Letter From Fr. Max – St. Mary joyfully welcomes you back to Mass!

Registration for Masses this weekend, July 11th and 12th, will open Tuesday, July 7th at 10am. Please read the letter first and then you will find the link to register at the bottom of this page.

 

Dear Friends in Christ:

We are so happy and eager to welcome you back to the public celebration of Mass.  This has been a long time coming, and we are overjoyed at the prospect of once again being gathered around Christ’s altar in our beautiful St. Mary church with you.  We are resuming our regular weekend Mass schedule on the evening of Saturday, June 13th with the 5:00 Mass.  Mass times thereafter will be: Daily Masses on Monday through Saturday at 8:00 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday only at 12:00 Noon.  And Weekend Masses on Saturday at 5:00 p.m., and Sunday at 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30 a.m., 12:00 Noon, and 5:00 p.m.

The Bishop is continuing the suspension of your obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  We also strongly encourage anyone who is 70 or older, or with medical conditions, to not attend Mass at this time. 

Of course, if you or anyone in your household are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (shortness of breath, fever, or cough) you must not attend.  We will continue to live-stream the Sunday morning 7:30 Mass, and post it on-line for those who would like to participate later.

We have been carefully preparing new procedures with the guidance of the Diocese and the state to ensure the safety of all our parishioners.  With that being said, there is always some risk involved when attending public functions.  You will notice some changes as you return to St. Mary for Mass; and we ask that you respectfully follow those changes while here.  Below are the new procedures and protocols you will see.  Please read them completely and carefully.  (You will also find a copy of these procedures on our parish website.)

During this initial phase of our Diocesan reopening, we are limited to a maximum of 30% of our seating capacity.  Allowing for the necessary six-foot social distancing, that means we will be able to seat 300 people for Mass for the time being.  (There will be a maximum of 20 handicap/special needs seats available in the narthex for each Mass.)

 

Reservations for Sunday Masses

  • Because it will be impossible to accommodate all of our parishioners for Sunday Masses, we are asking parishioners to reserve their seat on-line each weekend. Please go to our parish website (stmaryhuntley.org) in order to do so, and follow the prompts from our home-page.
  • You may also watch the “How To” video on our website to get familiar with the reservation process.
  • Reservations will open up for weekend Masses at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Please print out your reservation confirmation and bring it with you to Mass!  Reservations will close at Noon on Saturday.
  • Technical support to assist with on-line reservations is available by calling 847-669-3137 x111, or sending an email to registration@stmaryhuntley.org. If you do not have access to the internet at home, you may also have another family member or friend make your reservation for you from their computer.
  • Reservations will not be available over the phone.
  • Parishioners will not be able to attend Sunday Mass two weekends in a row during the beginning of our Diocesan reopening, in order to allow as many families as possible the opportunity to attend Mass.
  • Those who show up without a seat reservation will be placed in a standby line and will be seated only if our capacity is not met due to “no shows.” If you have a seat, please be on time, or your seat may be given away! 
  • Seat reservations apply only to Sunday Masses and the Saturday Vigil Mass. Daily Masses will be on a first-come, first-served basis, until the church capacity is reached.  Given that we can accommodate 300 for Mass, we do not anticipate having to turn anyone away for daily Mass.

 

Arrival and Seating for Sunday Masses

  • Please arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to the start of Mass, and put on your face mask as you exit your car. You will keep your mask on the entire time until returning to your car, with the exception of receiving Holy Communion.
  • Enter only through the Ministry Center doors. (The Main Church doors will be “exit only.”)
  • You will be greeted at the Ministry Center doors by a Staff assistant. Please give them your printed reservation confirmation.  If you do not have a reserved seat, they will show you to the “stand-by” line.
  • Please maintain six-foot social distancing at all times with people not from your own household, and use the provided hand sanitizer before entering the church.
  • When it is time to enter the church, Staff assistants will show you to your seat. We will begin seating from the front of the church, moving toward the back.  Please note that you may not be able to sit in your “usual” seat or pew for Mass.  Thank you for your understanding.
  • Every other pew will be closed, and the available pews will have markers every six feet to assist you. Household members, of course, do not have to observe that distancing with one another in the pew.

 

Temporary Changes for Sunday and Daily Masses

  • The “sign of peace” will be temporarily suspended, and you are kindly asked to not hold hands during the Our Father, even with members of your own household.
  • There will be no holy water in the fonts by the church doors, or hymnals in the pews.
  • We will not pass the collection basket. Instead, you will be able to drop your donation in baskets by the doors as you exit.
  • Singing will be limited in order to minimize the spread of germs through the air.
  • Holy Communion will only be distributed by the priests and deacons. The Staff assistants will dismiss you from your pew for Communion.  Please maintain proper social distancing in the Communion line with people from outside your household.
  • You may remove your face mask as you come forward for Communion. For now, at the direction of the Bishops, we will only be able to distribute Holy Communion on the hand.  After you consume, please put your face mask back in place.
  • Please also note that no gloves will be permitted as you receive Holy Communion.
  • Altar Servers, ushers, and EMHC’s will not be needed for the time being.
  • At the end of Mass, please wait for a Staff assistant to dismiss you from your pew; and please do not congregate in the narthex or parking lot, but return to your car in a timely fashion, to allow us time to prepare for the next Mass.
  • Unfortunately, the priests and deacons will not be able to greet you in the narthex after Mass for the same reason.
  • You will exit only through the Main church doors.

 

Sanitation and Safety Precautions

  • Only the narthex restroom will be open for use. Children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent to make sure they properly wash their hands.
  • Parish Staff will clean and sanitize the church and common areas after each Mass.
  • Please do not bring any sanitizing supplies or wipes with you that contain bleach, as they will damage the wood of the pews and other items.

 

Arrival and Seating for Daily Masses Only

  • Reservations are not required for daily Masses.
  • The church doors will be unlocked 20 minutes before the scheduled Mass time.
  • A Staff assistant will greet you at the Main doors of the Church.
  • You will also exit through the Main Church doors at the end of Mass. Please do not linger in the narthex, but return directly to your car.
  • Staff assistants will help to guide you to your seat, usher you for Communion, and dismiss you by row at the end of Mass.
  • All other “Temporary changes” listed earlier will apply.

We know that these changes will take some time to get used to, and will require adjustments and flexibility from all of us.  And we understand that some people may prefer to continue worshipping at home due to the new procedures and protocols, and that is o.k. too!  Our hope is that many of these changes will no longer be necessary when we move into the State’s fifth and final phase for reopening.  In the meantime, we deeply appreciate your patience and cooperation as we all try to do our part to keep everyone safe and healthy at Mass at St. Mary.  We can’t wait to see you and to celebrate with you in person!  Please be assured of our continued prayers for you and your loved ones.  And let us all continue to pray for an end to the pandemic, and for safety for all.  God bless you and keep you always!

 

In Christ,

Fr. Max

 

Click the link below to register:

https://stmaryhuntley.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/466000

 

The following video will walk you through how registration online works: