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.
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.
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 September 13, 2020. (As we approach that date, it is certainly possible that this dispensation may be extended.)
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.
As a personal favor, if you do come to church, please use the restroom before leaving your homes. (If restrooms are used, after Mass, I will have to clean them.) Speaking of which, after Mass, if you’d like to volunteer to help me clean the church pews, door handles, and restrooms, (if they are used), let me know.
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.)
Once you step foot into the church, unless you are wearing gloves, instead of reaching out for Holy Water, please reach out for some hand sanitizer instead (which will be blessed!)
Next, 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.
Once Mass starts, you’ll notice several subtle differences designed to shorten the amount of time Mass takes and for maintaining social distancing. For example, hymns and homilies will be shorter or omitted altogether among other things.
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, although you are always welcome to mail in your offertory gift directly to Holy Cross, I would also like to make you aware of a way to donate to the parish electronically through the Columbus Diocese website: https://columbuscatholic.org/make-a-gift-now
If you choose to donate electronically, please be sure to specify Holy Cross as being the recipient of your one time or reoccurring donation(s). (Also please let us know about your donation so we can verify that we have in fact, received your donation.)
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