareonline.org and click on the button, donate. You may choose Make a Recurring Donation or One Time Donation. Choose the amount, and how you would like to pay for it, fill in the information, include your contact information and put a checkmark in the I agree box and submit your contribution. Anything you can contribute at this time is greatly appreciated.