Safety Measures for Returning to Church:
As of Tuesday, June 16th, we will begin to offer public Masses once again in our churches. Given the number of restrictions still in place, Bishop Crosby has extended his dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for those who may feel uncomfortable to attend at this point. Please make your own decision in this regard. Anyone who is feeling sick or who has travelled outside the country in the last 14 days is asked not to come to church. Our weekend Masses will be offered in Owen Sound, Meaford, Chatsworth, and Wiarton. After consulting with parishioners I have decided not to open Tobermory, Lions Head, and Sauble missions at this time. If you live in those regions and would like to attend Sunday Mass, please consider going to either Wiarton or Owen Sound for now.
We will be following the safety protocol while at church, as has been outlined in Bishop Crosby’s letter to parishioners. Here are a few highlights in summary form:
When you arrive at the church doors you will be greeted by one of our ushers who will open the door for you and invite you to sanitize your hands
You’ll be asked to sit in such a way as to respect the social distancing rule of 2 meters. Members of the same household do not have to follow that rule and can sit together.
Wearing safety masks is encouraged, and we will have some available for those who need them.
All printed materials will be removed from the pews: hymnals, Sunday missals, etc. Music will be provided by an instrumentalist and a cantor. Choirs are not permitted.
There will be no lectors or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion during this time. The priest will be the only one in the sanctuary.
When coming up for Holy Communion, social distancing of 2 meters will be observed. One side of the church will come up for Communion, in a single row, and then the other side.
Before reaching the priest the mask will be lowered, and Communion is to be offered without any exchange of words between the priest and the communicant.
Collection is to be placed in the baskets on the way out of church, and there should be no socializing with one another before or after Mass.
Printed bulletins will not be available, instead parishioners will be able to view the bulletin on our website.
Confession will not be offered before or after Mass, but we continue to offer Confession by appointment in a drive-thru format.
I hope that all these steps undertaken by our churches will provide extra protection for our parishioners and their loved ones. Please follow these as best as you can. I hope to see you soon as we return to a somewhat normal church practice.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Wojciech Kuzma