24 Jul 2020 | Posted by: chadmin
I pray all is well. Thank you for the cooperation this past week with the Bishop’s updated Covid-19 rules for Mass attendance. The two most significant updates are receiving communion only in the hand and wearing a face covering throughout Mass, except for when receiving the Eucharist. I’ve had a few people ask about receiving Communion on the tongue. It is true that receiving on the tongue can be a more reverent way of personally receiving Communion, but there is the risk of the priest’s fingers touching the tongue of the communicant. As the priest distributes Communion to everyone, it is vital for our communal protection that the priest’s hand remain clean. It is for this reason that we ask you to use the hand sanitizer immediately before receive Communion in the hand. If your hands are clean prior to receiving, the risk of transferring any contagion to the priest, if hands accidentally touch, is mitigated. While the adjustment to wearing a mask throughout the liturgy can be a challenge, we see nationally the importance to all be on the same page at this time Thanks so much for the support and thinking about others as we desire to pray for and with each other at St. Philomena.
We continue our preparations for the 2020-21 Academic Year. As with anything these days, there are big-picture plans, and then how to work out the plans day one of school. Our principal, Jack Dippold, has done a terrific job maintaining communication with the State, the Diocese and a representative group of our teachers. Essentially we are preparing for every option that might be needed when school starts. We plan to have our kids in the building for five day school weeks, as we begin the year. To help the kids adjust to school and maintain everyone’s safety, the local Catholic schools may start the year with shortened days. Preparation for E-Learning is essential as E-Learning may be forced at some point this year, some families may prefer E-Learning for personal reasons, and some students may need E-Learning because of sickness. A hybrid of delivering instruction effectively is essential to provide the best for our children this fall. Our hope and plan, as we begin the school year, is to implement a plan that coincides with the neighboring Catholic Schools, while considering what is best for our students, our families and our teachers. As the Bishop has asked that face coverings be worn throughout each Mass, it is likely come the end of August that face coverings will be worn by the kids and teachers throughout the school day. With health being the first consideration, we have to be reasonable in our breaks outside for mask-wearing relief and teaching the kids best practices. This is certainly one of those issues for the school year that will be a community effort. Keep praying for all those working so hard to get our schools open. I keep hearing from the kids how much they miss their friends. We all know how important school is to the development of our children. Operating a school that is safe for our children and teachers is a primary focus to our parish ministry.