May 26, 2020
Dear St. Thecla Parishioner,
I am writing to you today to let you know that St. Thecla is planning to resume the public celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Friday, May 29. While we are happy to share this news with you, it is important to keep in mind that there are many new safety protocols in place that we will need to follow for the foreseeable future. Among them:
- All Masses (weekday and weekend) will be in the church for the foreseeable future.
- Only two entrances will be open – the Main Entrance (often called “The Horseshoe Drive”) and the Main Doors of the Gathering Space.
- The Mass schedule will be: Monday – Friday 8:30 am Saturday 4:00 pm Sunday 9:00 am, 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm
- Please note that the 11:00 am Mass has been moved to 12:00 pm for the foreseeable future. This is to allow for better disinfecting between Masses.
- Mass attendance will be limited to 25% of the church capacity, but we will have additional seating in the Activity Center. Seating is first come, first serve. We will not be taking reservations.
- It is strongly recommended that if you are sick, have health concerns, or are caring for a loved one, that you do not yet return to Mass. To accommodate this, the Sunday Mass dispensation will continue through Sunday, September 6. To help you to keep the Lord’s Day holy (which we are still obliged to do), we are planning to continue to Livestream the 9:00 am Sunday Mass for the foreseeable future.
- The Archdiocese of Detroit has mandated that everyone in attendance will be required to wear a mask and to practice social distancing (staying 6’ apart). We ask that out of Christian charity for others and common courtesy that everyone in attendance adhere to this. Also, pews are marked with blue tape every 2’, to help you maintain 6’ of social distancing. However, those who live in the same household may sit closer together.
- Church facilities will be cleaned and disinfected regularly. We are currently developing procedures for cleaning and disinfecting in accord with guidelines from the Archdiocese of Detroit.
- You will be able to receive Holy Communion; however, it is very important that our new safety protocols and distribution procedures be followed by everyone. These will be explained at the beginning of each Mass.
- Baskets for Food Pantry donations, collection boxes for your offertory envelope, and tables with The Lantern will be set up at the two entrances.
- For the time being most liturgical ministries (Music Ministry, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Altar Server, Sacristan) will be handled by parish staff and individuals specifically identified and trained by the Worship Commission. As soon as we can invite everyone back into their ministry, we will contact you and set-up any needed training sessions. Thank-you for your patience and understanding.
- No other parish activities are being scheduled at this time. The office remains closed until we receive further direction from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Our staff has been working from home as much as possible, but we are checking voice mails, emails, and bringing in mail deliveries each day.
- Details are still being worked out concerning resuming a scheduled time for confessions. At present, we are taking appointments for anyone interested in going to confession. Please contact me or Fr. Bryan to set up an appointment.
- If you have any particular questions or concerns about our return to Mass, please call the parish office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Thecla, Pray for Us,
Fr. Brian Cokonougher
Pastor, St. Thecla Church