Dear Blessed Sacrament Parishioners,
It has been a long time in coming. The Church, having taken its cues from the State, is in process of returning to normalcy. In fact, if you were at Mass a couple of weeks ago, you witness me throwing what looked to be an ordinary ball of tape up in the air. I deemed it the Ball of Normalcy.
As has been published, the bishop has reinstated the Obligation for weekly attendance of Mass, unless you have a medical problem that would put you into a high-risk group. The reinstatement of this obligation is also followed with the lifting of social distancing requirements. This means every pew is now available and no pews are taped off. Traffic patterns in the church during Communion time are back to pre-Covid norms. The normal Communion stations have never been changed but how you came to them had. No longer is the main aisle used for exiting after reception of Holy Communion. Coming up the side aisle for Communion with your exit immediately following is no longer the protocol. Now you will come up the main aisle for reception of Holy Communion then return to your seat for the conclusion of Mass. Our choir has also made a return. It is great to hear them sing. If you have had your two doses of the vaccine shot or your 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are no longer required to wear a mask. It is the honor system, and we ask that you continue to respect you Christian brothers and sisters.
Those are the changes back to normalcy. What will remain until otherwise noted is that there will still be no Holy Water at the entrances of the church and hand sanitizers will remain on the walls at the entrances of the church. There will still be no physical contact. This means, a sign of peace without human contact. We will continue to offer the broadcasting of the Mass into the parking lot via 89.9FM for the foreseeable future.
It is truly amazing what we have accomplished in the last eighteen months. We have celebrated Mass throughout the pandemic without anyone getting sick from/at church. While our income was down, it was not as bad as it could have been. There was great support from all in the parish as they recognized the need and supported the church. We are not yet over the finish line of this pandemic but we are certainly closer to it, and with your continued help we will cross that finish line soon. May our God continue to care for this community.
Rev. Robert A. Gentile, Jr.