Weekend and Weekday Masses are Back!!
TO: Saint Jerome Parishioners
FROM: Rev. Anthony Coci, Pastor
RE: Gradual Restoration of Public Masses and Liturgies
DATE: May 27, 2020
I pray that you and your family are healthy and well. Now that we are entering into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic with the State of Ohio gradually reopening certain businesses and Bishop Daniel Thomas, in conjunction with the Bishops of Ohio, permitting publicly celebrated Masses and other liturgies starting the weekend of May 30-31, I want to inform you of some new protocols and guidelines at our parish.
Weekend Masses will resume May 30-31, at 4:30pm on Saturday and 8am & 10am on Sunday.
Weekday Masses will resume Tuesday, June 2 at 8:00am and continue every Tuesday-Friday.
Confessions will resume Saturday, May 30 at 3:30pm and every Saturday here forward, also by appointment.
After consultation with the St. Jerome Leadership Team, Parish Council, and the Diocese of Toledo, I have prayerful considered how we as a parish will be moving. Please know that we have made some necessary changes and added certain protocols so as to be in compliance with the State of Ohio and the Diocese of Toledo. This is for your safety and the safety of all who enter our facilities.
Please note, that Bishop Daniel Thomas continues to DISPENSE ALL THE FAITHFUL from their Sunday obligation until further notice. If you are at great risk or could put others at risk please stay home. (cf. Bishop Daniel Thomas’ Urgent Memorandum dated May 8, 2020).
PROPER SOCIAL DISTANCING
Greeters and Ushers will prop the doors open before Mass and close them once Mass has started then they will prop them open at the end of Mass so that people are not touching door handles. There is to be no congregating in the Narthex or church after or before Mass, please do that in the open-air parking lot. Five minutes after the conclusion of Mass, Father Anthony will make himself available for those who wish to talk to him: if the weather is good then he will stand in front of the church and if the weather is inclement then he will stand in the devotional wing.
We are not to exceed 50% of our fire code regulated capacity. In order to be in compliance, we have roped off every-other pew. Please do not sit in these pews. Additionally, we have removed chairs from the devotional wing. This area is firstly for those with special needs (e.g. wheelchairs) and, secondly, it will be utilized for overflow once the main body of the church is filled. Please use your prudent discretion and give priority to those who need to utilize the space. There will be chairs properly spaced in the Narthex for additional seating. We estimate that 7-8 people can fit comfortably in a pew. “Other than family/household members who live together, worshippers should be seated six feet apart in all directions.”
If the church is at capacity, then we will open the Parish Hall where we will stream the Mass on a screen. There will be chairs for proper distancing. You will be able to watch the Mass and at Communion time an EMHC (Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion) will bring you Holy Communion.
Reception of Holy Communion:
- There will be three ministers of Holy Communion (i.e. Father Anthony, one in the church, and one in the Parish Hall if need be). Anthony and the other minister will utilize good hygiene with extra sanitation.
- The distribution of the Precious Blood from the chalice continues to be suspended.
- Communicants are to receive the Sacred Host with ungloved palms.
- The priest is not permitted to use gloves, tongs, tools, or other implements. If you feel uncomfortable with any of this please note that Catholics do not have to receive Holy Communion at every Mass. According to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, Catholics are only required to receive Holy Communion once a year during the Easter Season. (i.e. Easter Sunday or anytime during the 7 weeks after Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday—this year Bishop Thomas has given Catholics a dispensation from their “Easter obligation.”)
- How to go up to the altar for Holy Communion: You will exit your pew via the side aisle and proceed forward following the tape on the floor for proper distancing. Once you receive Holy Communion then you will return to your pew single file down the main aisle. If you wish to receive Holy Communion on your tongue, then you must receive from Father Anthony. Additionally, those who are unable to walk to the altar for Holy Communion are to sit in the front pews either the Mary or the Joseph sides of the church or the front chairs of the devotional wing.
PARTICULAR LITURGICAL MATTERS
To minimize the number of people in the sacristy and sanctuary there will be limited servers and other ministers. The Liturgy will be simplified in many respects from what we are use to seeing.
The Sign of Peace and the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer is suspended during this time.
EMHCs, sacristans, lectors, servers, musicians, deacons, and others will have special guidelines that Fr. Anthony will convey to each individual ministry group.
SAFETY AND SANITIZING PUBLIC SPACES
The following are the norms that we will observe in our church for the time being:
- The baptismal font and holy water stoops will remain empty. For those who wish to take holy water home may do so by filling their own bottle from the 5-gallon holy water jug at the front doors of the church. Please be considerate and take only a moderate amount if you wish.
- The drinking fountain is off limits.
- One person at a time in the restrooms.
- Sacred vessels, sacred books, and other liturgical utensils will be sanitized after each Mass.
- The bread and wine for Mass will be kept in the sanctuary and not in the main body of the church, and it will not be brought up during the offertory.
- All pews and doors will be sanitized after each Mass.
- Hymnals will not be used at this time. We will utilize the projector screens.
- There will be no collection basket passed around by the ushers. Instead we will place baskets in the front of church for you to drop you tithing envelope before or after Mass.
- Please minimize congregating to outside the church building.
GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICES
I highly encourage the elderly, sick, symptomatic, anyone who could infect others or anyone who is vulnerable to infection others to stay home.
Hand sanitizers are available. Please utilize them often when entering and exiting the church. (Liturgical Ministers are required to sanitize often throughout the Liturgy, per Father Anthony’s special guidelines for ministers.)
Face masks/coverings are highly encouraged, but they are not required.
In summary, the key is prudence. I ask you kindly to use common sense and to be respectful of those around you.
Please know of my prayers for each and every one of you. I look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
 Bishop Daniel Thomas’ Urgent Memorandum will be referred to as U.M. from here forward.
 Bishop Thomas, UM, page 2.
 Ibid. Page 4.
St. Jerome Fish Fry
The St. Jerome Parish Fish Fry is back on. Carry-Out Only! Friday's May 15th through Friday June 12th. 4PM to 7 PM. We will line up in St. Jerome's south parking lot and will bring dinners to you. There will be no reason to leave your vehicle. We look forward to seeing you there. Thank you for all of your support of St. Jerome!
Weekend Mass Schedule:
Saturday Vigil: 4:30PM
Sunday: 8:00 & 10:00AM
Daily Mass Schedule:
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00AM
Reconciliation: Saturday 3:30pm-4pm
Adoration: Every Tuesday 8:30am-9:00pm
Hear the Sunday Homily
Tuesday - Friday: 8:30AM - 12:30PM & 1:30 - 4:30PM
Closed for lunch from 12:30-1:30PM