Mass for Pentecost Sunday - May 31, 2020 - Fr. Eddie Martin
Phase I Bayouland Churches Reopening
Friday, May 8, 2020
Dear Bayou Family,
A very happy and blessed Mother’s Day to each mom out there! God sure was hitting on all cylinders when He came up with moms! Do your best to celebrate safely.
I hope and pray this note finds you safe and healthy and not completely overwhelmed with cabin fever. How I have missed your smiling faces and long to celebrate the sacred Mass with each of you once more. As talk of reopening our churches begins to surface we need to begin preparing for what the Mass in the “new normal” will be for the foreseeable future. As you are all aware, May 15th has been spoken of as a possible date to lift the stay at home order. Let us plan and work to be ready on that date, in the event it actually comes to pass.
Additionally, just because our civil government allows us to congregate again with new guidelines, does not mean any of you are required to attend Mass. The Bishop’s dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation will remain in effect for an indefinite period of time. He has clearly stated that no one who is uncomfortable with being in public, young or old is required to attend mass. He also emphasized that attending a weekday mass, with many less people and far less risk, would also fulfill the Sunday obligation.
There are many changes to implement for our sacramental reunion. As you will see, every effort is being made to protect your safety:
- We will be limited in attendance to 25% capacity of our Churches and will need to keep the six foot separation at all times between individuals and/or family groups who will of course be able to sit side by side.
- All parishioners MUST wear a mask or facial covering while in mass and are asked to bring small hand sanitizers. The mask will be lowered to receive communion, then should be put back in place. Masks do not need to meet medical standards. Cloth masks and coverings will suffice. Everyone involved in communion (Priests, Extra Ordinary Ministers) will sanitize their hands before and after communion. It has been suggested that recipients should also sanitize their hands prior to receiving. If a minister touches a communicant’s hand, he/she is to leave the communion station, sanitize their hands, and return to distribution.
- The communion line will maintain six foot separation throughout the church. Tape will be placed on the floor of each church in six foot increments. Only one center aisle line will be formed to maximize distance with those sitting on the ends of pews. We will start with administering communion to the front and back of St. Anne’s and Assumption.One center line starting in the back and one center line starting in the front. St. Philomena will only receive towards the front as the collection baskets will be there. St. Philomena will utilize four ministers.
- Reception of communion on the tongue is discouraged. Please be sure when you hold out your hands to receive communion you form a sure crown to receive the host. Priests and extraordinary ministers will drop the host into your hands.
- Bows and nods will replace handshakes to neighbors during the sign of peace and there will be no holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer outside of one’s own family.
- Six foot distances must be maintained when leaving the church, please allow the parishioners in the rear of the Church to leave first; others will remain in their pews so that the six foot separation is maintained and no “traffic jam” is created at the door.Visiting with the priest after mass must be at a six foot distance and while wearing masks.
- St Philomena will no longer pass the baskets for offertory contributions. A basket for regular giving and an additional one for special collections, when appropriate, will be placed near the sanctuary and envelopes and other contributions will be placed after reception of communion on the return to your pew. St. Anne and Assumption churches will continue to collect with the long handled baskets.
- Special “Facilitators” will now be required to ensure maximum safety precautions are followed by all so that our worship may be safe and our congregation will feel secure receiving the sacraments. This will include seating the congregation, ensuring masks are worn, and maintaining the safety capacity. Please show them the ultimate respect.This means many of you will not likely be sitting in “your regular place.” Those who volunteer to serve in this capacity (male/female/old and young), will be critical to our offering Mass. Please maintain your scheduled times and arrange for a replacement if unable to attend. Contact Mrs. Merry Arceneaux or Kathy Landry to sign up for your respective churches.
- If attendees exceed seating capacity restrictions we will attempt to live stream the Mass to the KC hall at St Anne and the cafeteria at St Philomena. This will not be in place for the first weekend. Should capacity be exceeded the first weekend, parishioners will be asked to attend a later mass, including a weekday as suggested by our Bishop. To better accommodate all parishioners we will offer an additional vigil mass. St. Anne’s will hold a 4:00 PM vigil, St. Philomena will hold a 6:00 PM vigil.
- Reconciliation will be available at 3:00 PM on Saturday at St Anne’s and at 5:00 PM on MONDAY at St Philomena, prior to the 6:00 PM mass there. Face to face confessions will not be possible. All will need to use the screen or sit in the chair at the entrance to the confessional to maintain separation requirements. Please use the sanitizing wipes provided to wipe down the kneeler contact points when your confession is completed. Take care to maintain six foot separation while waiting. Private confessions may be arranged with either priest by calling the parish office.
- There will no longer be a 7:30 AM mass on Monday in the Adoration Chapel. It will be held at 6:00 PM Monday, in the Church. The 7:30 AM mass on Tuesday will be held in St Philomena Church.
- We will continue to record and possibly live stream one Mass on Facebook each Sunday, then uploaded the Mass to our website as we have been doing. This is going to be a learn-as-we-go production, so please be patient with us.
- Only the center entrance door will be opened at Assumption. At St. Philomena and St. Anne’s the side door closest to the parking lot at each church will be available for entrance in addition the central front door. All doors will be available for exiting.
- In an attempt to further protect those most vulnerable, we are asking the vigil masses, both at St. Anne’s and St. Philomena, be designated as an “at-risk-Mass.” If younger/less-at-risk individuals attend either of these masses we ask you to be seated in the rear of the church. It would be very noble and Christian for a less at risk individual to volunteer his/her seat and attend a different mass if we reach capacity and ‘more-at-risk persons’ are in danger of being turned away. Families containing both ‘risk levels’ are encouraged to attend together; worship is a family affair.
- Our church offices will open on a limited schedule (St. Anne, Mondays and Tuesdays; St. Philomena Wednesdays and Thursdays, beginning May 11th, in anticipation of Phase I beginning the 16th). Please do as much business as possible over the phone or emails; all visitors to the offices will be required to wear a mask.
- All non-sacramental ministries will remain suspended under Phase I reopening of our state and churches.
- There is no change in the ban on funeral masses and nuptial weddings. Baptisms may continue with only immediate family and godparents present.
- There will be no altar servers present in Phase I and only one lector. Choirs are banned, but a musician and cantor will be provided. The lector will read from a different microphone than the ambo and use preprinted copies of the readings to maximize safety.
- The precious blood will continue to be consumed by the celebrant alone.
I am very aware that this may seem very overwhelming at the moment, but I ask your patience and prayers. The last thing any of us wants to do is to endanger the health of any of our Church family members.
May God watch over and continue to bless each of us during these trying times. May the Blessed Mother intercede for us.
Yours in Christ,
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SATURDAY ANTICIPATED MASSES
- 4:00 PM St. Anne
- 6:00 PM St. Philomena
- 7:00 AM St. Anne Church
- 9:00 AM Assumption Church
- 11:00 AM St. Philomena
- 6:00 PM St. Philomena
- 7:30 AM St. Philomena
- 5:30 PM St. Anne
- 12:10 PM St. Anne
St. Anne Church:
- Wednesday @ 4:30 PM
St. Philomena Adoration Chapel:
- 4:00 AM – 11:00 PM
- 4:00 AM – 12:00 PM (noon)
- Schedule with Fr. Eddie
- 5:00 PM @ St. Philomena
- 4:30 PM @ St. Anne
- 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM @ St. Anne
Please call the emergency phone number first, if no one answers, please leave a text message.
- St. Anne/Assumption & St. Philomena open from Monday thru Thursday 9 AM - 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (During this time, St. Anne/Assumption Office will be open Monday's & Tuesday's. St. Philomena will be open Wednesday's & Thursday's)
- (Closed for Lunch 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
"Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ. In the area of communications too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts" -Pope Francis