This Page will update St. Mary’s parish family on all updates related to COVID-19
COVID-19 Preparedness Plan – June 5, 2020
At the direction of the Governor and the Archbishop every parish or institution must develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and designate a staff person to be the Plan Administrator. I have appointed Mary Pettit our Parish Secretary/Administrator as St. Mary’s Preparedness Plan Administrator. We are all appreciative of Mary’s willingness to do this on behalf of the parish and for the safety of all. The plan is to be published online and in common gathering areas. Thereupon the Preparedness Plan is being published on our Facebook page and on our Website under the “COVID-19 update” tab. The plan has also been posted on the bulletin boards in church and in the Gathering Space. Please read the Preparedness Plan so that you are aware of what we all need to do to keep everyone safe as possible during this pandemic.
May 26, 2020
Plan Administrator: Mary Pettit
(763) 658-4319 ext. 21
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly, MN has made the decision to open daily mass beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2020 with a limit of 10 people. Beginning Wednesday, May 27, 2020 daily mass will be open to 25% (or less) capacity. These were the guidelines set by the Governor and Archbishop. Weekend masses will resume beginning June 6th & 7th at 25% (or less) capacity. Ushers will determine when capacity is met based on pews available (some pews have been taped off) and the 6 ft. social distancing requirement and based on the 25% capacity. 6 ft. markers have been placed on main aisle.
Our first consideration must continue to be for the spiritual and physical health of our parishioners and those whom they encounter, especially the most vulnerable: the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. We continue to rely on medical professionals and governmental standards to inform these directives.
Mary Pettit has been appointed by Father O’Hotto as St. Mary’s Preparedness Plan Administrator. Direct questions and concerns to her regarding this plan.
Standard safety requirements need to be met. Masks must be worn, hands need to be sanitized as you enter church and prior to receiving communion. Parishioners need to exit the church immediately following mass, no social gathering in parish buildings and on church property.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation continues to be suspended as long as the pandemic continues. Our mass times remain at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday at 8am and 10:30am.
All COVID-19 positive persons, those who are symptomatic, and those living with then, must stay home.
Persons over age 65 and those with preexisting health conditions should continue to stay home during Phase II and avoid all public gatherings, including at church.
No matter your age, if you feel uncomfortable attending mass or any church event during this pandemic, then you are encouraged to stay home.
All the faithful should continue to follow hygienic practices at home: wash hands often, avoid touching the face, cover coughs and sneezes.
Appropriate church staff and volunteers are being trained for their responsibilities.
Safety and Hygiene Procedures
Daily cleaning of church includes: Sanitizing pews, chairs, music stands, microphones, doors, door handles, push plates, ambo, keyboards and other frequently touched surfaces before and after each liturgy.
Church restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each liturgy.
Bi-weekly cleaning of Parish Center includes: sanitizing all office areas, doors, door handles, push plates, light switches, and alarm panels and other frequently touched surfaces. Fellowship Hall has been identified as a no entry zone and no one will be allowed in any part of the Fellowship Hall, restrooms, and first floor meeting rooms. Parish office is open but closed to visitors, including parishioners. All lower level meeting rooms are also closed. All of this is for everyone’s safety during the pandemic.
Parish Center restrooms on both levels will be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis or as needed. These restrooms are for staff use only.
Fresh water in a bowl will be used and blessed for each baptism. Baptismal font and holy water fonts will remain empty. Baptisms will be celebrated for those choosing to follow the 10 person limit as per the March 18 directive.
Hymnal books, brochures, handouts and materials etc…have been removed from church and the gathering space.
Altar vessels will be washed after each Mass in hot soapy water.
Vestments and albs will be regularly cleaned.
6 ft. Social Distancing will be required within the church, within the Parish Center, and on church property.
Hand Sanitizer will be provided at entrance doors and at designated areas in the church.
Bulletins will be printed and available for you to pick up as you exit the church at designated locations observing the 6 ft. social distancing. Bulletins will also be available in the drop box outside the parish office and they will continue to be available on St. Mary’s website.
During Phase II, which we are currently in, the maximum number of persons admitted into church is limited to 25% of total seating capacity (or less).
Each person must remain 6 feet away in all directions from others not in the same household.
Ushers will coordinate and determine when capacity is met based on current safety guidelines and will disallow further entry and encourage people to come to a later liturgy.
Masks are required for all parishioners age 5 and older who attend mass and any church event for everyone’s safety.
Children’s Chapel is closed and secured.
There will be no sign of peace and no holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
Holy Communion will be administered during daily mass and after mass during weekend masses as per safety procedures of the Archdiocese. No Eucharistic Ministers will assist at this time. Father will wear a mask, sanitize his hands before distributing communion and each time after making contact (hand or tongue) with a communicant, before distributing to the next communicant. And he will also sanitize his hands after distributing to everyone. Parishioners are strongly encouraged to receive communion in the hand during this pandemic.
The Precious Blood will not be distributed to the faithful.
Only ushers, lectors and cantors will be used until further notice. No altar servers and no ministers of communion will be used until further notice.
Ushers will be instructed by Tim LePage on new procedures and safety guidelines prior to weekend masses beginning on June 6th & 7th. The instructions will include:
- 1 usher at Church Door
- 1 usher at Parish Center Door
- 1 usher at Offertory Basket
- 1 usher overseeing Church seating and report to other ushers if capacity is met
- 3 singles, 2 couples, or one family of same household per pew
- Welcome parishioners back! Masks are required. 6 ft. social distance must be maintained.
- 1 Usher will place the offertory in the security bag while other ushers observe (following social distancing) and 1 usher will bring offertory forward to the altar (even if mass has started) and set it in front of the altar
- One usher for Communion (main aisle). Usher people one by one, alternating each side keeping 6 ft. social distance.
Congregational singing is temporarily discontinued. No choir. Cantor will sing. Instrumentalist and Cantor must stay 12 ft. from one another. Instrumentalist and Cantor must wear masks like congregation at all times.
Outdoor masses will not take place.
Funerals and weddings will be celebrated for those choosing to follow the 25% capacity and safety guidelines. No wakes or visitations at St. Mary’s for funerals during the pandemic. No receiving lines for weddings during the pandemic. Guests need to leave church, parish buildings and the church property immediately following funeral or wedding in observance of the no congregating safety policy.
Volunteers will be required to sign an Adult Liability Waiver.
St. Mary’s will be following and implementing all recommended cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing guidelines to try to keep you safe. Yet, you need to know that you attend mass and all future gatherings at your own risk. Because of the nature of the virus and because of still unknown things about the virus please take note of the following:
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists anywhere people are present. COVIS-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. St. Mary’s Church has undertaken precautionary cleaning, disinfecting, and implemented social distancing guidelines to help reduce the risk of exposure. However, St. Mary’s Church cannot guarantee that visitors are 100% safe from exposure to COVID-19. Therefore, St. Mary’s Church recommends that people over 65 or with underling health conditions not attend mass at this time and continue to worship online. Attendance at liturgies is at your own risk.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020 – Watch Mass Online
Prayers for the situation in the cities – May 30, 2020
Fr. O’Hotto Letter – May 29, 2020
May 27, 2020
Hope you are doing OK with the different way of life we have because of the crisis. We have to continue to look to the Lord for support, and continue to support one another with our prayers. Every day of the crisis I have been praying for you and your family and loved ones!
Because the State Fair has been canceled and because of the uncertainty regarding the virus, we have canceled our beloved Parish Festival. We will still have the car raffle as an event. We have begun our car raffle and cash raffle sales. Enclosed is a car raffle flyer with a mail in order form. Cash raffle tickets will be mailed out late July. As you know the festival revenue is an important part of the parish budget. We are exploring how we can maintain an activity or two. For example, maybe still having a meal served curbside. Do what you can to support these raffles and in turn support our parish and any other activities we may have.
Thank you very much for the strong financial church support you have been giving the parish during the crisis and this difficult financial time. The church collections have been doing well, thanks to your commitment, generosity and support! And it is a sign of your deep love for our parish! Please continue your support.
I am happy to announce that our parishioner Dan Herbst, has graciously given the parish the gift of the paving of the roundabout road in the cemetery, the boulevard along 6th Street (in front of parish center) north of the handicapped area, and the area (west side) of storage garage by the Rectory. We are very grateful to Dan for his generous gift! He has deep love for our parish. The work is scheduled for early June. Also, sometime this summer All Elements, Inc. will be coming to finish hand sealing shingles on the church roof.
Because the Governor has lifted the “Stay at Home Order” I have started weekday public masses this past Tuesday, May 26. Weekend masses will open with restrictions on June 6th & 7th. You must wear a mask and engage in social distancing. It will be great for all of us to be together again to celebrate mass and to worship God.
Let us continue to pray and ask God to deliver us soon from the evil virus. Let us seek the intercession of our Patroness, Our Lady of Grace, by praying the rosary each day for the deliverance of her Son with regards to the virus.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us! Our Lady of Grace, pray for us!
Take Care! Be Safe! Have Faith! Have Hope!
Father Ken O’Hotto
Your Pastor and Spiritual Father
P.S. To those of you receiving this letter in the mail; if you have an email address, please send it to Mary at email@example.com. It will help save on costs of mailings. Thank you!
Seventh Sunday of Easter – The Ascension of the Lord – Watch Mass Online.
Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17, 2020 Watch Mass Online.
Memorial Day News – May 15, 2020:
Even though the Governor has lifted the “Stay at Home Order,” gatherings of people or meetings of people are to be 10 people or less. Because of this restriction and because the Archdiocese has canceled all Memorial Day Masses at Archdiocesan cemeteries, and because Waverly has canceled the town Memorial Day Service (and Waverly Daze by the way), I am canceling our Memorial Day Mass at St. Mary’s.
I encourage you to take time on Memorial Day to remember your deceased loved ones and to pray for them. Also, that we pray for all our deceased parishioners. And let us especially remember to pray for and honor those who died serving our country and to pray for all deceased veterans.
I will celebrate mass privately for all these intentions! May God give them eternal life, happiness and peace.
Father Ken O’Hotto
Your Pastor & Spiritual Father
P.S. Spread the word on this to your relatives and friends who live out of town, who usually attend our Memorial Day Mass.
Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 3, 2020 – Watch Mass Online
Public Worship – May 7, 2020
You may have heard on the news that the Archbishop is permitting a return to public worship on May 18 if strict guidelines are followed. The problem is that it would be very difficult to enforce the guidelines. The Archbishop is allowing small groups, to gather for mass limited to no more than 1/3rd seating capacity of the church while maintaining social distancing (approximately every 3rd pew). Yet the Governor (at the time of this writing, May 5) is not allowing groups to gather of more than 10 people while observing social distancing of 6 ft. Department of Health has the same restrictions of 10 or less people in a group. Also, the Archbishop has only been allowing funerals and weddings with no more than 10 people and that includes the priest. To open up a church with 1/3rd seating capacity is in conflict with 10 people or less in a group.
Also, people 65 and older are encouraged not to come to mass out of their safety. Also, to fill the church to 1/3rd capacity would mean we would have to have people sign up to attend mass. It would be very difficult to keep track of who was allowed to attend on one weekend and who could attend the next weekend.
Also, it would be very difficult to ensure the safety of those attending. When more people gather in a space the probability of contracting the virus or spreading the virus increases dramatically!
Based on all this conflicting information and at this time not knowing if the Governor will extend the “Stay at Home Order,” beyond May 18; at this time we are going to continue with no public masses. Stay posted. I am going to wait and see what the Governor does based on the advice of the medical people. My main concern is your safety and the safety of those in the town communities our parish serves.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend mass remains in effect even with the permission to return to public worship with restrictions on May 18.
Let us continue to pray that this virus dies out soon. And let us continue to pray for the protection of doctors and nurses helping virus patients and pray for those who have died from the virus.
Father Ken O’Hotto
Your Pastor & Spiritual Father
P.S. Our Lady of Grace, pray for us
Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3, 2020 – Watch Mass Online
Message from Father O’Hotto – April 28, 2020
You can join Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens, and Father Michael Becker, Rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary on Sunday, May 3rd at 10am for a virtual mass and May crowing, followed by a brief program as together they honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. Visit semssp.org/virtualmaycrowning for more info.
Online Cana Banquet
The Cana Family Institute invites you to the 2020 online Cana Banquet on Friday, May 1st at 7pm. This annual event celebrates more than 25 years of strengthening Catholic Marriages and families. Learn more and register to attend for free at canabanquet.com
Third Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2020 – Watch Mass Online
Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, 2020 – Watch Divine Mercy Mass Online
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 – He is not here, but risen! (Luke 24:6) Alleluia!!!
Easter Sunday Mass – Watch Easter Mass Online
From Fr. O’Hotto
Good Friday’s 2nd Reading – Watch Mass Online
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Brother and Sisters, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested, in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
This scripture reading reminds us that the Lord has compassion for us in our weakness. Thus, we are to seek His mercy with confidence and find grace for timely help. During this crisis, we, in a timely way, need the Lord’s mercy, grace and help!
The Lord was obedient to the Father and to death of the cross. The Lord suffered greatly to give us freedom from sin and death. He knows suffering! He knows that we are suffering because of the crisis! He knows our fears, He knows our anguish, He knows our pain! St. Paul said that when we suffer the Lord, is closes to us. This Lord is close to us when we suffer, and the risen Lord will be close to us too! As we suffer, remember that just over the hill of Calvary is the empty tomb and Resurrection!
On Good Friday, gaze upon the crucifix in your home. Tell the Lord you are sorry for your sins. Ask Him to be with you in your suffering. Seek His help, healing, and protection with regards to the virus. Seek His deliverance from the virus. Tell Him how much you love Him! Say the Lord’s Prayer and then take the crucifix down from the wall and kiss the Lord’s feet!
“We adore you O Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”
Remember that today, Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence.
Join Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, President of the USCCB at 11 am today, Good Friday on Relevant Radio 1330 am for the Litany of the Sacred Heart.
John Archbishop Hebda on Easter Sunday at 9:30am on WCCO Radio. He will celebrate mass at the Basilica! The whole mass will be broadcasted.
Remember, our Good Friday Service will be recorded and then later today will be on Facebook and our website (early evening)
From Father O’Hotto – April 9, 2020
Holy Thursday – Watch Mass Online
I Corinthians 11:23-26
Brother and Sisters, I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
This scripture reading reminds us that at the Last Supper the Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist and gave us His body and blood to nourish us. We know the Holy Eucharist is the summit of the life of the Church. It is from the Holy Eucharist that we draw our strength. That is why it is so difficult for you that you are not able to attend mass and receive Holy Communion. This fasting from the Mass and Holy Communion during the crisis will make you long all the more for our Eucharistic Lord! And this will make you appreciate all the more the sacrifice of the Holy Mass and Holy Communion!
On Holy Thursday and on Easter Sunday, make a spiritual communion. Tell Jesus how you believe in His real presence in the Holy Eucharist. Tell Him how much you love Him. Invite Jesus into your heart!
“This is the Body that will be given up for you. This is the chalice of the new covenant in my Blood, says the Lord; do this whenever you receive it, in memory of me.” I Corinthians 11:24-25
Remember tomorrow, Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence!
Holy Week Masses and Prayers – April 8, 2020
From Fr. O’Hotto
We will record the Holy Thursday Mass at 7pm, the Good Friday Service at 3pm and 8am Mass on Easter Sunday. It will take about 2 hours to get the recordings on Facebook and the website with a link. You can check late each day or check the next day to view. Thank you to Jim Thomas, Kristen Soley and Tim LePage for making this possible.
Here are some prayers of blessing for you:
Bless, O Lord, your people,
Who long for the gift of your mercy,
And grant that what, at your prompting, they desire they may
receive by your generous gift.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Look upon your servants, O Lord,
and in your goodness protect with
Heavenly assistance those who trust in
your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Attend, Almighty God,
To the prayers of your people,
and, as your endow them
with confident hope in your compassion,
let them feel as ever the effects of
your mercy. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen
Grant, we pray, Almighty God,
that your servants, who seek the
grace of your protection, may be free
from every evil, including the evil
of the current virus, so that they
can serve you in peace of mind.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen
(Prayers are from the sacramentary, the book I use at the Altar and for mass. The last prayer I added:
“including the evil of the current virus…so that they can…”)
Let us continue to put our faith and hope in God! Lean on Him. Allow Him to be your strength!
April 8, 2020 Click on this link – COVID-19 Safety Measures
Fr. O’Hotto Update – April 7, 2020
The “Stay at Home Order” is difficult for all of us, but we must continue observing it for the good of all. The next two weeks are going to become more difficult. There will be many more cases and deaths because of the virus in our state and country! More than likely, the Governor will extend on this Friday, April 10th (when the order was to expire) the “Stay at Home Order” until the end of the month.
We cannot live stream the Holy Week Services because we do not have internet in the church. We are checking into recording and then replay on the website. We are working to see if it will work to get the recording over to a website format.
God will be with us. He is not only with us during the good times, He is also with us during the bad times.
Here are some words from scripture to nourish our souls during the difficult time and for the more difficult time ahead:
In you O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In Your justice, set me free
Hear me and speedily rescue me.
Be a rock of refuge for me.
A mighty stronghold to save me,
For you are my rock, my stronghold.
For your name’s sake lead me and guide me.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
For I am in distress.
Tears have wasted my eyes,
My throat and my heart.
For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighs.
Affliction has broken down my strength.
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord,
I say: “You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me.
Let your face shine on your servant,
Save me in our love.”
Be strong, let your heart take courage,
All who hope in the Lord.
Let us continue to pray and ask the Lord to have mercy on us and deliver us! Let us continue to put our faith and hope in God, for He is our rock!
Missing you, but you are close in my thoughts and prayers.
Remember there are confessions today, April 7th from 4:30 – 5:30pm and Wednesday, April 8th from 6:00-7:00pm
Here are some scripture passages to nourish our souls during this time of crisis and to help us pray – 3/31/2020
From Psalm 119
Lord, I am deeply afflicted
By your word give me life.
From Psalm 70
O God, make haste to my rescue,
Lord, come to my aid!
Come to me, O God.
You are my rescuer, my help
O Lord, do not delay.
From Psalm 126
Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
As streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
Will sing when they reap.
From Psalm 79
O God our Savior, come to our help,
Come for the sake of the glory of Your name.
O Lord our God, forgive us our sins,
Rescue us for the sake of Your name.
Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours
“God, our help and deliverer, do not abandon us….
But deliver us from evil and turn our tears and struggles into joy.”
Father Ken O’Hotto
Your Pastor and Spiritual Father
Non-Perishables Collection – 3/27/2020
The Core Ministry, along with St. Mary’s Alpha group will have a bus in St. Mary’s Parking Lot today, March 27 – Sunday, March 29 from 12:00 noon – 7pm collecting non-perishables for those in need. Please help spread the word!
Governor’s “Stay At Home Order” 3/27/2020
The Governor’s “Stay at Home Order” starts at 11:59pm tonight, Friday, March 27th and lasts through April 10th. Please follow this order to cut down on the spread of the coronavirus. As you know, we can go out to get groceries if really needed, and to go to the pharmacy or to get gas. And you can go for walks. Remember to keep the social distancing of 6 ft. away from others, even when outside!
As Christians we pray and work for the common good on a regular basis. We especially need to do that now by observing the Stay at Home Order! Let us all do our part and make the sacrifice. After all, we are still in Lent, and Lent is a time to make sacrifices!
Let us continue to knock on Heaven’s door with our prayers for God’s help, healing, protection, and deliverance.
Let us pray, Lord God, You love mercy and tenderness, you give life and overcome death. Look upon the many wounds of your Church; restore it to health by your risen Son, so that it may sing a new song in your praise. Amen. Our Lady of Grace, pray for us!
Praying for you!
Father Ken O’Hotto
Your Pastor and Spiritual Father
P.S. Check on your elderly relatives and neighbors.
Note From Father O’Hotto
The Archbishop has suspended all public masses, weekday and weekend until further notice. State Officials have communicated to religious leaders that the next two weeks are critical for containment of the coronavirus. Drastic measures are required!
Effective today, March 19, all masses at St. Mary’s are canceled until further notice. (EWTN has masses broadcasted every day. Relevant Radio also has the mass broadcasted.) Stations of the Cross are canceled. Adoration Chapel closed at noon today until further notice. Some did not want me to open Adoration this past Tuesday but I did because of only 1 person being in the chapel at a time, unless, a married couple are in adoration together. Plus, I thought during the crisis, all the more so we should pray before God’s presence and seek His help and protection. What made me decide to close Adoration in addition to the next 2 weeks being critical to contain the virus, is that medical people are saying the virus can live in the air up to 3 hours. Because our Adoration Chapel is small I decided to cancel adoration for the safety of all. Earlier this week all meetings/events were canceled until further notice. When the Governor closed schools on Sunday, I directed that Faith Formation classes and Adult Ed be canceled until further notice. With information that is provided, and it changes hourly, I have made changes.
Effective immediately the parish office will be open but closed to visitors. We will answer the phone and communicate via email. Contact the parish at 763-658-4319 ext. 21 with your email address.
In the meantime let us look out for one another and help one another and support one another. Check on elderly relatives, parishioners and neighbors with a phone call. When you call them up say a prayer with them. If someone is sick, prepare a meal for them and tell them you will leave it at their door. Offer to obtain groceries for those on self-quarantine, again, leave it at their door. Let us all bring the love, kindness and compassion of the Lord to one another, because this is what are to do in crisis or not. Let us pray for one another and for our government and spiritual leaders. God will be with us to deliver us from this evil (virus).
We are all dealing with an unprecedented crisis. Society and the Church has to take drastic measures for the welfare and the safety of all. Government leaders and Spiritual leaders will error on the side of safety. We all need to be patient and understanding. We are all on uncharted waters. This is stressful for all of us. We need to support one another and tap God’s help, strength, support, and protection Check this site and I will communicate information when appropriate.
Let us all knock on heaven’s door with prayers that God may help us and have mercy on us.
In Christ’s Service, Your Pastor and Spiritual Father
Father Ken O’Hotto