From Fr. Gary Padgett, Pastor of St. Brigid and St. James:

We will begin public worship this weekend (May 24) at St. James Church with Masses at 8:30 am and 11:00 am. For the time being, St. Brigid Church will remain closed to public worship. We will follow the Archdiocese’s “Healthy at Worship” Guidelines, limiting the size of the congregation to maintain at least a distance of six feet between seating locations. We have designated 95 seating locations at St. James. Seating locations will be marked, and only members living in the same household may sit together at a marked location.

The congregation will be asked to enter through the front doors of the church – because we have to keep count -- and exit through the side and front doors, to minimize crowding. Several liturgical hosts will be available at each Mass to welcome and assist worshipers in being seated.

Everyone attending will be asked to wear a face covering, and we will have hand sanitizer and a limited supply of masks for anyone who does not have one. The mask can only be removed when receiving Holy Communion. The priest and the deacon will wear face coverings when they are in the assembly distributing Holy Communion. The Mass hosts will serve as ushers so that we can maintain required social distancing during Communion. Each person will come forward to the front of the church and then return to their seat. Until further notice, communion must be received in the hand, not on the tongue.

There will be no congregational singing during the liturgy. All music will be played and sung from the choir loft. The Gloria will be recited, not sung. There will be no physical exchange at the Sign of Peace, and everyone is asked to respect the need to refrain from holding hands during the Our Father.

We will take up the collection the way we always have, with our hosts using the long-arm baskets and minimizing any contact.

There will no entrance or ending procession. The priest and deacon will enter from the sacristy and exit there after the dismissal.

Some of our liturgical hosts have volunteered to remain behind and sanitize the church once Mass ends. We have the church professionally sanitized every Saturday morning.

Confession is by appointment only with me at St. Brigid. The confessionals in both churches cannot be used due to social distancing requirements.

We will continue to live stream all of our Masses. For the foreseeable future, our daily Mass will not be open to the public, but we will continue to live stream every morning Monday through Friday at 8:30 am.

We are continuing to monitor and evaluate how we can safely expand the public celebration of Mass in both of our churches. We will move carefully and slowly through the expansion.

The obligation to assist in person at Mass continues to be suspended by the Archbishop. All those over 60, and especially those with chronic conditions, are urged to remain safe at home and to worship with us via live streaming.

The parish offices remain closed except for essential staff. All meetings must be conducted online. Be assured you remain in my prayers as we all endeavor to be healthy at home, at work, and at worship.