Sunday: 9:00 am (Please sit in a red pew)
Sunday: 11:00 am (Please sit in a blue pew)
Tuesday-Saturday: 11:30 am (Please sit in a white pew)
First Friday Mass: 7:30 pm (Please sit in a red pew)
If you would like to schedule a Mass intention, please call (614) 224-3416
Confessions by appointment only. At the time of your appointment, I will be sitting behind a plexiglass door on the porch of the rectory in a manner where I can hear you, but will not be able to see you.
MARRIAGE PREPARATION NEWS:
Due to COVID-19, Pre-Cana weekends have been cancelled. As an alternative, the Diocese of Columbus is asking all couples preparing for marriage to sign up for this Pre-Cana Class: https://smartloving.org/engaged/
The Columbus chapter of Engaged Encounter offers a two-day program done over a weekend (June 12-14 and October 23-25. The cost is $30 per couple). The presentations cover many topics and experiences the couple may face as they begin their life together. Please visit www.engaged.org to check for availability as each weekend is limited to 25 couples.
SURVEY FOR NON-PRACTICING CATHOLICS
Do you know of a family member or friend who is a non-practicing Catholic? If so, the Diocese of Columbus would like to know the reason why. While it'd be easy to assume, we want to hear directly from the people themselves by having them take this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
If you are a REGISTERED Holy Cross parishioner and are under dire financial stress due to the pandemic, please let me know since an Emergency Response Fund has been set up to help those in need.
On September 23, Bishop Brennan appointed me to be the Administrator Pro Tem at St. John Newmann, Sunbury in addition to my duties here at Holy Cross. As a result, for the foreseeable future, a lot of different priests will help cover the Sunday Masses at these two parishes.
Fr. Ryan Schmit
Currently, there is a statewide mandatory mask order in effect which requires everyone over age 10 coming to a public place of gathering (including churches) to wear a mask. (Our own diocesan protocol is that everyone over age 2 must be masked.) An exception is made for anyone having a speaking role: e.g. celebrant, deacon, lector, or cantor. There is also an exception for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. Although such persons should be advised not to attend public gatherings at all, including coming to Mass due to their vulnerability to infection. It should also be noted that those distributing Communion must be masked while performing this function. If you come to church and forgot to bring your mask, I keep a few emergency masks stashed away in the drawer by the handicap entrance.
Fr. Ryan Schmit
Thanks be to God! The Mass is now open to the public! The faithful once again have access to the source and summit of our Faith, Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist! At the same time, it cannot be forgotten that the pandemic is nowhere close to being over. Indeed, it is going to be a very long time before things go back to the way they were.
As a case in point, even though churches are now open, maybe you’re not ready to come back to church yet, and that’s okay. In fact, Bishop Brennan is asking all Catholics who are in high risk COVID categories to continue to stay home (and pray/watch live-streamed Masses from there). Therefore, Bishop Brennan has dispensed all Catholics in the diocese from the obligation of attending Mass until further notice.
If you fall into one of the high risk COVID categories, I am now permitted to bring Holy Communion to you, at your home. On the other hand, if you decide venturing out to Holy Cross is worth the inherent risk of leaving home, I will leave that to your discretion.
Also, although this shouldn’t need to be said, I will say it anyway because there may be some whose devotion is so great that the only time they miss Mass is if they are hospitalized… if you have any symptoms of illness whatsoever, (even if you are convinced that you “just have a cold” and don’t have COVID-19), STAY HOME. Please, I implore you, DO NOT COME TO CHURCH until you have been symptom free for 14 days.
Also, please dress appropriately when you come to church. For example, in the same way that you would not enter a church without wearing a shirt, for the foreseeable future, a covering for your nose and mouth (a mask) should be standard attire. (That being said, the irony of the fact that within the Mass, priests will only be permitted to wear a mask during the distribution of Communion is not lost upon me.)
As you survey the pews looking for a place to sit, all of the pews will be marked with red, white, or blue string to assist with social distancing and cleaning purposes.)
On Sunday at 9:00 am, please sit in a red pew.
On Sunday at 11:00 am, please sit in a blue pew.
Tuesday-Saturday, please sit in a white pew.
Unless you are living under the same roof with someone, sit at least 6 feet away from everyone else.
At the offertory, instead of having ushers pass a collection basket, I'll ask that you place your offertory in a collection basket by the votive candles before or after Mass. Additionally, you are always welcome to mail in your offertory gift directly to Holy Cross.
Regarding the reception of Holy Communion, after sanitizing my hands, I will begin distributing Communion in the middle of the nave for people who are in the back half of the church. As you come forward to receive, always maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and other parishioners. If you receive Communion on your hand, please keep your hand as flat and still as possible, since if my hand touches your hand, I will need to re-sanitize my hands.
Although receiving Communion on the hand has been recommended, for those who desire to receive Communion on the tongue, I ask that you sit in the front half of the church. In fact, if you desire to receive Communion on your tongue, I would prefer that you do so while kneeling at the Communion Rail. When receiving Communion on your tongue, remain as still as possible with your head slightly tilted back, tongue slightly out, and mouth reasonably open. Obviously, if my fingers touch your tongue, I will need to re-sterilize my hands. Either way, for those in the front half of the church, regardless of how you choose to receive Communion (on your tongue or on your hand), please always maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and others.
After Mass, you are certainly welcome to remain in church to pray. However, if you choose to socialize with others, please do so outside maintaining social distancing.
I realize this is a lot to digest. Some may think these precautions are excessive. Others may think they are not cautious enough. Other directives and clarifications may be given from the diocese so stay tuned. If you believe the directives are excessive, better safe than sorry. If you believe they are not cautious enough, recall once again that attendance is optional. Regardless, thank you for your patience, prayers, and understanding. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give me a call.
Finally, please be aware that if I experience any symptoms of the flu during this pandemic, I will make this known here on the parish website and will also send out an email to parishioners. Consequently, please pray for my health because if I get sick (or have any flu-like symptoms), the church will be closed for at least a few weeks. So once again, if you have any flu-like symptoms, for my sake and for the sake of others at church, please stay home. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you again at church and sharing the Eucharist with you in the near future!
May God bless you and keep you safe,
Fr. Ryan Schmit