Coronavirus Virus Update

This Page will update St. Mary’s parish family on all updates related to COVID-19

Dear Parishioners:   May 14, 2021
Hello! May God’s peace be with you! Alleluia! The pandemic is coming to an end in Minnesota. As you know when the pandemic started I used Website to get the word out of what was changing due to the pandemic. And I continued posting during the middle of the pandemic and I have not posted anything on the back end of the pandemic because there was nothing new to report. But now that the Governor has announced the mask mandate is lifted as of today I want you to know about the following changes for the parish of St. Mary’s.

Starting this weekend we will be at full seating capacity for all masses, including funerals and weddings. Starting this weekend and going forward, the wearing of masks is optional if you feel you need to wear one for your safety. The Parish Center will be open for group meetings beginning next week. Also, the parish hall will be available for rent for parish and outside groups. Our Adoration chapel will reopen June 7th. The parish office will reopen for visitors starting June 1st. It has been a difficult year for all of us and I’m sure we’re all happy that we can start to get back to normal.

Hope you can soon get back to the fun activities with your family and friends. Alleluia! Praise God that we can get back to normal.

 

 

COVID-19 Exposure

If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 (an exposure), you need to stay home and away from others (quarantine).  COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to separate yourself from others so you don’t spread the virus without knowing it.

The safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days.  In certain situations, you may end your quarantine after 10 days, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test result. You cannot end your quarantine before seven days for any reason.

In general, a close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period.  However, even shorter periods of time or longer distances can result in spread of the virus.  The longer someone is close to the person who has COVID-19, and the closer they are, the greater the chance the virus can spread.

 

 

Disclaimer

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.  COVID-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.

 

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan – June 5, 2020

Dear Parishioners;

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.

Sincerely,

Father O’Hotto

Plan Details:

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.

Disclaimer

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.

 

 

Prayers for the situation in the cities – May 30, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Because of the bad situation in the cities, I ask you, People of Faith, to pour on prayers for God’s help, strength and protection for law enforcement and for the MN National Guard to be successful in their mission to bring an end to the lawlessness, rioting, and destruction that has been happening the last 4 nights and pray for our Governor and State Officials and for both Mayors of both cities and their city officials to lead everyone through this difficult situation with God’s wisdom.  And also continue to pray for an end to the pandemic.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
St. Francis, Saint and Man of Faith, pray for us!
Your Pastor,
Fr. O’Hotto

 

Here are some words from scripture to nourish our souls during the difficult time and for the more difficult time ahead:

Psalm 31

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