COVID-19 PARISH UPDATES
Last Revised April 27, 2021
- Hand sanitizer is available at all doors to the church and Newman Center
- Disposable masks are available at the center doors to church.
- Those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are asked to refrain from coming to Mass at this time.
- The Sunday Morning 10am Mass is Live-Streamed on our parish facebook page each week. Visit facebook.com/sttomsbg to follow along.
SATURDAY MASSES WITH STRICT PRECAUTIONS
- Entire church is sanitized prior to the Saturday evening liturgy.
- All parishioners are expected to wear masks.
- Social Distancing will be observed, with seating in every other pew.
- Full musical accompaniment, but with no congregational singing.
- Reception of Holy Communion on the hand is expected by all.
- Ministers will wear masks during the distribution of Holy Communion.
SUNDAY MASSES WITH MODERATE PRECAUTIONS
- Social Distancing maintained in the sections of the Church with pews. Please refrain from sitting in the rows marked as closed.
- The sections of the church with chairs will use every row for “Family & Friends” who are already gathering with each other outside of Mass or who have had the vaccine/already had COVID-19 and are comfortable with this arrangement.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
- A solid barrier has been placed over the screen in the confessional to limit air exchange between priest and penitent when confessing anonymously.
- An air purifier has been installed which constantly cleans the air in the confessional. The entire volume of air is purified approximately every 12 minutes.
- Individual penitents are limited to a 15-minute maximum time in the confessional, which is the threshold which constitutes “exposure” that has been established by the Health Department.
- Individual confessions incorporating social distancing can be scheduled at any time upon request.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Are reservations required to attend Holy Mass?
A. No, reservations are not required at this time.
Q. What if the Church is full?
A. From time to time, the 10am Mass will reach capacity or you may find that there is not sufficient availability in the pews to maintain social distancing. Those who arrive after capacity has been reached are invited to Seton Hall where they can follow along virtually. Holy Communion is brought to all those in Seton Hall. We have never reached capacity at our Saturday evening Mass.
Q. Why are you offering Holy Communion on the Tongue?
A. The universal norm is to receive the Sacred Host on the tongue and the faithful are not to be denied this legitimate option. Having consulted with the Office of Worship as well as with several local medical professionals in Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio, Father Jeff has been assured that there is no greater risk of viral spread when receiving Holy Communion on the tongue than receiving on the hand.
Q. Why are you requiring Holy Communion in the Hand on Saturdays?
A. Though we have been assured that there is no greater risk with Holy Communion received directly on the tongue, there are still a significant number of parishioners who are uncomfortable with the practice. At our Saturday Mass with Strict Precautions, we are expecting that everyone will receive on the hand for the sake of those concerned, so that they may receive Holy Communion with serenity.
Q. Why are we not distributing the Precious Blood from the Chalice?
A. The Church has always taught that we receive the entirety of Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity even if we only receive the Consecrated Host, or only receive from the Consecrated Chalice. The Risen Lord cannot be divided. Out of an abundance of caution, we have suspended the distribution of Holy Communion from the Chalice during this time to prevent the sharing of germs.