Fr. Rick Filary

Dear Parish Family,

​As we look to reopening our churches, I first encourage you to go and carefully read in their entirety the latest communication from Bishop Gruss, dated May 19th, and the accompanying liturgical guidelines, dated May 15th, that are posted on the diocesan website (Saginaw.org). These guidelines include the one page summary I had sent with my brief letter to you also dated May 19th, posted to our Facebook page.

Bishop Gruss wrote to us, “It is our plan to begin offering public Mass on Monday, May 25, 2020 in parishes that are prepared to do so. There will be need to follow strict directives in order to diminish the possibility of a ‘second wave” of the coronavirus. The cooperation of everyone will be required to ensure the continued health and safety of everyone in our communities. The leadership of each parish must determine if the proper protocols and procedures are in place and able to be carried out before a parish can resume public worship…When you return to the celebration of Eucharist, you will see things done differently, and things will feel differently…It is very important to remember that this coronavirus does not discriminate, and no gathering of the People of God is immune…As we gather back for the celebration of the Eucharist, we must take every precaution, be patient with one another, and continue to make sacrifices for the greater good of all”

With that I want you to know that we, Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish:

...Are planning to begin public Mass with the regularly scheduled Tuesday, 5:30pm liturgy. There will be no prior confessions at this time and no other communal activity (such as praying the rosary) will take place. Entry doors will be open at 5:00pm, with access only through the handicapped entry way and the north door on the main or west entry side of the church. This is to facilitate count if necessary and to give instructions to those coming;

...In keeping with protocols to ensure limited and restricted attendance in keeping with distancing and safety protocols as presented by and following civil and health authorities, pews have been roped off and marked as to where people may sit. Floors have also been marked at 6 foot intervals. Those who live under one roof (husband and wife; parents and their children at home; etc.) may sit together in one pew – otherwise all others, including extended family who do not live together will be seated 6 feet apart and in every other pew. Seating will be limited as follows: St. Stanislaus church from 129-150 people and St. Hyacinth church from 107-140 people, in keeping with the established protocols. Face-covering/masks are to be worn by the faithful in and around the church. If you do not have a mask one will be provided as long as we have supply available, otherwise you cannot attend liturgy. You will be invited to sanitize your hands upon entry and leaving. After each service the church will be cleaned and sanitized

...Hymnals and all other handouts from pamphlet racks have been removed and the Baptismal Font and Holy Water dishes will remain empty. Singing will be limited. There will be no procession by the community with the bread and wine at offertory. On Sundays, the collection will be taken up in a new way. The use of other liturgical ministers will be limited in number;

...Holy Communion will not be distributed during mass at the usual time. Mass will be brought to a conclusion followed by the distribution of Holy Communion, with…pre-cautions to reduce risk. You can read this procedure in the liturgical guidelines on the diocesan website and they will be explained before the liturgy

...Once having received Holy Communion, you will leave church, and return home without gathering with others in church or outside of church in the parking areas

...If there are bulletins of other such items to be handed out, someone at the door will be passing those out in a proper manner

...No other communal devotional prayer will take place before or after the liturgies for now; and

For this first weekend of May 30th-31st, Pentecost, we plan on having Mass Saturday, May 30th, at 4:30pm, at St. Hyacinth church, Sunday, May 31st, at 9:00am at the St. Stanislaus church, and 6:00pm at the St. Hyacinth church. As we make this return, there will be no 11:30am as for this first weekend together we need to see how quickly we can clean and sanitize the church and allow the fabric of the pews that have been sanitized to dry and be ready for use. As we move forward, all will be worked out, we will have the 11:30am Sunday liturgy at St. Stanislaus church or we will re-order our liturgy schedule by whatever time and location will allow us to properly follow procedures and the guidelines we have.

With all of this being said, I also wish to remind everyone of the following:

...Bishop Gruss has stated, “All the faithful in the Diocese are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, August 30, 2020”

...All of us are reminded that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) strongly encourages “Older adults [65 and over] and people who have severe underlying conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness” and are encouraged to stay at home (emphasis in the original CDC guidelines);

...Please remember that you watch Mass online or on television. Please see the diocesan website, the USCCB website, or our parish Facebook page or Parish App for this information; and

...Know that “It is not enough to return to celebrate with the people if, in a fragile context, the virtue of prudence is not exercised as the Pope also stressed” (The Jesuit Post).

Please know of my continuing prayers for all of you and for our country and world as we move forward together in faith and charity. I look forward to our gathering together for Eucharist. As Bishop Gruss stated, “There will be no return to the “old” normal. A “new” normal will immerge from this historic moment in history and in our Church.” The Lord is shepherding us into this “new” moment.

Peace and blessings,

Fr. Rick