Dear Parishioners of St. Sebastian and St. Catherine Communities,
The Church has had a painful desert experience and longs for the return of Eucharist and of all of God’s people, the Church! While the longing is strong, we must return very carefully in a responsible and ordered manner. This will allow us to continue enjoying the benefits of communal worship of God through Christ in the Spirit. We wish to avoid any need to return to that desert due to failure of observing all necessary restrictions for “Mass in time of pandemic.”
Archbishop Listecki has given permission for Masses in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to resume as of Sunday, May 31, 2020, the feast of Pentecost. Masses of anticipation will be allowed as well. The Archbishop, based upon changing situations, could alter this “target” date at any time.
The Archbishop has established many directives, which all parishes are required to follow. These directives are intended to ensure the highest level of safety for all persons as well as to ensure the dignity and sacredness of the “Mass in time of pandemic.” We will update you the week prior to the first Mass in a separate communication, regarding all of the logistical and liturgical guidelines issued by the Archdiocese to celebrate Mass.
- St. Sebastian: Sunday, 8:00am and 6:00pm. There are only two Masses to allow for complete cleaning and sanitization following the 8:00am Mass.
- St. Catherine: Sunday, 9:00am
- Weekday Masses: Are not celebrated publicly at this time.
The annual tradition of having a Cluster Mass for our two parishes on the Feast of Pentecost will not happen on May 31st, as we are trying to control the size of Masses in our churches.
The Archbishop has directed that no church may exceed 25% capacity. St. Sebastian Mass will have a limit of 200 people and St. Catherine Mass will have a limit of 150 people. Doors will be unlocked 15 minutes prior to Mass. Please arrive sometime within those 15 minutes. We also ask that all depart promptly after Mass.
Additional Important Information:
The Archbishop has extended the dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation to July 5, 2020. All persons may use their own discretion about attending Mass until that time.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or a fever, you are to PLEASE STAY HOME.
The most vulnerable are also encouraged to please stay home. This includes:
- The Elderly (60 and older)
- Those with compromised immune systems or with underlying health concerns
- Those who are anxious about the safety of being in public places during this time
Please know that we will continue to offer the live-streamed Mass Sunday and weekdays for those who prefer to stay home. The sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation will eventually be celebrated. We await the Archbishop’s decision on when and how these will occur.
We pray that all parishioners, in sharing this value of the Eucharist, will respect all new norms for celebrating Mass. We will walk together through this with faith but also with reason, with hope but also with caution, and always – with love!
In Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Peter Patrick Kimani