May 31 2020 – Message from the Pastor
Sunday Masses (for everyone, with a full/regular weekend schedule of Masses) beginning again on June 13, 14! Daily Mass begins again on June 8.
The birthday – and upcoming rebirth- of the Church!
Pentecost is the great feast of the Holy Spirit and of the birthday of the church. We rejoice that the Lord Jesus has risen from the dead and has ascended to the Father, and has sent the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, and upon all those who believe and open their hearts to God’s love and mercy. As the Catholic community of believers here in Clairemont, we have been unable to gather around his Body and his Word for two and a half months. But now Bishop McElroy has declared that we can begin to meet again for the Mass on the weekend of June 13th and 14th, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, a very fitting time, since the Eucharist is truly the center of our faith.
However, due to the coronavirus there is a need for a rebirth in the church: a rebirth in the way that we do things, to promote proper hygiene and social distancing, while offering a dignified liturgy. There are going to be some adjustments; things are not going to be the way they were before. There will be, as they call it, “a new normal”.
To promote proper hygiene:
· the church will be cleaned daily;
· the pews will handrails on the pews will be wiped down with disinfectant between each of the Masses;
· the holy water fonts have been emptied;
· missalettes, song books, and envelopes have been removed from the pews.
· We ask you not to touch the tabernacle or other holy images or places in the church.
· Anyone who has any symptoms of coronavirus or any illness, should stay home. In addition those who are weakened by age and those who have a particular medical condition that makes them especially vulnerable are encouraged to stay home. Bishop McElroy has dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass until further notice/until the crisis subsides.
To maintain social distancing:
· People coming to church will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering; only the priest celebrant will be able to take off his mask during Mass (but put it back on while giving out Communion). Also the Lector can take of his/;her mask while at the ambo, and so with the cantor. Before coming to church you should wash your hands. In addition, hand sanitizer will be available for use in the church. Be sure to use it or wash your hands in the restrooms, as needed.
· We will have to minimize the number of people allowed in the church at one time. The Governor of California has decreed that only 100 people can be in the church at one time. (We were planning to seat 150 and still be within the with social distancing rules. Hopefully that rule will be relaxed by the time we start Mass on June 13, 14.)
· Some pews will be blocked off; the others will be marked every six feet, or rather every eight feet so people can sit next to the tape-marker and the next person will still be six feet away.
· There may be a line to get into the church, like at the grocery stores or other businesses nowadays: first-come first-serve! So don’t get here late. Be sure to get here early. If necessary, we will also have overflow seating in the hall, so those in the hall can watch the Mass on the TV screen at the same time the Mass is celebrated in the church. The Holy Communion would then be distributed in the hall at the appointed time.
· To further assist in mitigating the number of people attending Mass at one time, Bishop McElroy suggests some of the people might to fulfill their Sunday duty by coming to one of the Masses during the week, instead of on Sunday.
· We will have it set up so people only enter through the main door of the church, not through the side door, to minimize cross-traffic and to control how many people enter at one time.
· The music will be reduced, to minimize the amount of time we all remain in the church under close quarters. There will be no choir (too many people being too close together), only the cantor and an instrumentalist.
· The congregation should not join in the singing, to prevent the danger of spreading the virus through our projected voices, as required for singing. The Gloria will be recited; the homily may be shortened.
· As the bishop mandates, we will install collection boxes by the entrances of the church, so people can put their donation there when they come in or leave, rather than have the ushers pass the baskets through the pews. We may also use baskets attached to poles, to collect donations, at least from those near the ends of the pews. (We found some old ones in the ushers room, hanging on the wall!)
· We also encourage online donations, or mailing in your donation to the church, as many of you are already doing, and we thank you for that.
· There will be no procession of gifts; everything needed for the Mass will be by the altar, and minimum or no interaction (no close contact) between the altar server and the priest.
· The sign of peace will be omitted: no hand or body touching.
· When you come to Communion, there will be changes. First off, we will only have one line in each aisle (using the same aisles as before) and markers on the floor, to assist in maintain social distancing.
· We will not be able to give Communion on the tongue, only in the hand.
· We will also not be able to offer Communion of the cup, i.e., the Precious Blood, to the people; only the priest will receive from the chalice.
· People will have to wear their masks when coming to Communion, take the host, step aside, and lift their mask slightly to consume the Host. There may be some way, perhaps an elongated spoon, to help keep the required distance while giving out the Eucharist.
· We may alternately give out Communion from behind a plastic shield, so one can take off the mask before approaching the Minister, thus making it easier to consume the Host.
· Bishop McElroy says we should give the Communion after the final blessing; people may leave right away, or go back to their seats, for a moment if silent reflection, and depart when ready.
· The Ministry of Communion to the homebound is currently suspended. We will have pyxes available for family members to take Communion to their relatives.
· The bulletins will be available on the tables, as usual, but the ushers should not be handing them out.
· After Mass there will be no opportunities for social gathering, i.e., no coffee and donuts, no pancake breakfast. There will also be no Liturgy of the Word for Children during Mass.
While all these adjustments may be unsettling to many of our faithful, since we all value our Catholic traditions, and our personal traditions and devotions, we have to do what we can to protect the health of all of our people, to respect our government’s guidelines, and also foster a reverent and prayerful gathering as the People of God.
Hopefully, when things settle down, we can eliminate some of these guidelines, to allow a more fluid celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. May the Holy Spirit guide us in courage, wisdom, love, and joyful hope as we prepare to gather again in the name of Christ our Lord!
Stay Close to the Shepherd through Flocknotes
Being an active member of our parish keeps you close to Jesus by keeping you close to his shepherds, the priests, and the flock. You can sign up for Flocknotes, a social medium by which we send you periodic messages by email (or by text, but text only allows a very short message, so email is better.) Go to www.flocknote.com and enter our church name or our zip code – 92111, select our church when listed. Then enter your name, mobile phone number, and email.
Sunday Mass will be live-streamed from St. Catherine Labouré at 9:30 AM in English and 1:00 PM in Spanish, every Sunday until the Pandemic subsides. Find us on Facebook.live https://www.facebook.com/saintcatherinelaboure/or go to our website and click on “Live Stream. Please be sure to click “like” on the page.
Daily Mass on Facebook-live I will be celebrating daily Mass (Monday – Friday 8:00 AM) in my house, and posting it on facebook-live.
Confessions (Sacrament of Reconciliation) is available on Saturdays at 4:00 PM (in the main church, by cry room) or by appointment.
Don’t forget your financial donation to support the parish, as our expenses continue. Consider an online donation at our website: www.stcatherinelaboure.net – click on the online-giving link. You can also mail in your donation; or put it in the office mail slot. Thank-you for your support.
See News Postings on the website.
Pentecostés celebra el nacimiento de la iglesia. En 13, 14 de junio, cuando la iglesia abre de nuevo, después de tres meses sin la misa pública, , vamos a celebrar con un renacimiento. Pero va a estar diferente, no como antes.
Hay que llevar una máscara para entretener en la iglesia; hay que mantener la distancia de seis pies entre otros personas ( si no sin del misma casa). Solo 100 personas en la iglesia por misa. Otros van en el salón, sí hay espacio. Hay que tomar Comunión en la mano, no por lengua.
Por otros cambios, ves nuestro sitio de web, en News postings (noticias).