Guide for Our Return to Public Gatherings. Our COVID-19 Restrictions
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Rising to Life from COVID-19

For the most up to date information about our plan for rising to a more active community life, visit this page.  https://saintcofa.com/rising 

Guide for Our Return to Public Gatherings

Dispensation
The faithful remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass
Keep Holy The Day of the Lord.  Give God your best. You ought to attend virtual Mass live-streamed, if possible or, if that is not possible, then please do your best to attend a recorded video Mass. 

Stay at Home
If you are considered a vulnerable person due to your health conditions or age, please stay at home and protect yourself and your family. If you exhibit any symptoms of Covid-19, please stay at home and take care of your health. Let us know if you need any help.

Personal Responsibility
Be responsible for your own safe choices. We will mitigate the risks best by working together. We encourage you to bring hand sanitizer with you. It is not, and never will be, a sterile environment.
Stay Healthy - Stay-at-Home if you are vulnerable. This might be due to age or other conditions.

Physical Distancing
Please maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from people who do not live with you. Please do not just sit in the end seats. Many people want to attend Mass. Move toward the centers of rows and do not expect people to have to squeeze past you to get a seat.

Masks
"The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged," by our diocese and Bishop Olmsted. We are not bouncers and will not force people to wear masks. Please use good judgment. It does not guarantee safety, but it might lower the risks for you and for others. We don't know when we might suddently sneeze or cough so be prepared. Wear masks at all times during Mass or if you come to church after Mass. Only removed it after you receive Communion so that you can put the Sacred Host in your mouth or to receive the Host on your tongue. We are criticized strongly by some people who oppose masks and by those who insist on masks. We are just trying to be respectful and safe. This is not a perfect world.

Be Patient and Kind
Every parish may do things a little differently. We are not experts and much remains uncertain. Even experts disagree on the right approach to safety. Be prudent. Be reasonable. Be nice to each other.  
This is a work in progress. We do not know how the people will respond. We must remain flexible and adapt to the changing realities. Please be patient with us.

Limited Seating
For safety reasons, we are limiting attendance inside the church to 275 people per Mass. That is less than 25% of our seats but due to the layout of the pews, this is the number of seats we guesstimate we can safely use. We have roped off some rows to keep people socially distant.

Live Stream Mass, then Communion
Bishop Thomas Olmsted wants people to either be physically present at Mass or virtually present by praying with the live-stream Mass, before going to the church to receive Communion after Mass in the narthex. 

Recordings of Masses
We post our recorded Masses on our Facebook page and on our YouTube page and on our website. Follow us on Facebook and Subscribe to our YouTube page to make it easier for you to find when you need these. To start, go to our website home page with the information for that day.
https://www.saintcofa.com/

Rest Rooms - These will be open, but we are blocking off some stalls in both the men's and women's restrooms so that we can clean more thoroughly and more frequently.

Drinking Fountain - blocked. Bring your own water if necessary.

Holy Water - We removed water at the door. Bring your own personal bottle. You can refill it from the tank up front near the shrine of the Blessed Mother.

Arrival and Departure

We are trying to maintain order and will have one-way pathways for entrance and exiting the church and pathways for the Communion processions.

Doors open One Hour Before Mass begins

  • Wear your mask at all times.
  • Enter church through the front doors. Walk on the left side of the path. It will be marked clearly.
  • Wait in line and maintain distances between people. 
  • Our staff will be counting and let the first 275 people enter the church.
  • Our staff have marked the pews where you can sit and have cordoned off pews where you may not sit.
  • Roughly speaking, there is one row, then two blocked rows, then another row of seating.
  • You may be sharing a pew with another household, but social distance is required between the households (6ft).  Do not just sit at ends of rows. Make room for others.

Departure - Please follow signs, arrows and ushers.

  • Pews will be dismissed in an orderly fashion starting in the rear of the church and then moving forward. This is so that people do not get bogged down.
  • This will be similar to how you exit an airplane.
  • You must exit your pew when prompted. Private prayer is not available after Sunday Masses to allow the church to be reset for the next Mass.
  • Please leave by way of the side doors or by way of the main entrance but walk on the left side of the main tree covered walkway (palo verde walkway).
  • Do not congregate in groups outside. Go directly to your vehicles. There will be other people arriving for Communion following the live-stream Masses.

COMMUNION PROCEDURES

  • The precious blood will not be offered to the congregation.
  • Use of personal hand sanitizer before Communion is strongly encouraged.
  • Masks should be worn in the communion line. 
  • Most aisles will have only one single line. Move forward and then return by another route. We have not quite figured this out yet. That is another reason why you must wear masks at all times.
  • After the priest or other minister offers you Communion, please step to the side, remove your mask, consume the Eucharist, and then re-mask as you head back to your pew.

On the Hand

  • We strongly encourage you to choose to receive Communion in your hands as this is the safest way to receive at this time.
  • Please do not grasp the host. Hold your hands still, one hand under the other. Allow the person who is giving you Communion to gently place it on your hand. 

On the Tongue

  • We will offer Communion on the tongue at only one spot in the church. 
  • Please consider receiving on your hand due to the seriousness of the health risks.
  • But if you are very uncomfortable doing so, then stand in the one line up front for Communion on the tongue. The Minister of Holy Communion will gently place the Sacred Host on your tongue, please hold your hands below to catch it if it falls. The minister will use hand sanitizer whenever there is a chance that physical contact has been made with saliva.

Communion After Mass

  • If you have watched the live-stream Mass and then drive to church to receive Holy Communion, enter by way of the front walkway.
  • If you are handicapped, use the side parking spots nearest the church, even if you do not have a handicapped plate. A minister of Holy Communion will bring Communion to you in your vehicle.

Parish Updates
will be posted to our parish website including the most recent Flocknote messages when we send text or email messages to our subscribers.
Please go to the home page to begin your search for information and links
https://www.saintcofa.com/

PHOTO BELOW: Communion Stations in the Narthex for those who arrive after live-stream Mass

 
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