Dear Parishioners, June 5, 2020
Welcome back to your spiritual home (St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Beaverlodge, St. Patrick’s Church Rio –Grande, and St Edmund’s Church, Hythe). I pray that you remain healthy and safe in these unprecedented times. We are happy to gather as a praying community and look forward to seeing you returning to our spiritual home.
While we are now permitted to celebrate, there are significant restrictions and conditions that must be met for each mass that is celebrated during this initial “re-launch”. We have completed the necessary preparations as directed by the Archbishop, and we have a team of volunteers to assist us during all the Masses.
St. Mary’s parish has begun celebrating public Masses from Monday, June 1 at 9:00 A.M. We are allowed to have a maximum of 50 people in attendance and communion will be distributed. As we are still in a pandemic situation, we are carefully following directives from Alberta Health to ensure the safety of all. We have a few instructions before you come to Mass:
- The doors to the church will open 30 minutes before the beginning of Mass
- Before you enter you will be greeted and asked the COVID- 19 screening questions, along with your name and telephone number for the purposes of contact tracing. The information will be held by the parish for two weeks, and will be available to Alberta Health Services if requested.
- Please make sure you arrive early as the doors will be locked once Mass begins.
- You need to wear a mask to receive communion. You are required to wear your mask before you enter the communion line.
If you are over the age of 65 or your health is compromised in any way, we remind you that you should not feel obligated to attend Mass. During this time of pandemic our Archbishop has dispensed everyone from their Sunday obligation of Mass. We will continue to offer Sunday Mass through Facebook and our Youtube channel, so please stay home and participate in our live stream Mass if you feel sick, have a chronic medical condition, especially if you are over 65, or if you are uncomfortable returning to church at this time.
I want to remind you that these guidelines are vitally important to respect, but they are also temporary. As we experience public Masses in this way, there will most likely be further changes and alterations. We will review our protocols regularly and adapt as needed.
It is also our wish that we are able to stay connected with our parish and be able to communicate with parishioners in a timely fashion. Thank you so much for your continued patience and sacrifice; I look forward to sharing the Eucharist with you again.
With prayers and blessings
Yours in the Lord
Father Michael Dias
Restrictions & Protocols:
When you arrive at the church you will undergo screening (Covid Questions) and you will be asked to provide your name and phone number
You will be required to sanitize your hands upon entering the church.
Pews and floors have been marked to maintain physical distancing
Ushers will assist with seating
Families may sit together, but otherwise person must maintain a physical distance of 2 meter (6ft) at all times. Children must always remain with their parent
You will be required to wear a mask when approaching to receive Holy Communion, please try to provide your own mask
The Liturgy of the Word for children during Masses will not be held.
No collection is taken during the Mass. Instead, baskets are placed and a donation box near the entrance of the Church which is accessible to everyone.
There can be no socializing before or after Masses inside the church building
Masks for Holy Communion: The guidelines expect those who come to Mass to come with a non-medical face mask. As long as they are keeping 2 meters distance from others in the church (this doesn’t apply to household members living together), they are not obligated to wear the mask during the Mass. However, they must wear a mask to come for Communion. This is because while the priest giving Communion wears a mask to protect the communicant, the communicant must also wear a mask to protect the priest, since at this point, the priest and communicant will be closer together than two meters. This may feel awkward at first, but it is possible to open or totally remove your mask to consume the Sacrament.
Distribution of Holy Communion: For Stage 1 of the reintroduction, the individual attestation at the moment of distribution of Holy Communion (“The Body of Christ, R: Amen”) is eliminated, instead one general pronouncement (“The Body of Christ”) will be made by the priest celebrant and one general response (“Amen”) is to be made by all congregants together before the distribution begins. The Precious Blood will not be distributed at this time. Holy Communion may only be received in the hand. Physical distancing must be maintained during the Communion procession. There will be only one single file Communion line. Members of the same household need not observe physical distancing with one another during the Communion procession.
Capacity limit: In determining how many people may be in the church for Mass, the maximum number is 50, or one-third of our church seating capacity, whichever number is smaller. The original guidelines stated “one-third of the usual attendance”. I met with our parish volunteers and our safety coordinator, and measured pew spaces in the Church to determine the proper number of attendees and the actual places where we may sit. We came to a consensus that we can easily accommodate the 50 maximum for one Mass, and still guarantee physical distancing.
Online process of pre-registration for Sunday Holy Eucharist:
Online registration will begin only from next week (June 8,2020). Various means offered for online Pre-registration.
Call Parish Office (780-354-2415 during office hours) to register you and any other family members attending.
Call Parish Priest: 780-8143471.
Through parish website: www.stmarysbeaverlodge.ca At the bottom of our website page you will find an option “ Pre-register for Sunday Masses” click the button and register your name and contact number. Please Note: The privacy of the registrants will be always respected. The names of the registered attendees will not be accessible or visible to the other attendees. The information in this form will remain private and will only be used for the purpose of COVID – 19 contact tracing should it be required. It will be stored for only two weeks period after the date indicated.
MASS TIMES / PROMOTIONS OF SCHEDULED MASS TIMES
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Beaverlodge: Weekdays Mass: Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 AM
First Saturday of the Month: 9:00 AM
Sunday Mass: 11:00 AM if necessary we may have one more Mass after a gap of 1 ½ / two hours.
Eucharistic Adoration: Fridays immediately after the 9:00 AM Mass.
Rosary for Peace: The CWL invites all to join them in the recitation of the Rosary on every Tuesday after the 9 AM Mass.
SUNDAY’S MONTH OF JUNE: June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28.
St. Patrick’s Church, Rio-Grande: 2nd & 4th Sundays 9:00 am (June 14, June 28)
1st, 3rd, & 5th Sunday Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 7:30 PM (June 6, June 20)
St. Edmund’s Church, Hythe: 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays: 9:00 AM ( June 7, June 21)
2nd and 4th Sundays Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 7:30 PM. ( June 13, June 27) Holy Rosary at 7:00 PM
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Confessions will be heard half an hour before all Masses and anytime upon request.
God Bless. Stay safe.
Know that we pray for you.
Yours in the Lord.
Father Michael Dias