Sunday, May 17, 2020


New Protocol for Mass Attendance

The Obligation to attend Mass is lifted due to the ongoing pandemic. Therefore , if you are sick in any way, have a hacking cough, are sneezing, or have a fever PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND MASS FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS who are fearful or vulnerable.  If you have underlying health issues or are age 65, and older with health risks, please do not attend Mass. If you are fearful in anyway about being in a public room like the church building, where we can’t guarantee your safety as it concerns your health, please do not attend Mass. 
We are recommending that you wear a mask to help dissipate any risks to others, and alleviate the fears that others have (founded or unfounded).  It is an act of charity on your part as you sit in the pew with someone who may be anxious. 
These are our precautions:
1.  Every other pew is roped off, and thus closed.

2.  Family members can sit together, but others should space six feet apart in the open pews.  We are not going to be Gestapos in enforcing this, thus be respectful of others, and if anyone gets uncomfortable politely motion they should move down.  If you need to leave the church/Mass, please feel free to do so, if others are not compliant.

3.  We will wipe the tops of the pews with a gentle disinfectant after each Sunday Mass, and use a disinfectant aerosol spray for the air.  If you wish to wear plastic gloves, do so, but you can’t receive Holy Communion in the hand with gloves.

4.  Bring your own hand sanitizer as we can’t guarantee that we will have sufficient due to shortages, but we will have dispensers at the entrances of the church.

5.  At Communion time, observe physical distancing in line. The floor has blue tape. You may receive in the hand or on the tongue. Please receive in the hand PROPERLY!!!! Dominant hand under the other hand, and keep hands flat, and still so the Host may be placed on your flattened palm without skin touching skin. If you receive on the tongue, tilt your head slightly back, and extend your tongue slightly, and do not move your head.  If the minister touches any part of the hand or tongue, he will dip his fingers in rubbing alcohol next to him, and dry them.  We will limit the use of Eucharistic Ministers, and both priests will be present to help in the distribution (one priest popping in to do so).

6.  We will have only one lector for each Mass.

7.  Ushers, and Greeters will practice good physical distancing, and verbally assist those who need it.

8.  Receptacles for your Sacrificial offering will be at the entrances to the nave of the church.  You may place it in these receptacles either before or after Mass.  The basket will not be passed at collection time.  You can give easily on line by going to our secure Our Sunday Visitor on-line giving and setting up a personal account. 

9.  When entering, and departing the church please space yourselves six feet apart unless in family groupings.  Please converse outside with physical distancing, not in the nave of the church.  In other words,  NO talking or visiting in the main part of the church OR NARTHEX before or after Mass—let’s return to the pre-Vatican II practice of sacred silence in the presence of the tabernacle so others might pray.   VISIT OUTSIDE THE NAVE!!!!!
10.  IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ANY OF THE PROTOCOLS WE HAVE SET TO REDUCE THE RISK OF CONTAGION, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND MASS.  YOU ARE DISPENSED.  We will continue to live-stream our daily Mass and the 10:30 AM Sunday Mass, and you can still make a “an Act of Spiritual Communion” from home. 
I am confident we can have proper physical distancing at the 5 PM, and 8 AM Masses, less so about the 10:30 AM Mass.  However, for Pentecost Sunday, and the following Sunday, we are adding a 12:30 PM Mass for First Communion children and their families.  This Mass is just for them, but will pull some away from the 10:30 Mass.  We are also dividing the Confirmation Class into two groups and celebrating a 12:30 PM Mass for them on Sunday June 28and again July 12. 
Father Allan J. McDonald


rcg said...

Way to go, Father MacDonald. May I recommend substitution of PGA or Everclear, for the isopropyl finger wash? I say this because this will be a form of ablution. Depending on how may times you need to wash you fingers and how generous you are with it you may need you parochial vicar to help you back to the rectory.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Good luck and Godspeed!

I pray that for those able to attend they will notice the new dignity because of the lack of handshakes, hand-holding, and the common cup.

Anonymous said...

Did the Great Saint Roch, who ministered during the Black Death, have a bowl of disinfectant to sanitize his hands?

Did Saint Aloysius Gonzaga wash his hands while singing "Happy Birthday To You" twice?

Were Saints George, Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius, Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine - the Fourteen Holy Helpers - told not to congregate in the narthex of their churches?

Why not be BRAVE like them? Why not face the coronavirus like a MAN, not an epidemiologist?


Anonymous said...

Bee here:

In the Archdiocese of Chicago the guidelines for opening as of next Sunday, May 23, is for private prayer and for baptisms, weddings, and funerals with no more than 10 people attending. This is termed "Phase 1 and Phase 1A"

Phase 2, which would be offering Sunday and daily Mass describes the kind of restrictions you have outlined for your next Sunday Mass, Father McD, but has no beginning date, but will depend on how Phase 1 goes and bunches of other hoops parishes must jump through, including having a "parish team of non-vunerable members tasked with preparation..." and submitting a re-opening plan for approval. One point says the parish must, "Implement a safe and secure attendance reservation/ ticketing system to maintain order [won't that be interesting] and facilitate possible contact tracing of infection." [I guess that means phones must be left on during Mass...Big Brother needs to contact trace you at all times and the Church wants you to be aware they will be implementing everything the government requests/demands. After all, we're good citizens, comrade.]

Wonder what the Ukrainian Catholic Church is doing....

God bless.

TJM said...


How are the mosques being treated? Asking for a friend

Anonymous said...


Many parishes across the country are implementing a reservation/ticketing system for the re-opening of public Mass.

"The Diocese of Colorado Springs says churches will use a reservation system for parishioners and strict social distancing guidelines will be in place. Public Masses will resume May 16-17."

"Diocese of Baton Rouge to restart in-person Mass; masks required, reservations possible"

"To social distance while coming together to celebrate as a parish family, masses will be limited to 150 people per mass. All masses will be celebrated at the St. Paul Chapel. Select the mass time you want to attend to make your household's reservation below." (Saint John Paul II Parish, Sellersburg, Indiana)

"In accordance with the guidelines issued by the Diocese to maintain social distancing, you will need a reservation to attend Sunday Mass." (St John Neumann Catholic Church, Columbia, South Carolina)

This is not some plot to allow Big Brother to track your whereabouts. It is about keeping the larger community safe and healthy.

صديق A. Friend said...

Chicago Mosques:

"Kifah Mustapha said his mosque (The Prayer Center Orland Park)is livestreaming nightly prayers during Ramadan, in addition to the weekly sermons. He said mosques will take extra precautions before opening their doors to crowds because of the way Muslims worship."

Muslim Community Center, 4380 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60641:
• MCC Committee Events/Lectures/Classes ( small or large)
• All Imam lectures
• Live Interview Rehab and Welfare Zakat Distribution and Project Rizq Food
• Private Events such as nikkahs, aqiqqahs and other events
• All Jummahs Khutbahs
• Full-time, Saturday and Sunday School

Masjid al-Farooq, 8950 S. Stony Island Ave. Chicago, IL 60617
"At this moment our mosques, the center of our communities and the very heart of our faith are shut down due to the outbreak of Covid-19." - Imam Ousmane Drame

Dar-us-Sunnah Masjid and Community Center, Evanston, Illinois
"Due to the recent local and global outbreak of Covid-19 Coronavirus, under the strict direction of federal, state, and local governments, and to minimize the spread of the virus in our community, the Executive Council (Shuma) of Dar-us-Sunnah Masjid and Community Center has decided to pause ALL prayer services, including the weekly Jummah prayer, effective Sunday, March 22, 2020 until further notice."


That's how mosques are being treated.

Bob said...

Our church has put tape markers every 2ft on the open pews, to make it easy to keep a minimum of 3 of those spaces between individuals or families and maintain the required 6ft spacing minimum, without it leading to judgement calls conflicting and then parishoners conflicting. Such conflict is unlikely, but....

In truth, will unlikely attend, as absolutely nothing has changed from two months ago, except that this time in the outset, there will likely be an ICU bed and ventilator available, which is the only gain made by the assorted lockdowns, and them better prepped to trace contacts before overwhelmed (again) by numbers.

I remain somewhat unconvinced over mask usage doing much good, there STILL conflicting evidence either way and that using a population as test vehicle to decide the issue is slightly immoral. I remain utterly unconvinced square open-woven homemade masks are anything but virtue-signaling-devices in either direction, as a sneeze will contain millions of the viri, and what gets through will be more than enough of the hypothesized couple of thousand sufficient dose to infect another as for catching any outbound, and utterly useless against airborne micron particles being inhaled.

Added to that, if I do NOT wear such a homemade waste, it will frighten people, and where there simply are no truly effective REAL masks available to protect them or me, AND if truly an airborne pathogen where real masks do any good, then attending without a real mask is foolish indeed, as is any reopening minus real masks.

On top of that, I am still coughing and/or sneezing from pollen and will be forced to do so into a useless homemade mask and then can sit there with my snot/spittle-flecked homemade mask which I then am required to remove/replace ONLY if partaking of Communion. And this all apart from the looks garnered of "you came here sick, didn't you? DIDN'T you?!"

Curiously, our parish is being both innovative and wrongly focused on Communion versus physically attending the Mass...the small church will hold very few people when roped off and spaced...the next door activity center will have some chairs and a big screen TV in a far more confined area, folk also may stay in cars and listen to Mass on the radio, communion ministers will visit the activity center and also stand outside for those in autos to receive Communion.

It seems to me anyone not inside the church may as well be home watching live stream as for actually attending Mass, apart from the ability to partake of Holy Communion. And attending Mass is not a prerequisite for receiving Communion at any time in the first place, and could have been done just as safely or dangerously all this time, as it is at this very moment.

Not one bit of it makes much sense to me, at all. If is true we really need masks, then attending wearing only a fake mask makes no sense. Closing for months and then reopening while the virus just as widespread now (or more so) than it was months ago makes no sense and with even fewer real masks available than months ago. And not distributing the Blessed Sacrament months ago, whether inside or outside Mass, but NOW doing both on same bat-time, same bat-channel, same bat-cave with same bat-virus still running loose seems batty in the extreme.

SOMEbody is and has been very wrong in all of this, but nobody is sayin', while everyone is encouraged to act as if it all does not exist and never feels as if a parody of The Andromeda Strain, where if the timer not shut off, the doors and gates open automatically and release all the humans and lab animals.

rcg said...

It is exactly For the purpose of tracking and it is enlisting the private companies that are beholden to the government to Collect the data. The issue comes down to trust. We are at an alarming point in history where people are being asked to trust government to exceed its authority and proper powers then give it back.

TJM said...

Anonymous K,

LOL. You really are a government toady. When the government limits numbers going into Costco or Walmart, we’ll talk about public safety. More people are spending more time in stores each week then they will ever spend in Church during the week. Thanks for confirming liberalism is a mind numbing mental illness

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Anonymous Comrade: How is it that as soon as I hit the "Publish Your Comment" button I knew you would defend the idea of having "reservations" and "ticketing"? Maybe I'm prescient!!! Yep, I bet that's what it is. And you know what, making the German Jewish people wear a yellow star on their clothing, or homosexuals a pink one, during WWII was NOT about tracking their whereabouts. It was about keeping the community safe and healthy. Just ask the Nazis.

TJM: I did come across something that said mosques would have to obey the social distancing rule and 10 person limit, and the Muslim community has come out and said since their form of prayer cannot be held with the required social distancing and 10 person limit, they will stay closed until such time as the restrictions are lifted.

I'm still trying to find out how the Ukrainian Catholic Church is planning to proceed. If they are more open, I will go over there. The problem is that many of their web sites are published in the Ukrainian language, so I am cutting and pasting into Google Translate to figure it out!

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Comradress: You are a Conspiracy Theorist, believing the worst when there is no evidence to support your fantasies.

Yes, I defend reservations. You should too, if you care about other peoples' health and well-being. Because as much as you want to believe that the Gubmint or the Rothschilds or the Illuminati or Mark Zuckerberg or someone else is watching you, the reservations make it easier for a pastor to follow the legitimate, sensible guidelines for re-opening his church.

But, if, as it seems, you don't give a tinker's damn about the health and well-being of others, you will create unsupportable theories in your mind as to why reservations are being required. These make you feel safe and secure. These give you a sense of control. These are your security blanket.

Anonymous said...

"...I knew you would defend the idea of having "reservations" and "ticketing"? Maybe I'm prescient!!! Yep, I bet that's what it is."

No, it is not prescience. There is still a vestige of reason underneath all the layers of muddled conspiracy thinking. That reason was trying to get to the surface and tell you, "This Big Brother worry is nonsense - maybe you should not post it."

TJM said...


Thanks for the information, straightforward, unlike that provided by Senor Nutty aka Anonymous K.

I recall the mosque in Stony Island, is home to Louis Farrakhan, jew hater extraordinaire. It once was a Greek Orthodox Church before the Greeks abandoned the neighborhood. Tis a pity.

I hope you are able to return very soon to St. John Cantius which is doing an extraordinary job ministering to its congregation and others during this time.

Anonymous said...

I wore an N95 mask to Mass last week. I developed a headache and became dizzy. I will now bring my O2 sensor with me and when my oxygen level starts to drop-off comes the mask. Guess I will have to leave.

Bob said...

I love the calls by the Heroic Anonymous Moderator (HAM for short, who knows everything and will tell you so, too) for tickets and reservations....he needs to send photos of his parish so overwhelmed that police are called for crowd control. Or any other.

Did he have such ticketing before the ChiCom flu? However did his overflowing church deal with it, then? By maybe having told folk attempting entry that the church was full? What a horrible nasty thing to have done, just as now?

I seriously doubt attendance will be anything as normal given many will note they have no effective PPE and nothing much has changed from a month or two back except a lot more local cases than back then.

But, if he thinks reserving a table in a near empty restaurant makes sense, then more power to him as for giving his parishoners yet another ChiCom flu directive with which to comply, along with cameras in bathrooms to assure parishoners wash hands before exiting, since, if it saves even one life, it is worth it.

rcg said...

It is more rational is to constructively engage doubt and see what incites It. Even if a gut reaction is wrong it is responding to something that should be in investigated. Simply dismissing a response risks not benefiting from training the sense that gave it.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

God bless.

rcg said...

I also change my earlier, serious, recommendation to cleanse the fingers of the priest with MD-20/20. It is a product of grape, and could be used to sanitise a wound. Mad Dog, er, Magen David is easy to find in the local liquor stores.

Anonymous said...

You are showing more openness, obedience and tolerance regarding the Diocesan directives than St. John parish in Valdosta. They are forbidding Communion on the tongue.