WE CAN NOT OPEN TO PHASE II ON MONDAY, MAY 18 AS PLANNED. PLEASE WATCH CLOSELY FOR UPDATES NEXT WEEK.
(Letter that was mailed on May 13, 2020)
May 13, 2020 Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
Dear St. Pius V Parish Community and Friends,
We are in the midst of the Easter Season, Alleluia! Can we find Easter joy in this time of self-quarantine and social distancing? In this time of pandemic, where is the hope? In our faith, we have great joy because the belief of the risen Lord has great meaning for us. The great hope for us that this is a promise for great things to come. It is an opportunity that we must choose to follow. Let us choose to follow Christ, the light of our lives, our Savior, our Risen Lord.
I thank you all for your kind support and prayers over the past almost 6 years. I received a letter from Archbishop Hebda last week asking that I continue as your pastor for another term. I am glad and honored to be your pastor for another six years.
For many weeks the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been in Phase I of liturgy during the pandemic (no public gatherings, fewer than 10 persons, etc.). Monday, May 18 we are planning to transition to Phase II when more directives take effect:
Our first consideration will be to continue spiritual and physical health of you and those you encounter, especially the most vulnerable: the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
The Obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation continues to be suspended as long as the pandemic continues.
All COVID-19 positive persons, those who are symptomatic, and those living with them,
must stay home.
Persons over age 65 and those with preexisting health conditions should continue to stay home during Phase II and avoid public gatherings, including in church.
Live Streaming the Sunday Masses will continue (weekday Masses will not be live streamed).
Church capacity will be at about 125 (1/3 capacity). Seating is scattered – social distancing rules.
The Mass schedule will be:
Saturday – private Mass at 8:00 am (people welcome to come)
Saturday at 4:00 pm (Confessions at Grotto 3:00)
Sunday at 8:30 am
Monday – private Mass at 8:00 am (people welcome to come)
Tuesday at 8:00 am
Friday at 8:00 am (Confessions at Grotto 7:30 am)
Holy Hour of Adoration 8:30 am – 9:30 am inside church
See “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan” enclosed in this mailing.
Liturgy changes you will see at St. Pius V:
Ministries will not be scheduled. If you would like to lector, arrive 15 minutes before Mass in the sacristy to volunteer. No altar servers. One Eucharistic Minister needed only when Deacon Kevin is not at Mass.
Social distancing protocols – maintaining 6 feet apart from different households.
Communion: We ask that you come up the side aisle and return to your seat via the middle aisle, which is opposite of what was done in the past.
Collection baskets will be placed in the church near the front pews in each section.
Outside doors will be open when entering and exiting church. Lower Level doors will be locked.
Wearing masks at your own will.
Socializing before or after Mass not recommended in the church building.
Come early to pray the rosary (volunteers needed). This may help space the flow of people coming into the church. Stay and pray after Mass, leaving when cleared.
Leave kneelers down when exiting church for sanitizing purposes.
Thank you to all that continue to send your collection envelopes or contribute electronically! When looking at the Financial monthly updates in the bulletin, keep in mind the Year to Date Projection includes preplanning by the Finance Council for a surplus to help keep the church building maintained and the unexpected. The Pandemic is an “unexpected” that was NOT in the plan when calculating the projections, but thankfully the surplus is there if we need it. The final phase of the roof project was scheduled for last Fall, but the rainy weather delayed the project to this Spring (scheduled for the second week in June).
Staff has been cutting hours where possible, but keeping the day to day operations running smoothly. We will be filling the maintenance/custodian position when there is more stability. See the Faith Formation & Youth Ministry programs updates in the enclosed note from Cindy. We look forward to Deacon Kevin joining us again after May 18th for Sunday Mass.
The American Red Cross has asked St. Pius V for use of our lower level for the desperately needed Blood Drive twice now. Thankfully we were able to help, another blood drive today (Wednesday). The next blood drive is scheduled here Tuesday, June 2nd – 1:00-7:00 pm. Make an appointment on-line.
Due to the many concerns of the pandemic, this year’s Archdiocesan Rural Life Sunday Celebration has been cancelled and rescheduled for June 27, 2021 at the Jack & Deb Lorentz farm hosted by our parish.
The feast day of St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers, is Friday, May 15th. Please remember in your prayers on that day especially, farmers and the many others who are engaged in our food and agriculture system - from farm to table - that they be blessed for their generous efforts.
We pray for their protection and safety and God’s blessings on them for their vital work ensuring our food security and the common good. A biography about St. Isidore and other prayer resources and information can be found at www.catholicrurallife.org.
Please keep in mind that dates and times are all subject to change, based on any new directives we are asked to follow. Thank you for your continued support.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Terry Beeson
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
May 18, 2020
It is important to remember how the Coronavirus spread around the world and through our community. This is an extremely contagious virus and we need to take every precaution to prevent its continued spread. Keep in mind that any public place you enter potentially exposes you to this virus. As we come together as one spiritual family, we will be vigilant with our efforts in regards of cleanliness and virus/germ transmission awareness while cautioning that we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed while in our building. The following information should be reviewed by every member of our spiritual family and we ask that you help us implement and enforce these guidelines in order to do our best to keep you and others safe.
We will continue to get updates from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and seek input from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the Minnesota Department of Health websites for the most up to date recommendations and make changes as needed.
The following changes will help facilitate a healthy worship space
- We are cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly.
- The church space and door handles will be sanitized before and after each Mass.
- The holy water fonts will remain empty. You may take a bottle of holy water from the bin by the entrance door.
- Missals and hymnals have been removed. Please feel free to use the Word Among Us booklets that you can take home with you.
- We have hand sanitizer bottles at the entrances. Please feel free to bring your own hand sanitizer.
- If a staff member or any member of their household develops symptoms of Covid19, they will contact the Business Administrator with daily or weekly updates on their health status, depending on the severity of the situation. That staff person will not be allowed to return to the building until 14 days after all symptoms have cleared for themselves or their household.
- If it is determined that a staff person or someone visiting our building has been exposed, we will notify our faith community so you can be aware of possible exposure. We will not provide the name of the individual but the day/time the exposed person last visited the building so others that may have been exposed are aware.
- We have posters in the common areas of our buildings reminding everyone to wash their hands and cover their cough.
- We have purchased additional supplies of tissues and have placed extra tissue boxes throughout the building. Please place used tissues in the trash bins.
- We ask that you follow the seating guidelines and maintain a safe 6 foot distance.
- We ask that you remain spaced 6 feet apart while in the communion line.
- We will exit you by rows starting from the back (and front) of church and ask that you remain 6 feet apart from others as you exit.
- You may stay and pray if you would like by simply kneeling in place at the end of Mass.
- We ask that you leave the kneeler down after Mass when you exit your pew.
- We look forward to resuming fellowship over coffee and donuts when guidelines allow us to restart that safely.
The following guidelines are recommended for all those that attend Mass
or visit and/or work in our building:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- We invite you to let us know if you are sick so we can pray for you while you remain home to recover.
- If you have underlying health risks, we recommend that you stay home until a vaccine for this virus is available.
- Those over age 65 are strongly encouraged not to attend, and anyone showing any symptoms of sickness, or anyone who has a household member who is sick or showing symptoms of sickness, should not come to church.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
- Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow vs. your hand (you can spread germs when touching items after coughing or sneezing into your hand).
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before eating, or after blowing your nose, coughing, and sneezing. If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Consider using a paper towel or tissue to open doors (please dispose of these items properly in the trash)
- Please do not engage in any physical touch when greeting each other. Instead, consider an appropriate non-physical action such as a nod.
- If you become ill within 48 hours of being in our building, please call the parish office and notify us when you were here so we can determine who else may have been exposed.
- Some of you are at very low risk of complications from this virus or other illnesses. Please be mindful and considerate of those around you that may not be.