Dear St. Peter Family,
Let me first express how important it was for myself and for Fr. Crispin to see many of you last Sunday, when we began the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament in our parking lots. Also, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for following all the guidelines we had to set, in order for this completely new experience to go safely and smoothly. I also appreciate all the messages from those who couldn’t come, either because they were sick or because of the risk: please know that while you cannot be present with us physically, we unite with you spiritually. We are one in Christ Our Lord.
This message is to communicate that Archbishop Aquila, in his decree, allowed for the public celebration of the Eucharist to be restored, beginning this coming weekend, May 9-10. It is a great news for all of us, as we finally will be able to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass together. However, in order to adhere to the guidelines set by the state, county and the Centers for Disease Control, we cannot allow more than 10 people present at gatherings. Knowing that our Sunday congregation counts regularly over a 1000 faithful, it is not possible to have everyone come to Mass in the church, even if we added more Sunday Services to our schedule. Therefore, I have decided that the best way to accommodate everyone who desires to participate in the Sunday Mass is – for the foreseeable future – to celebrate in the parking lots outside of the church. Our experience last Sunday shows that it is possible and can be done in a safe and respectful way.
Again, I need to emphasize that the danger related to CoViD-19 is still real, has not passed and therefore, as long as the situation continues, the Bishops have and will continue to offer the dispensation from the Sunday Obligation, which means that you will not be guilty of sin staying at home on Sundays in this time. We need to realize that the safest place to be is still at home.
This is how it will work this weekend.
- First and foremost, if you are sick, feeling unwell, or any of your family members are sick, but also if you are in any at-risk group, please, do not come to participate at Mass at this time. You will be safer at home and you will keep others safer as well. In such situations, please continue to join us spiritually by praying or watching our Sunday Masses online.
- We will continue to livestream our Saturday 4 PM Mass and make it available to watch for everyone throughout the weekend. You can join us watching at https://stpetergreeley.org or on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/stpeterspastor or you can watch any other Mass offered online or on TV (e.g. EWTN).
- Our Outdoors Masses will begin this Sunday, May 10th, and will take place at the following times:
7 AM, 9 AM, 11 AM, 6 PM. Please note that these are times the Masses will begin, and that some of those are different from our regular Mass times. Masses will be celebrated on the lawn, on the North side of the church building.
- We are planning on having the Masses broadcasted on FM radio waves. Dial your radio to 90.3 FM to listen to the Mass. The range of our signal is limited to the close proximity to the church.
- Please arrive and park your vehicles at St. Peter’s before the scheduled Mass times, but not earlier than 30 minutes prior to its beginning, to allow those participating in the previous Mass to safely leave and to avoid congestion. At the time the Masses begin the main St. Peter’s parking lot will be closed to allow for a safe celebration.
- We’re going to be practicing Social Distancing, which means all are asked to remain in their parked cars, and especially parents are asked to keep their children safe inside your vehicles.
- In order to allow for as many as possible people to participate in our parking lot Masses, we ask families and the members of the same household to drive in one vehicle, if possible.
- At every Mass the Communion will be distributed to you in your cars. The priest will come up to every car, and even if you’re not ready to receive the Communion, you will receive the blessing instead.
- Do not leave immediately after receiving Communion and take some time to express your gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Eucharist again. You will be dismissed right after the final blessing. Private prayer will not be available after Sunday Mass. Please do not congregate after Mass but leave immediately to your next destination.
- Please use the restroom prior to arriving. It is important for you to remain in your vehicle at all times. In emergency situations an usher at the entrance to the church will assist you.
- In order to allow the participation for the maximum number of people we will be using 4 parking lots available:
1. Main St. Peter’s lot, 2. School District lot, 3. St. Peter’s School lot and 4. the Gravel lot.
- If all parking lots are full when you arrive, you can join us participating from distance, parking on the streets, but we suggest rather to come to a different time, as we won’t be able to distribute Communion to the cars outside of the parking lots.
- At this time we will not be collecting the offertory. We encourage you to continue to mail it or drop it at the office throughout the week. However, if you arrive early you may also drop it at the mailbox outside the main entrance to the church. Please make sure that there is no congregation outside of the vehicles.
- Be prepared that things may not go as expected, we will get better as the time goes on. There also might be changes made, if deemed necessary, moving forward. We ask you for patience and understanding.
This will be the first phase of the reopening of our parish, and we will be communicating more information as time goes on via our website, Facebook and Flocknote. Let us continue to praise God and give Him thanks for all He has done for us. Let’s pray that the blessing of the Sacrament of the Eucharist being available for the faithful strengthen us all in the fight against evil.
God bless you all.