A message from Fr. Tharp
Dear Sacred Heart and St. Ann Parishioners and friends:
Returning to Public Mass at Sacred Heart and St. Ann on May 25, Memorial Day
Monday, Memorial Day….tomorrow marks the first time we will have public Mass at churches within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Remember that Mass on Memorial Day is at Sacred Heart at 7:30 a.m. and at St. Ann at 9:00 a.m. Obviously, attendance is purely voluntary as the Archbishop has released all Catholics in the Archdiocese from any and all obligations to attend Mass (even Sunday Mass) until further notice. Also, as a matter of Christian charity, no one should come to Mass when he or she has any symptoms of any kind that could signal the onset of a communicable disease. Similarly, everyone who is medically susceptible to catching a virus due to age, medical condition, or even psychological concerns should stay quarantined, stay home, and stay safe.
If you do plan on attending tomorrow, please take note of the following:
Bring your MASK with you to MASS! Each parish has a “limited” number of masks. Remember that masks are like your personal toothbrush; once opened and used, no one else other than you should ever use it. If you don’t have a mask, any breathable covering that extends over the nose and mouth simultaneously is adequate. A bandana works great. Even a makeshift nose/mouth veil made from a clean paper towel with two rubber bands for ear pieces works fine. If you don’t have rubber bands, even a clean paper towel suspended by a string tied over your ears and behind your neck will work. Remember that a mask does not have to be air tight to keep you from infecting anyone else, just enough of a barrier to capture and stop any microscopic droplets that come forth from all of us when we sing, speak, or (heaven forbid) sneeze or cough. Think of the face covering like the foul ball net behind home plate. It does not have to “dead stop” the ball in flight! It simply slows the velocity and stops the ball from hurting anybody it could fly through the air and hit. That is why if everybody wears a face mask, practices social distancing, and follows all the other hygienic rules (like sanitizing hands); it is likely that no one else will become infected.
Social Distancing! At Sacred Heart, I have measured behind the pews to the wall. If all the pews are filled (following the social distancing rules), a sizeable number will be able to stand with backs against the wall and still being six feet away from the last person in a pew. If we need “standing room only” we will be able to accommodate a large number around the perimeter walls and socially distanced in the Narthex. The only downside to standing through Mass is that you cannot fall asleep (even during my sermon) without falling to the ground.
Similarly at St. Ann, if the pews should become fully utilized by socially distancing people, a person standing with back to the wall should meet the six feet requirement.
REMEMBER: Even those standing must wear a mask or nose/mouth covering!
I look forward to the resumption of weekday Masses tomorrow and especially look forward to the resumption of Sunday Mass this coming weekend (May 31).
Remember: you will see the following sign when you enter church at either parish:
For Mass Today, are you coming as:
An Individual No other members of your household are with you at this time
A Couple One other person who lives in your household is with you
A Family all persons in your group live in one household
Individuals MUST socially distance from everyone else!
Couples do not need to socially distance from each other, ONLY from everyone else
Family members living in the same household do not need to socially distance from one another, ONLY from everyone else
Every other pew is marked in RED This means Do Not Sit in a RED pew!!!
Sit as an individual, family, or couple in any non-red pew but be sure no other individual, couple or family is within six feet of you.
At present, every other pew is taped off in both churches. When you as a family, couple or individual sit down, remember not to encroach within six feet of your nearest neighbor. Again, this is a matter of courtesy.
Your pastor in the Lord Jesus
Fr. Larry Tharp