Following the Wisconsin State Supreme Court’s verdict against the extension of the “Safer at Home” order of Governor Evers, Bishop William Callahan has opened the door for public celebration of the Sunday Mass. However, he has given us some guidelines to be observed as safety measures. As per these guidelines, only 25% of the occupancy in the Church is allowed, along with social distance of 6 feet between persons.
On Monday, May 18th, I called for an urgent meeting of the Pastoral Council with Ben Gebeau, the Chairperson of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and held a consultation with them in order to implement these guidelines. After consultation, I would like to bring to your kind attention the following regulations to be observed, when you come for Sunday Mass:
- Please leave the first two pews on both the sides for the seniors and those on wheel-chair.
- Families with children as one unit will be seated on St. Joseph’s side of the church. The first arrived family is to occupy the first pew from one end. Leaving the next pew free, the second family is to occupy from the other end of the pew. This model is to be repeated occupying every other pew (3rd, 5th, 7th etc.).
- Couples and Individuals/single parents will occupy on Blessed Virgin Mary’s side of the church. The seating will be as follows: 3rd pew to be occupied in the middle of the pew; the 4th pew to be occupied at both ends; the 5th pew to be occupied in the middle; 6th pew to be occupied at both ends. This model needs to be followed to maintain 6 feet social distance.
Review the seating chart below to visualize.
- In order to regulate the number within 25% of occupancy (that is 160 persons), those who come for the Sunday Mass are kindly asked to register the number of persons, indicating which of the three Masses you would be participating. The web-link for registration is given on the Parish web-page and on the Parish Facebook page. If you do not know how to register, just call the Parish office, the staff will register your name. This arrangement is made, not to disappoint anyone, if the number is unexpectedly above 160 persons.
- You are kindly asked to enter only through the Faustina room. The Ushers, with mask and hand gloves, will open the door for you to reduce the need to touch handles. The ushers will greet and count those who enter, in order to ensure limiting the number within 160 persons.
- At the end of the Mass you are free to leave through any exit.
- Distribution of the Holy Eucharist
- Only the presiding priest and the deacon are allowed to distribute the Holy Communion after sanitizing the hands.
- The faithful are asked to come in a single line keeping the distance of 6 feet. I will distribute at the front of the altar and Deacon Ray Heitzinger will first distribute to those on wheel-chair and the physically challenged. Then he will begin distributing at the back.
- Ushers will help regulating the line
- There will be no offertory procession
- Passing of baskets for collecting the Offerings is not allowed.
- Parishioners and Visitors are kindly asked to drop their envelopes and monetary offering in the basket kept at the entry point to the Church or into the boxes in front and at the back. One of the Ushers, with gloves on, will collect the offering and bring the basket to place it at the foot of the altar. This arrangement is to avoid many hands touching the basket.
- Bulletins and Missalettes
- We are asked strictly not to keep the Missalettes in the pew-holders, to avoid many hands touching the same book. Hence, I suggest that each family can take one Missalette home and use the same as your personal copy, when you come for Mass.
- We are also printing the songs in the weekly bulletin so that as you enter the Church, you could grab one and use it to sing with the cantors.
- I will resume hearing confessions from Tuesday to Friday at 7:15 a.m. and on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. with protective shield in the confessional room. You are welcome to make use of it to receive the Sacrament
7. Mass Signup
Due to seating limits in the church, we are asking you to please register for the Mass you will attend. We have the church divided into two seating areas so that we can include as many people as possible. Please select the link for a small group (1 or 2) or a larger group (3 or more). There you will be able to select the Mass you want. Tell us how many people are in your group. For quantity select 1.
Looking forward to seeing you soon in the Church
Fr. Arul Joseph V.
Any questions about returning to mass please call the parish office. Otherwise please review the following Questions and Answers to the Guidelines provided by the diocese.QA-for-Guidelines-to-Return-to-Mass