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Reopening Church

My dear friends in Christ,

   It is with great joy that I announce our churches will be opening again! It’s been a long eleven weeks, and we know this COVID-19 nightmare is far from over. Bearing that in mind, following the recommendations of the Archdiocese, we will proceed carefully as we reopen on the weekend of Pentecost, May 30-31. We’ll begin, with our normal weekend Mass Schedule of 4pm on Saturday, 7:30am, 9am and 11:30am on Sunday at St. Pius V Church.  At Holy Family we will begin on Saturday at 4pm and 10am on Sunday. Our Daily Mass Schedule will begin Monday, June 1 at 7am and continue everyday Monday through Friday at St. Pius V Church.  We will not have a daily Mass at Holy Family Church for now so as not to lose the live stream option for our brothers and sisters who are not able to join in the public Mass.  The Live Stream Mass will continue for every Mass offered at St. Pius V Church.

   It’s important to note that the Cardinal has extended the dispensation of obligation to attend Sunday Mass- if you for any reason can’t come to Mass yet, please do not feel that you have to. If you feel ill in any way or are unsure, please do not come! We will continue to have live-streamed Mass’s on our Hostcatholiclynn.org website, so please join us that way.

   It is crucial that we follow the safety restrictions and procedures of the Commonwealth, the city of Lynn and the Archdiocese of Boston as we reopen, so things will be different. As happy as I know we’ll be to see each other again, we’re asked to hold back. How you enter church and how we celebrate will be different but don’t be afraid its for our safety.

     So what to expect? Expect that due to state protocols and the social distancing rules, attendance must be under 40% of the church’s capacity- if we reach that number, which is 158 at St. Pius V Church and 78 at Holy Family Church, you may be asked to attend another Mass or return to your vehicle, watch the live stream from your mobile device and then line up at the front entrance of church to receive communion, once everyone has safely exited the church. Expect to enter through only one entrance, the front doors of the church, or (if needed the elevator) all other doors will be kept closed and used for exits only. Expect the churches to look different inside- to maintain the 6-foot social distancing rule, we will mark off pews for you to sit, those from the same household may sit as many together as possible, and a one way traffic flow pattern to ensure we are not walking into each other. Do not expect to sit in your traditional pew you have sat in for years. Expect to wear a mask throughout the whole Mass. Expect to use hand sanitizers before entering the church at the doors. Although there will be music, expect that there are no hymn books in the pews, and there will be no choirs and we are asked to refrain from singing. Expect there to be no collection or presentation of gifts. Collections will continue as we have been doing by dropping them off at the parish office, online, or by mailing your envelopes to the office. Expect that there will be no processions or greeting before or after Mass by the clergy. Expect that receiving Communion will also be different- we will go one pew at a time, the line to receive will be marked out by tape on the floor- please keep the 6-foot rule always. Expect Reception of Communion will be by hand only. You will be instructed to step to the side once you receive, pull down your mask, consume the Eucharist, replace your mask and then return to your pew. Expect that exiting the church will be different. We will exit one pew at a time, similar to communion. Expect there to be a team of parish staff and parishioner volunteers to greet you and help you through all of this, our new Safety Ushers. Expect that after Mass and everyday we will clean everything to prepare for the next Mass or service.

   Will this be a time of challenge for us? Yes. However, meeting this challenge will also provide us the safest and most reverent way to celebrate our faith. We’ll all be learning as we walk through what’s ahead together and I am very confident we’ll get through this and enter the “new normal”, whatever that is. I am very grateful to our entire parish staff, especially to Michael Jackson and David Tortollini, our church custodians, for their openness and spirit of cooperation and you our parishioners, for your patience and faithfulness. We can’t wait to see you again, Expect us to be excited when we see you when you come back. May our Blessed Mother and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit continue to guide our work here. Hope to see you soon!

Peace and Blessings,

Fr. Bob

Instructional Welcome Back to Church Video's Coming Soon!