Mass Protocol Updated regarding COVID – October 3, 2021

Masks and Social Distancing

For the time being we will offer 2 types of seating:

For those who feel the need to socially distance and wear a mask, seating will remain the same on the Mary side of the church. Please wear a mask if you sit on this side. (The right/west side of the center aisle).

Seating on the baptistery side will return to open seating with masks recommended. (The left/east side of the center aisle).

Holy Communion

The distribution of Holy Communion will return to its regular time during the Mass. We are implementing a new traffic flow pattern.  Everyone will  receive communion from a minister located in the center aisle. Please follow the directions of the ushers. 

Entering and Exiting the Church

All entrances and exits will be unlocked and available for use. We will exit the church following the singing of our recessional hymn.

Miscellaneous

–The hymnals & missalettes will be returned to the pews. There is no need to return the missals you checked out for personal use.

— Holy water fonts will remain empty.

— Devotional candles are once again available.

Livestream

Only the 10am Mass will now be live-streamed.

Letter from Fr. Donton:

Dear Members of Holy Cross Church,

We all know that the guidance designed to help slow the spread of COVID 19 has been challenging.  We all have our opinions about the best way to achieve this goal.   Like all of you, these concerns have been in my thoughts, discussions and prayers.  They have affected me personally and pastorally.    As your pastor, I have tried to make decisions which I believe are in the best interests of everyone in our Holy Cross Family.  I have taken these decisions seriously and done my best, with your help, to communicate and implement them.

I just received an update from the Diocese regarding the Governor’s mask mandate requiring everyone 2 years of age and older, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, to once again wear a mask when gathering indoors.  An FAQ on Face Coverings and Vaccination Requirements issued by the State of Illinois states that the face covering requirement does not apply in churches and places of worship.

“The free exercise of religion is exempted from the face covering requirement.  However, to protect the health and safety of faith leaders, staff, congregants and visitors, religious organizations and houses of worship are encouraged to consult and follow the recommended practices and guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Religious organizations are encouraged to take precautions for their congregants and visitors to ensure physical distancing, the use of face coverings, and implementation of other public health measures.”

Bishop Jenky has asked me to ask all of you, out of a sense of charity for one another, to follow these recommendations when we gather in church for prayer and worship. I personally support this request of our Bishop and I will continue to set a good example by following them myself.  Our goal here at Holy Cross Church is to create an environment that allows us to profess our faith in Christ Jesus and be nourished by the Eucharist.  I trust enough in God that He will continue to guide us as we make choices that will help all of us gather safely for worship.

Effective immediately, the following changes are being made to our COVID 19 church protocols.

1.The signage on the doors of the church will be changed to read:

Masks are recommended when gathering in this building.

2.The signage on the inside of the church will reflect a return to the options that were available prior to the reinstatement of the mask mandate, namely:

Seating on the Mary side of the church will continue to be SOCIALLY DISTANCED with MASKS REQUIRED.

Seating on the Baptistry side of the church will be OPEN SEATING with MASKS RECOMMENDED.

 3.You are encouraged to use hand sanitizer as you enter the church.

 4.We will continue to sanitize the church after our gatherings in preparation for the next worship service.

PLEASE NOTE: THESES CHANGES APPLY ONLY TO OUR GATHERINGS IN THE CHURCH.

The Governor’s Executive Order remains in effect when gathering in the parish office, the parish center and the school.  Masks are required in those locations and our signage will continue to reflect this requirement.  In addition, although you are welcome to join us for the school mass and time of adoration on Fridays, you will be required to wear a mask as this is a part of the safety protocols we have implemented at school. 

My brothers and sisters, let us ask the Lord to strengthen our faith and hope during this challenging time in our lives.

Prayers and Blessings, 

Fr. Joseph