May 28, 202005/18/2021
May 28, 2020
Dear Fellow St. Boniface Parishioners,
Our return to public Masses draws near, thank God. I have attached below our tentative parish plan for returning to Mass with this update. Please read it over before coming to public Mass next week. This weekend remains purely online, however, and the livestream can be accessed at the link below. We will also continue to livestream and record Sunday Masses once public Masses resume for those who cannot attend Mass and for those who do not feel comfortable returning to public Mass yet. Each person must make his or her own health decisions for his or her family, and no one should feel pressured to return to public Mass until he or she is ready. Meanwhile, we continue to offer ways for people to stay connected online.
SUNDAY MASS - To join us live, please use the link below:
o Meeting ID: 957 1341 3958
o Password: 2VU5FN!
- GATHERING – Creator Spirit
- SEQUENCE - Come O Holy Spirit
- OFFERTORY – By the Waking of Our Hearts
- COMMUNION – Spirit and Grace
- RECESSIONAL – One Spirit, One Church
MASS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - In his decree permitting public Masses to resume, the bishop has established a number of requirements, one of which is that all commonly contacted surfaces must be wiped down with disinfectant after each Mass. This will require volunteers. Teams of 2 -3 people after each Mass should be able to complete this task in 10-15 minutes. A brief training meeting for this task will be held Tuesday, June 2, at 6:00 PM in the church. If you can help with this, please contact the parish office (825-4439) and let us know.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS - The bishop’s decree also requires changes to our various liturgical ministries.
- EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS - Only priests and deacons are permitted to distribute Communion for now, so Eucharistic Ministers will not be needed until these restrictions are lifted. We thank our ministers for your valuable service and hope to get you back to work soon.
- ALTAR SERVERS - Knowing that not all families will be comfortable returning to Mass right away, we are asking the families of altar servers who do plan to return to Mass beginning June 6-7 to please call the parish office and let us know so that Melanie can make a server schedule. Servers will not be required to wear a face mask while in the sanctuary, but they may if they wish. Thank you to our servers for the great job you do and your willingness to serve.
- READERS - Again understanding that not all readers will return to Mass immediately, we are asking all readers who do plan to return to Mass beginning June 6-7 to please call the parish office and let us know so that Melanie can make a reader schedule. Readers will be required to wear a face mask while in the pews but not while in the sanctuary. Thank you to our readers for your able help as well.
- CHOIR - The bishop’s decree restricts the music and music ministers, so Mercita will be the sole musician/cantor for all Masses for the time being. We thank her and the choir for their great work and hope to have the choir back soon.
PRIESTLY ORDINATION – Despite the current crisis, we have some good news in that Bishop Persico will ordain two men to the priesthood for our diocese Friday, May 29, at 4:00 PM, one of whom is a local boy many of you know, Joe Petrone. While attendance of the Mass is limited to family and a few guests, you can watch the ordination live on the diocesan website www.eriercd.org. Please keep Joe and his classmate, Kevin Holland, in prayer as they begin their priestly ministry.
FAITH FORMATION – Our last video in the “Our Church” series has been posted on our YoutTube, page. We may continue the series at a later date, but it is wrapped up for now. Thanks for checking it out, and please check out any and all the videos you haven’t seen yet. A special note to the families of our First Holy Communion class to please check your email for updates and resources from Mrs. Yaple and Mrs. Srnka regarding the retreat, rehearsal, and First Communion celebration, currently scheduled for June 14 at 12:00 PM.
That’s it for now. The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter, but we still have miles to go. Let’s keep each other in prayer and keep supporting each other through whatever lies ahead, and please let me know if I can help you in any way.
The following lists the specific protocols that we at St. Boniface will put into place until further notice in order to meet the requirements of Bishop Persico’s decree to resume public Masses in the Diocese of Erie. This list includes primarily protocols specific to St. Boniface. For a full list of the bishop’s requirements, please consult his decree.
- When public Masses will resume
- Public Masses will resume Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
- We will follow the regular weekday schedule of 8:00 AM Mass and the regular weekend schedule of 5:00 PM on Saturday and 7:30 & 10:30 AM on Sunday to start. If the number of people at Masses consistently exceeds 100 people (⅓ our church’s capacity), we will need to change the weekend Mass schedule.
- Persons in high risk categories are asked to stay home until these restrictions are lifted. Persons who are not feeling well should stay home at all times.
- Entering the church and seating
- Everyone entering the church will be required to wear a face mask except for persons with a medical condition prohibiting the wearing of face masks. If you do not have a mask, masks will be available at the entrance of the church. Masks must be worn the entire time you are in the church except at the moment you receive Holy Communion or, if you are a liturgical minister, when you are in the sanctuary carrying out your ministry.
- Everyone entering the church will be required to maintain a distance of 6 feet from anyone who is not a family member the entire time you are in the church. This includes in the gathering space and around the entrance of the church. I know we all want to greet each other and catch up after our long absence from church, but we need to suspend that for now. Once the restrictions are lifted, we can have a big group hug, but, until then, please observe the necessary social distance and avoid gathering in the gathering space and around the church entrance.
- Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of the church’s worship space. Everyone is urged to use it when entering the church.
- The bishop’s decree limits Mass attendance to ⅓ the church’s capacity, restricting seating to every third pew. We will block off the other pews. Please do not sit in the blocked off pews. The requirement to observe social distancing also applies to seating, so please stay 6 feet from non-family members when seated. We will set chairs up in the gathering space to provide extra seating and make the necessary distancing easier. This will require most people to sit somewhere other than your usual pew; we appreciate your patience with this burden for the sake of the safety of our fellow parishioners and will get you back to your normal pew as soon as possible.
- During Mass
- Only priests and deacons are permitted to distribute Communion, so Eucharistic Ministers will not be scheduled to help until these restrictions are lifted. Thank you for your service, and we hope to get you back into service soon.
- Receiving Communion in the hand is strongly recommended for all people.
- People will process forward for Communion one pew at a time in a single-file line. People are asked to observe the 6 foot distance between non-family members in the Communion line, marked by tape on the floor. As you approach the minister, Communicants are asked to wash your hands with hand sanitizer, which will be on a table near the front of the Communion line. People should wear face masks until you approach the minister for Communion and resume wearing masks immediately after receiving Communion.
- The restrictions that the bishop put in place prior to suspending public Masses remain in effect, including the suspension of the holy water font, the personal exchange of the sign of peace, and receiving from the cup at Communion.
- As per his decree, we will also remove all hymnals and prayer cards from the pews. People are encouraged to participate in the Mass and hymns as best as able in their absence.
- Until further notice, there will be no collection at Mass. A basket will be placed near the entrance of the worship space where people can place your envelopes as you enter or leave the church. You can also continue to place your envelopes in the secure, black box outside of the entrance of the church, at the church office, and through online giving. As always, thank you so much for your support of our parish, especially in these difficult times.
- Holy Communion
- After Mass
- After the dismissal, people are asked to leave one pew at a time, as you would at a wedding, beginning with the pews closest to the church entrance. People are also asked to continue to observe the 6 foot social distance as you leave and to refrain from gathering after Mass.
- After each Mass, the pews and other frequently contacted surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant.
- Communion for the homebound
- For those who are unable or unwilling to attend public Mass at this time for health reasons, Holy Communion will be made available by private appointment. Please contact the parish office (825-4439) to schedule an appointment. Please note that nursing homes and many senior living facilitates remain closed to the public so we are unable to bring Communion to them at this time.
- If you have a family member who is unable or unwilling to attend public Mass but would like Holy Communion and you have your own pix, you have permission to bring Holy Communion to your homebound family member after Mass. Please simply let Fr. Marc know.
- General Observations
- I know that these changes will require a lot from each of us. I ask that we all show one another the charity that is embodied in the Eucharist we gather to celebrate. Christ gives his life out of love for us, and we come to Mass to experience that love. Let us show that sacrificial love to each other by being patient and understanding with one another, by following these protocols, however burdensome or absurd we may find them, and by putting ourselves, not above others as their judge, but with Christ as the last and servants of all.
- Please also understand that this is uncharted territory for all of us. These protocols are our best effort to make public Mass possible at this time. Should circumstances dictate, we may need to change any or all of these at any time. I appreciate your patience as we move boldly forward together where no St. Boniface parishioners have gone before.