Most Recent Changes to Virus-related Restrictions at St. Mary’s

05-21-2021NewsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With the recent alterations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding guidance for wearing masks for those fully vaccinated for COVID-19, please note the changes below to virus-related restrictions for our parish.

As always, your safety continues to be my utmost priority. At the beginning of and during the pandemic, we adhered to CDC guidelines based on the best science known then about how the virus spreads. Now, we are continuing to adhere to the best science from the CDC in lifting certain restrictions.

Here is a quick list of the changes:

Some changes to note:

  1. Masks are highly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people, however, do not need to wear them but may if they would like. Everyone should practice kindness, patience, and be aware of his or her neighbor, who may wish more distance. Let us practice our smiles in the mirror!
  2. We will no longer block off pews.
  3. Since the CDC has determined touch to be a very unlikely way to spread the virus, the Sign of Peace is returned; however, please be aware that your neighbor may not want to shake hands. The Sign of Peace can be accomplished equally as well with a smile and, perhaps, a wave, while saying, “Peace be with you.”
  4. There are no restrictions to receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, which is always allowed by the Church.
  5. Confessions are now returned to the confessionals in the church building. If you would like confession outside of the confessional, please just let one of the priests know, and we will be happy to accommodate.

What hasn’t changed:

  1. The Bishop has yet not restored chalices for the people at Holy Communion.
  2. Kindness and patience with our fellow Christian brothers and sisters are still our norm.

In summary, pretty much everything is back except chalices at Holy Communion.

All of this is possible as more and more people are becoming vaccinated against the virus. The Bishop highly encourages people to be vaccinated and reminds people that it is morally acceptable to receive a vaccine, especially the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

I would like to again thank each of you for your patience, which has been greater than Job. Remember, our goal is the same – holiness. May Holy Mary, Help of Christians, help us always in this singular endeavor.

Yours truly in Christ,
Rev. Gregory B. Wilson