In mid-July we changed our daily Mass schedule. We will continue to have an 8:30 AM Mass Monday through Saturday. We will also celebrate a 6:40 AM Mass on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have added a 6:15 p.m. Mass. Our weekend Mass schedule will remain the same. (Saturday Vigil Masses celebrated at 4:00 and 6:0 PM; Sunday Masses at 8:00 and 10:00 AM, 12 Noon and 5:00 PM). Our 8:30 a.m. Masses and our weekend Masses are livestreamed on Facebook via this link as well as on YouTube.
In addition, we are continuing to livestream the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each weekday at 3:00 PM. You are welcome to come to church and join us in prayer as well. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Thursdays following the 8:30 AM Mass with Reposition at 6:00 PM. We continue to pray the Rosary every evening at 7:00 PM. The Rosary has migrated to an online format via Facebook. You can sign up for the Rosary Group here.
Confession: Confessions are heard on Thursday and Saturday mornings starting at 9:30 AM in the Klinger Center. It is not ecessary to make an appointment. We continue to ask all who come to confession to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing for everyone’s protection. (Please note that those who cannot wear a mask due asthma or other reasons are always welcome to come without a mask.)
General Reminders about Returning to Mass.
Please be patient and flexible: Celebrating Public Mass during a time of pandemic is a daunting task. The following guidelines are based on Bishop Brennan’s guidelines (A link to the Bishop’s letter can be found here As we experience our return to the public celebration of the Mass, we will likely have to adjust things as we go.
Simply because we are opening does not mean it is safe to return to Mass: We have been dispensed from our Sunday obligation through Labor Day of this year. We are in a pandemic caused by a novel virus that is highly contagious, can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, and for which there is no effective treatment or vaccine. Our public celebration of the Mass does not mean it is safe to come to Mass. Those who are “high risk” and who are “susceptible to COVID” are discouraged from attending Mass. Those “susceptible to COVID,” include those over the age of 70 or those who have serious health conditions. Those who exhibit symptoms related to COVID are asked to not come to Mass; symptoms include a cough of any kind or a fever. Though we wish that all could gather with us for the Eucharist, we cannot guarantee complete safety at this time. Please be prudent whether or not it makes sense for you and your family to attend.
Preparing for Mass: Please remember to sanitize your hands (bring hand sanitizer if you have it), wear a mask, and maintain six-foot separation from other households. We strongly urge people who are receiving Holy Communion to receive in your hands. Consider arriving between 15-30 minutes early for any Mass you are attending. Please be patient and flexible. Overflow seating will be in the Klinger Center if/when needed where we will livestream Mass and distribute Holy Communion. If space runs out there, (or if you simply choose this option), you can livestream the Mass in your car on your phone and come to the Klinger Center during Communion to receive Holy Communion.
The Holy Water fonts will be empty. (Holy Water will be available in the Narthex for those who wish to fill your own holy water bottles.) We will be asking everyone to follow the direction of the ushers for seating.
There will be no hymnals in the pews and there will be no bulletins distributed at Mass. Households (1 or more people who live in the same house) will sit together and there will be one or two households per pew (keeping six feet apart within the pew) depending on the size of the households. Singing will be limited. The congregation will be wearing masks. There will be no collection, no bringing up the gifts, no sign of peace, and no distribution of the chalice. Baskets will be available to place envelopes in for those not giving electronically. The priest and Extraordinary Ministers will be wearing a mask when distributing Holy Communion. The bathrooms will be for emergency use only.
Livestreaming Continues: We will be livestreaming all of the Saturday evening and Sunday Masses, as well as our 8:30 AM Daily Mass on our two platforms: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4– and on our parish’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stpacc/ (Please note that you need not have a Facebook account to access this link.)
Pyxes and Communion to the Homebound: We are no longer going to distribute Holy Communion into a pyx in the Communion Line. There is no way to verify whether someone is properly receiving an additional host if anyone can present a Pyx in the Communion Line. Currently, we are not able to facilitate Communion to the homebound. We are actively working through this topic.
Sunday Offertory: For those attending Mass, there will be green bowls set around the church for the collection. However, we encourage everyone to consider giving electronically. Simply text stpaulohio to 800-950-9952 to arrange a weekly, monthly or one-time donation or go to https://stpaulcatholicchurch.weshareonline.org/, our parish’s WeShare link. You can also mail your offertory envelope or check to St. Paul Catholic Parish, 313 N. State Street, Westerville Ohio 43082-8825. For your own safety, please do not mail cash.
In summary, we are asking you to please:
1. Wear a mask: Those attending Mass are asked to wear a cloth face covering, unless they are under the age of two. We will not have face masks available at the church.
2. Practice strict hand hygiene: Wash and/or sanitize your hands before and after Mass. Please bring your own hand sanitizer. Please limit what you touch with your hands.
3. Give up your favorite seat: Seating will occur front to back and will be directed by our ushers to minimize contact with others. Please follow their directions for entering, seating, and leaving the church.
4. Keep six feet apart: Stay together as a family and maintain six feet separation from other individuals and families.
5. Refrain from using the bathroom: The bathrooms will be available for emergency use only. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
6. Remain in the section where you enter: Our church has three main seating sections. Plan on entering, remaining in, and exiting the same section of the church.
7. Don’t come to Mass if you are high risk, have any symptoms related to COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 2 weeks. Don’t come to Mass if the CDC guidelines suggest you should be staying at home.
8. Remain silent before and after Mass: We will not be able to maintain social distancing if people visit in the church. The “gathering space” is now called “the narthex”. When entering the narthex, please consider it a part of the church and continue moving into or out of the church. When outside the church, please remain six feet from anyone not in your household and talk as long as you want!
9. Please give electronically: While we will be offering collection baskets at Mass, we highly encourage our parishioners to give electronically.
10. Arrive between 15-30 Minutes Prior to Mass: We will begin cleaning the church immediately after Mass to prepare for the next Mass. And, we will be seating in each section as we finish cleaning. Arriving sometime between 15 and 30 minutes prior to Mass will allow for the smoothest entry.
11. Be prepared to walk around the church: If a given section fills up, we will be closing access to the outside doors and will be asking parishioners to walk around the church to get into a section. All the more reason to come around the 30 minute mark prior to Mass.
Helpers needed! We are in need of 20-25 people at every Mass to serve as greeters, ushers, and cleaners at the end of Mass. These roles will be essential for us to be able to gather in a safe and orderly way. If you are 18 or over, are not in a risk group, and are able to serve at a Mass each week, please email your name to Annette Ramos at email@example.com. Thank you!