St. Patrick Church
We have received word from the Diocese of Camden that we can make various preparations for the reopening of our parishes for Sunday Mass on the weekend of June 13-14. (Weekday Masses can resume on June 9th.) Doing this at Holy Angels involves getting three locations ready for the celebration of Holy Mass: St. Patrick Church, St. Matthew Church and the Worship Center. To assist me in this process I have included a medical doctor, a paramedic and an EMT so that I can be advised from their perspective as health care professionals/workers.
Once we open, there are certain procedures that we are required to follow. These will be published on our parish website (www.holyangelsnj.org), on our parish app, in our parish bulletin, and on our parish Facebook page (Holy Angels Parish). I am only going to scratch the surface here to explain some basic requirements and procedures.
Remember if you are sick, elderly, or particularly vulnerable at this time, you may still have to stay home for a while and not risk putting yourself in a crowd. What I tell people is to use common sense. Make the best decision for yourself and those you love.
We will be required to minimize the numbers at each Mass for social distancing purposes. Fortunately, with our eight scheduled Masses each weekend, this provides plenty of opportunity for people to spread out at each Mass.
Holy Mass will see some changes: no missals or hymnals in the pews, no sign of peace, no Holy Communion from the chalices (the Precious Blood), the distribution of Holy Communion will occur at the end of Mass, and possibly some others to be determined. Also, we will have limited stations for the distribution of Holy Communion, so an absolute minimal number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will be used. There will be only one entrance at each location used to enter for Mass so that we can keep track of numbers and be sure people are seated far apart enough from each other. Bathroom access will be for emergencies only and the cry room will not be used at this time.
We will post matters in more detail on the above-mentioned locations. In the meantime, please remember good hygiene is so important when trying to prevent the spread of disease. Wash your hands thoroughly before coming to Mass, brush your teeth and gargle to kill germs, etc. The diocese currently is requiring people to come to Mass with face masks. Also, please do not socialize with other parishioners after Mass, even though we may be glad to see each other.
While some of these initial requirements may be lifted with time, my purpose is to get people back to Mass and the sacraments. It has been too long since I have seen all my parishioners in front of me. I miss you and I want to get you back here as soon as possible.
Stay tuned and watch for future information!
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Fr. Ed Namiotka