Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As circumstances surrounding the pandemic continue to change we are reminded that each must do their part
to keep themselves, our worshipping community, as well as the wider community, as safe and healthy as possible during this time.
To that end, last week our Archbishop wrote to all the priests and pastors, rearticulating some of the necessary
precautionary measures that must be taken at Mass. He emphasized the point that “some basics are more important than ever and some may need to be reintroduced given that the highly contagious variant is still spreading.” They are as follows:
CDC is recommending masks. Here in the City of New Haven, the mandate that masks are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status, is still in effect. Should you, or a member of your family, forget to bring a mask to Mass, one will be provided for you and complimentary masks will be available at the entrances to the church.
For now, it would be best to refrain from unnecessary circulation in church, from processions, and from greeting or gathering people before or after Mass.
Unvaccinated persons should not be present in the sacristy, sanctuary or distributing Holy Communion.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID or living under the same roof with someone showing symptoms should please stay home.
Anyone who has tested positive belongs in quarantine until they have completed the prescribed course of action.
With regard to music, it would be best to keep it to a minimum or reserved only for a cantor/organist. Although we will continue to use sung mass parts, congregational singing is discouraged at this time. The cantor will sing the response on behalf of the assembly.
I know that this is all very frustrating, and some may feel burdened by these precautions. In the words of our
...none of us like to be burdened with such restrictions. Charity, however, as well the duty to take reasonable care of our physical health and to protect that of others, requires measures commensurate with
the seriousness of the threat that is posed.
I am also reminded of the words of my predecessor, Fr. John Paul, who when writing his column in February of
2021, having observed some perhaps unintentional inattentiveness to the COVID precautions, wrote the following:
So I would like to make a personal appeal to everyone in the parish to please do your best to “refocus”
on our safety precautions when you come to Mass. Please use hand sanitizer when entering, either from
our stations or from your own supply. Please be attentive to wearing a mask that covers your nose and
mouth the entire time. Even if you think these measures are overkill or unnecessary, I am asking you to
please follow them anyways. Consider it an act of solidarity with the most vulnerable among us.
Thank you for making your health and safety, as well as that of all our brothers and sisters, not only a top priority, but an act of charity and self sacrifice for the common good.
Gratefully yours in Christ,