Letter on Reopening the Church

We will reopen the weekend of May 30 – 31st beginning with the Saturday 4:30 pm Mass.

5/18/20

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We finally have great news indicating that we are ready to open back up! While we enjoy this news and it is very important for us to gather again in prayer, please understand that we must exercise caution and the most vulnerable should not be attending Mass during this time. The obligation is still lifted for these people. However, we are allowed to gather as a community of faith once again, which is great.

We will follow the protocols in phase I of reopening. The steps we will take is to block off every other pew, and there will be space available for people to maintain social distancing while receiving communion. You will be able to receive communion after Mass while maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask. Once you receive, please exit the Church. During the early phases of opening, the sacristy will be a place for the priest and deacon to prepare for Mass. Parishioners will not be admitted back there. Sacristans, Eucharistic ministers and altar servers will not be used until we move into further phases of reopening. Lectors can practice the readings put on the pulpit by the priest or deacon. Also, ONLY the priest or deacon will distribute communion during this time. As we move into later phases of reopening, these guidelines will be further examined.

Here are The previous diocesan restrictions and state guidelines
  • Omission of the Sign of Peace
  • No communion by the cup
  • Communion in the hand only
  • Holy Water fonts to remain empty and covered
  • Social distancing (6ft minimum) to be abided by at all times
  • Masks will be required

I am confident that if we are willing to make these minor adjustments, we will be able to worship together as a community while ensuring the health and safety of all present. The biggest obstacle as I see it is, WE NEED YOUR HELP! After every mass, the pews and commonly touched surfaces will have to be disinfected. If you are able and willing, we would like to ask you to volunteer after a mass. We need volunteers to disinfect for every liturgical function in the Church. Please sign up with our secretary Ann Fabrycki. You can call her at the office (733-5823, ext. 113) or email her at: annfholyname@gmail.com. Our reopening is conditional to our ability to abide by these guidelines.

It will be great to finally gather and worship with you once again. You have been in my prayers daily and I look forward to seeing you. Our reopening will take place on Pentecost or sooner if we have a quick response. God Bless you.

Sincerely yours,

Fr. David Aufiero

All Masses/Activities Cancelled

In response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has issued the following directives regarding parishes and Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Springfield:

COVID-19 Updated Diocesan Directives

Based on the current situation as well as the statements made today by Gov. Baker and the president, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski has issued these updated directives:

1) All Masses and other activities are suspended in all parishes until further notice. I would strongly urge parishioners to view our televised Mass, the “Chalice of Salvation,” which airs in Berkshire County at 6 a.m. Sunday on WXXA, Fox23 Albany; and elsewhere on WWLP-22News Sunday morning at 10 a.m. And there will be two livestreamed Masses, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m., via a link at Www.stagnescc.com.

2) The only exception for parish-based activities would be Take & Eat programs, which may continue at the discretion of the pastor.

3) All pastoral in-home and nursing home visits are to be discontinued unless the individual is in critical condition.

4) Catholic schools will close for two weeks.

5) In light of these circumstances, the planned ACA (Annual Catholic Appeal) In-Pew Commitment Weekend will be rescheduled to weekend of April 18/19 2020.

6) Working with risk management and environmental consultants, we are developing a comprehensive response plan to help guide us in the coming days, weeks and months.

IMPORTANT EDITOR’S NOTE: In light of the directives noted above, Bishop Rozanski has excused all Catholics of the obligation to attend Mass as long as these measures are in effect.