My Dear Parishioners,
The following is an update of the current situation in our Archdiocese of Los Angeles as well as here in our own parish community.
All Parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have been told to “discontinue indoor Masses and other liturgical services” after new statewide restrictions on indoor activities aimed at slowing the summer spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases were announced Monday, July 13, by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
An email from Archbishop Gomez that was sent with new guidelines to parishes around the archdiocese July 13, however, noted that the reclosure allows for services outdoors. “Outdoor Masses and other liturgical services such as adoration and prayer services are allowed and encouraged. Parishes may continue to celebrate Confessions, Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Funerals, and Weddings outdoors on the parish grounds”.
Guidelines issued to the parishes stated that “face coverings and social distancing are required for any services held outdoors.”
The email sent Monday night to parish pastors in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties — all of which are among the 30 California counties included in Newsom’s order — called the restrictions “discouraging and disappointing” but also mentioned the importance of public safety.
Additionally, the Governor’s Directives include closures of parish offices. Parish offices are to be closed to the public. The Pastors may allow a minimal number of essential parish staff members to continue working in the office provided that social distancing is observed. While our office here in St. Peter Claver is closed to the public, we will communicate regularly with parishioners, return calls to answer questions, and reassure individuals and families that our parish is still here for everyone in prayer and to help with any needs they may have.
This is also a good time to remind all of you, that the risk of coronavirus is real, and it is dangerous. While these orders are discouraging and disappointing, this is the time for us to continue to pray for one another, trust in Jesus, and focus on the care and love He has for each one of us.
In addition to houses of worship, the July 13 restrictions also ordered closure of bars, gyms, hair salons, malls, zoos and museums, as well as indoor dining. State officials have not said when the restrictions may be lifted again.
In consultation with the parish team leaders and after a thoughtful discussion with them, this is what we decided to do:
- For the time being St. Peter will continue to live stream weekday private Masses from Monday thru Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
- Weekend Schedule of Masses:
Saturday Eve Outdoor Mass at 7:00 p.m. in Spanish
Sunday Outdoor Mass at 7:30 a.m. in English
Sunday Live-Streamed Private Mass at 9:00 a.m. in English
Sunday Outdoor Mass at 7:00 p.m. in English
- Direction For all Outdoor Weekend Masses:
1. People can park their cars any where in the parking lot.
2. People will take their beach chairs (and umbrellas) and go to the plaza and find the place where to sit following the instruction of the ushers.
3. People must wear masks all the time and should maintain social distancing of six feet apart from another group of people outside their own household.
4. Communion for people will take place during the regular communion time, with the priest presider presenting the host saying "The Body of Christ" and everyone responds "Amen".
5. People then will be dismissed at the end of the Mass by section so to maintain social distancing following the direction of the ushers.
6. Collection baskets are placed at the center area of the plaza to drop in your Sunday donation.
7. The public outdoor Masses will be short. There will be no music and the homily will be brief.
IF YOUR HEALTH IS IN ANY WAY COMPROMISED, ESPECIALLY OUR SENIORS, IT MIGHT BE BEST FOR YOU TO VIEW THE LIVE-STREAM MASS AT HOME.
I say that the schedule we have lined up for now can change, so I want to thank everyone for your understanding and patience.
Yes, I continue to pray for all of you that God may give you the grace to persevere through these trying times.