Our Lady of Lourdes Parish News and Updates
A ‘New Normal’ for Masses starting July 4
From Fr. Barrett:
It is with joy that I announce the re-opening of our Church.
At the core of who we are, as disciples of Christ is our love for God and love of our neighbour. Our hunger to return to our place of worship reveals our love for God. In the midst of this pandemic, we must absolutely be mindful of the safety of our neighbours.
We have so many questions at this time regarding the safe return to church and to the celebration of the Mass. Please find below a working question and answer to help guide us along the way. Is it perfect? No. We will learn along the way. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. The health and safety of all is our first concern.
Our celebration will be simplified. I hope that our worship experience be one that is life-giving, as we break open the Word of God and are fed by the Body of Christ.
Please remember, the dispensation from Sunday Mass continues, and our Live Stream and Video will continue to bring the celebration of the Mass into your home.
May God bless each of you and those that you love. Welcome home.
Fr. Barrett Clare-Johnson
Questions & Answers
If I am still not comfortable attending Mass, am I still dispensed from my Sunday obligation?
Yes. Bishop Kirkpatrick has indicated that those who may not be able to attend Sunday Mass for health reasons or due to capacity restrictions are dispensed from their obligation to attend. COVID-19 is still a threat to public health, and our churches are open to up to 50 people only. Those who are considered vulnerable and those who care for them should not attend.
Is it alright for me to attend Mass at Church?
Those who are vulnerable should stay at home. This includes anyone who is:
· An older adult
· At risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer)
· At risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)
More information can be found at https://www.canada.ca/…/vulnerable-populations-covid-19.html and include what the Public health recommends: The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is by staying home and avoiding close contact with others outside of your household.
I want to attend Mass at Church. What should I do before I/we go to Church?
The reality is that COVID-19 is still a threat to public health. Doing your part to ensure the safety of all will help prevent the spread of this virus. This is why our parish is only open to allow up to 50 people.
Those who are considered vulnerable and those who care for them should not attend. Some may not be allowed entry for a specific Mass if capacity is reached before their arrival.
If you have any symptoms that might be COVID-19 related, or if you have been in contact with someone suffering from possible or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms, please remain at home and contact Public Health authorities at https://811.novascotia.ca/
Click here to take a self-assessment. https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/when-to-seek-help/
When will Masses be at our church?
Our first public Mass will be on Saturday, July 4th, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.
There will be a second public Mass on Sunday, July 5th, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Attendance is by reservation only: call the parish office (902-752-4822) to reserve a place for you and family members.
How many people will be able to attend Mass at our Parish?
Twenty-nine bubbles (up to 50 people) per Mass, provided you call the parish office (902-752-4822) to reserve a place for you and family members.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
It is encouraged that everyone attending wear a face mask.
Will face masks be provided at the church?
No. Please bring your own face mask.
Will I be turned away if I do not have on a face mask?
No. Face masks are simply recommended and encouraged.
Will Father be wearing a face mask and gloves?
No, he will not. He will be doing his self-assessment to ensure the safety of all.
Will hand sanitizer be available?
You will find hand sanitizer at the entrance and again upon entering the main body of the church. Please make use of it upon entry into the church. Some may wish to bring their own for use at other times.
How will you be cleaning the Church?
Pews and all touchpoints will be wiped carefully, after Masses with Germosolve or another sort of approved disinfecting solution.
Where should I enter the Church?
Only one door (the ramp/Grotto door) will be used for entry and exit. The door will be propped open to minimize touchpoints. This will allow us to count the number of attendees to ensure that we comply with the capacity to ensure the safety of all with proper distancing. Our other doors may be used for emergency purposes only.
Directional tape will guide you.
Where can I sit?
When entering the body of the church you will see clearly marked where you can and cannot sit. Signs are posted “Pew not in use.” You will notice seating is every three pews, 6 feet (2 meters) apart in the pew.
Can my family sit together?
Yes, members of an immediate family can sit together, respecting the proper distance with others in the same pew.
Will I be able to sit in my regular seat?
We request that you only sit where you find the tape markings.
Will we have hymnals?
All hymn books, missals, and other materials have been removed from the Church.
Can I sing at Mass?
Government policy is that there be no congregational singing at this time, even with your face mask on. Our directors of music or cantors may lead us in song.
Will we have our wonderful choir at Mass?
At present, our choirs will not be formally in place.
Will there be bulletins?
There will be no printed bulletins at this time. Please click the blue Sign Up button at the top of our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/LadyofLourdesChurch) or email ([email protected]) or call (902-752-4822) the Parish Office to join our mailing list to receive our E-bulletin each Friday.
Will Mass continue to be livestreamed and videoed?
Yes! This is an important part of being a caring Roman Catholic community. We will continue to livestream and video the Sunday Mass.
Will the Sacrament of Reconciliation be offered?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be arranged through appointment. Please call Fr. Barrett at 902-755-3688. Or, 1-902-304-2140.
Will there be an entrance/exit procession?
At this time, only the priest will process in and out at the Mass from the sacristy.
Will there be a procession with the gifts at the time of the offertory?
No. All of the gifts of the water and wine, and the ciborium filled with the hosts will already be in the sanctuary.
How will I receive Holy Communion?
When coming down the aisle please keep 6 feet/2 meters apart. Tape on the floor will guide you in keeping proper distance apart.
Communicants are instructed to remove their masks (if wearing one) while the person ahead of you is receiving Holy Communion.
Masks should be removed by the ear loops with sanitized hands and not touching the outer mask for Communion. Lowering the mask could contaminate your hands then replacing it to the face can contaminate your face.
After the priest says, “The Body of Christ” and the communicant responds “Amen” (at a distance of two meters), the communicant then approaches the priest to receive Communion.
Can I receive Holy Communion on the tongue?
While it is the right of the communicant to receive Communion on the tongue, at this time Communion may only be received by hand. Thank you for your understanding.
Will there be Extraordinary Ministers of Communion?
At this time, only the priest will distribute Holy Communion.
Will there be Altar Servers?
At this time, there will not be altar servers in order to ensure proper distancing. (Father will miss the assistance of our altar servers but looks forward to welcoming them back to this ministry in the future)
Will the washroom be available?
The Church washroom is to be restricted to use only when necessary. No more than one person or family (living at the same address, e.g. parent and child) at a time should use the restroom. Please wash your hands.
Will there be Holy Water to bless oneself?
All Holy Water has been removed at the present time.
Will we be able to exchange the sign of peace?
While handshaking is not permitted, if we are invited by our priest to exchange a sign of peace it will be a simple bow of the head to our neighbour.
Will the collection be taken at Mass?
The collection will not be taken at the traditional time. When you are exiting the main body of the Church, you will be able to make your traditional offering. An Usher will stand by and provide security.
Can I still make my offering via E-transfer?
YES! We encourage you to continue with this method of contributing to our parish. It is easy and the way of the future.
How will we exit at the end of Mass?
At the end of Mass, please exit quietly, maintaining physical distancing. Use the tape on the carpet as a guide. Please do not congregate at the door of the Church or in the parking lot.
Are baptisms able to take place?
Yes. Baptisms will resume in the usual manner at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Only one child/family at a time while maintaining physical distancing.
Can a funeral for my loved one take place at the Church?
Yes. At this time, Funeral Masses (with the body or cremated remains present) may be celebrated in the Church with up to 50 people present.
When will the First Communion for our children take place?
We share the excitement of our young children! At the present time, we will still be holding off until we can celebrate this sacrament safely.
Will parish meetings and functions be resuming?
At the present time, all meetings and functions are on hold.
Is the parish office open?
At this time, the parish office remains closed to the public.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic, and our primary concern must be for the life and health of the whole community.
We must continue to pray for the people in our community and our world, as we begin to move forward and heal from the devastation of this pandemic.
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112 North Foord St.Stellarton, NS B2H 5G7
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Fr. Barrett Clare-Johnson
112 North Foord St.Stellarton, NS B2H 5G7
Phone: 902-755-3688 / 902-752-4822
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