Coronavirus Updates

Update 03/19/2020

Blessings to you on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph! Please read the letter that Bishop Brennan addressed to all of the faithful in our Diocese on March 18. As you will see in this letter, Bishop Brennan is deeply concerned about the safety of us all, and especially those most vulnerable to the pandemic COVID-19 illness. I too, as your pastor, want to be faithful to my responsibility to care for your souls, but in doing so, not to place you in danger. At the moment, I am concerned especially about significant numbers of the faithful being in church at the same time, especially on Sunday. (Isn't it paradoxical that we have to worry about too many people being in church on Sunday?) Since the Bishop has told us that only under the strictest guidelines for hygiene and safety can churches be open for prayer and confession, here is what I am now planning for this Sunday, March 22:

  • St. Patrick Church will be open from 5:00am until 3:00pm.
  • Eucharistic Adoration will begin at 6:00am and continue until 3:00pm.
  • Confessions will be heard starting at the following times until the line finishes: 6:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, and 2:00pm. (We will not have confessions between 9:00am and 10:00am due to the live-streamed Mass from the Priory Chapel at that time.)
  • The goal of this expanded schedule for Confession and Adoration is that you spread out your visits to the church. If possible, please consider coming earlier or later than the usual Sunday Mass times.
  • While in line for confession (which will be in the parish library and/or Aquinas Hall) in the gallery, please maintain a six-foot distance between you and the next person in line.
  • We will close every other pew to ensure some distance between persons within the church.
  • If the number of persons inside the church becomes too great, those arriving will need to wait in their cars until others have completed their visit.
  • For this reason, please consider keeping your visit brief, especially if you arrive during one of the more popular mid-morning hours, to allow as many people as possible to make a visit to our Lord. Also, for the same reason, please do not congregate for the purpose of socializing.
  • Please wash your hands: the restrooms are available for this.
  • If you are 60 or over, or if you have a compromised immune system, or if you have chronic underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, please seriously consider remaining home, where you can watch our live-streamed Mass (11:30am Monday-Friday; 9:00am Saturday and Sunday).
  • If you are ill yourself, or someone in your family is ill, please stay home, especially for the protection of those most vulnerable among us.

As always, schedules are subject to change, but I am hoping this will be a good and safe way for our church to remain open for personal prayer and confession.

Peace,

Fr. Stephen, O.P.

Link to Bishop Brennan's Statement


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