May 19 2020 Opening of Churches!

Opening of Churches!!!  We are all elated that churches will once again reopen.  To make sure we are in compliance with Massachusetts guidelines and Diocesan Directives we are planning to open up the church of St. Anne on TUESDAY, MAY 26TH FOR WEEKDAY MASS.   We are scheduling to open up for weekend Masses on the weekend of MAY 30TH AND 31st---Pentecost Sunday.  

Weekday Masses……Because we will be required to clean the church after each Mass, we will have to move our weekday Mass from 9am to 8am because we often have funerals at 10am.  So, to have enough time to clean after weekday Mass, we will need to move the weekday Mass to 8am.  So again, when we open for weekday Mass on Tuesday, May 26th, the new time will be 8am.   As we approach the end of the summer we can reevaluate that.  Again, weekday Mass will be 8am for the time being.

In order to have weekend Masses, we need your help!!!  We will need volunteers to help the greeters at each weekend Mass.  There are numerous procedures to prepare for and we need some time to address over 38 detailed guidelines.  This is what is keeping us from opening up Memorial Day weekend.   So we are estimating that we will need a minimum of 56 volunteers to cover all four (4) of the weekend Masses.  We will need four (4) cleaners to wipe down the church and (6) Greeters and (4) ushers to cover the doors of the church and assist parishioners by seating them.   Without these volunteers we are not allowed to reopen. 

If you are interested in helping out with this on an ongoing basis at one of the four Masses please email Mary Millimet our office manager at saintanneparishchicopee @gmail.com or Fr. John at jecnj@aol.com or call the office at 532-7503 as soon as possible.   

There will be a general meeting to organize our efforts on Wednesday, May 27 at 10am in the Parish Hall.  This meeting is for the weekend Mass volunteers.  So if you are planning to be a volunteer as either a cleaner or usher or greeter please attend that meeting.  We will need these volunteers every weekend.  However, if we get enough volunteers, we could alternate weekends.  Again, those who are volunteering as a cleaner (after Mass) or as an usher or greeter please attend that meeting so the specific job will be explained.  Going to Mass is will be very different under the new guidelines issued.

Our weekend Mass times will remain at the same times.  So please volunteer for one of those times (4pm Sat, 7am, 9am, 11am Sun). 

Parishioners attending Mass will need to wear masks and bring some hand sanitizer from home for personal use.  A limit of 40% of our capacity or 150 parishioners will be allowed in the church. Ushers will take parishioners to their seats.  Social distancing (remaining 6 feet from each other) will apply at all times (Families can be together).   Both sides of the church (hall side) will be open to accommodate seating that is spaced out.  Try to get to church early.  It will help any defuse any congestion.  Please note we cannot let into the church anymore than 150 people.  All of this is in accordance with the new guidelines.

As we prepare for the opening of the church----first, for weekday Masses next week beginning on Tuesday, May 26th at 8am---secondly, for weekend Masses on the last weekend of May (May 30 & 31)---let us all be patient.  It is a complicated process but with a little patience, a little understanding, and the help of the Spirit, we will once again be able to worship together. 

Yes, it will be different.  But it is for the safety of all that we do this.  Let me thank those who will be volunteering to help us on the weekend.  We will owe them our gratitude.  St. Anne Parish has always stepped forward to volunteer and we will be very appreciative for those who do so under these trying times.

So……we intend to reopen beginning Tuesday, May 26th, the day after Memorial Day and be open throughout the week.  And then on the last weekend of May, we will be open with our regular 4 weekend Masses. 

No doubt we will have to adjust some things as we start this up.  But we will be flexible.  Let us pray that our launch of reopening St. Anne Church will go as smooth as possible. 

Thank you,

Fr john

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