There will be two Masses on Pentecost Sunday; 8:30am and 6:00pm. Both Masses will be celebrated outside the Church. Holy Communion at the door of the Church.
Guidelines and Protocols for Reopening of OLOL Parish.
Yesterday the good news was passed on to you that God Willing, OLOL Parish will be reopened on Pentecost Sunday, May 31,2020.
May Jesus be Praised! Below are the Guidelines and Protocols put in place to ensure that Parishioners and All Visitors coming to Our Lady of Lourdes Church/Grounds are to a reasonable extent safe: They are plain and straightforward for love of each an every one of you. They are as follows:
Notification will be sent that the Sunday Mass dispensation remains suspended indefinitely for all persons in or visiting the Tucson Diocese. This notice will include: those in the vulnerable classification, 65+, or chronic health condition. These individuals are strongly urged to stay home. Parishioners who in any way feel ill are urged, in the strongest sense, to remain at home and not come onto parish property.
A note will be posted on the church website and at the entrance to the church to remind parishioners that there is an inherent risk, regardless of age or health, in attending any public event, this includes religious services. While we are working diligently to reduce the risk, there are no risk-free situations. A parishioner’s presence at a public event constitutes his or her understanding and acceptance of this essential level of risk.
The use of a mask is strongly recommended. Using a mask is a sign of our desire to do our part in helping to prevent others from spreading germs. In the words of Bishop Weisenberger, “the use of a mask is an especially strong sign of your support for your priests and ministers.”
A separate mass for the elderly and medically fragile will be considered upon determination of need for this parish.
Communion will be given in the hand only. Communion will be given outside the front door of the church as people depart from mass after the Final Blessing. The ushers will assure social distancing as parishioners exit the church. Social distancing will also be maintained while receiving Holy Communion. A mark will be made on the concrete to indicate appropriate social distancing to mitigate risk of contagion to Father. Those not receiving communion may exit the church in a separate line. Volunteers will be available to provide any assistance/guidance needed by Father or any parishioner. There will be a small table with Hand Sanitizer, water and a towel to cleanse the Priest’s hands as needed (after every few people.) At this point in time, Father will be the only one distributing the Eucharist.
A basket will be available at the entrance of the church for the Collection. Two Ushers will be responsible for processing the collection while wearing appropriate PPE – place the offerings into plastic bags, seal them, and place them in the safe. (No one will handle the collection offerings with bare hands, to include those processing the collection prior to banking.)
The Environment varies between indoor and outdoor services. Outdoor services, therefore, are fairly easy to prepare and clean. The lawn will be partitioned into 6 foot squares for individuals and slightly larger squares for family groups. The folding chairs will be cleaned after use with an appropriate disinfecting solution (of bleach and water) and allowed to dry the appropriate amount of time. Stair rails and benches that are used will be disinfected as well. Any items that come in contact with parishioners will be sanitized before first use and after each successive use. No written material will be utilized for an indefinite period.
Indoor Services will require more preparation and cleansing. Touchless hand services are in the process of being procured and will be mounted at the entrance/exit of the church. All paper materials have been removed from the church pew pockets, as well as pamphlets and flyers in display racks. Music and songbooks have been removed in coordination with the suspension of singing hymns. The cushions have been removed from the pews and stored. Holy water fonts have been emptied. The ushers will assist in the maintenance of social distancing as people enter the church. Every other pew has been taped off to allow for our max capacity of 51 parishioners (25% of normal capacity). The pew design lends to a natural segmentation for seating, with 3 segments on
each pew. Each section will allow for one individual or a family can use more than one section. The ushers will be trained and assisted by additional volunteers in assisting parishioners to maintain social distancing. To encourage ventilation, as well as maintaining our specific capacity level, we will close the wrought iron doors when capacity has been reached. A sign will be placed on the doors indicating that the church is full and letting those unable to attend “this” mass know when the next opportunity to attend mass will occur. A volunteer will be in attendance of these doors to address any questions or concerns. Pews, kneelers and pew pockets will be cleaned after each mass. Doorknobs, handles and surfaces will also be disinfected.
· Church linens are diligently cleaned and sanitized by trained volunteers who follow the instructions provided by the diocese.
· Janitorial staff and/or volunteers will be trained in CDC guidelines and proper usage of appropriate proper wearing of PPE. Disinfecting cleaning solutions that meet EPA standards for mitigating COVID-19. Bathrooms will be cleaned after each event using EPA approved disinfecting liquids and cleansers. The floors in the church are carpeted and will be sprayed with an aerosol disinfectant after each mass.
· Air circulation is critical. The AC will be turned on several hours prior to a mass, and allowed to run for several more hours in order to exchange the air in the church effectively. The doors will remain open when the church is occupied to increase air exchange and minimize accumulation of germs.
· Extended mass schedule has been considered. We will increase our masses from three to four at this time, with a mass on Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and on Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. This will allow the parish community to take advantage of the cooler times of the day for outdoor masses.
I pray that we take these Guidelines and Protocols very seriously. That will be a sign of Love and respect for one another
Fr. Martin Atanga.