Dear Saint Francis Xavier Parishioners,
With great joy, Bishop Paprocki has called for the resumption of public Masses in our diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Saint Francis Xavier will resume its regular Mass schedule beginning with the 4PM Mass on Saturday, June 6th.
As has been mentioned, there will be some changes in how we worship for the time being:
- Masses will be celebrated using safe distancing practices. You may find that, for now, your favorite pew has been closed to achieve this practice. With the practice of safe distancing being used, masks will not be required for those coming for Mass, as long as safe distancing is respected. Those wishing to use masks for the entirety of their time in the church are free to do so.
- There will be music at the Sunday Masses but there will be no congregational singing. The music that is chosen will be done to lend itself to this temporary restriction and the parts of the Mass will be spoken. The hymnals and missalettes will be removed from the pews. At this time, there is to be no distribution of parish bulletins but please visit https://jerseycountycatholicchurches.org/bulletins/ where the weekly bulletin may be found.
- Distribution of the Precious Blood and the physical Sign of Peace will continue to not be offered at this time.
- Holy Communion will be distributed by the priest after the Mass has ended at the rear of the church as the parishioners exit.
- Following Mass, the pews will need to be sanitized, therefore the faithful will not be allowed to congregate in the church, except for silent prayer. Parishioners who wish to visit with each other must do so outside in the open air.
- Due to the temporary seating capacity of 25%, please call the parish Secretary Rochelle at 618/498-3518 to reserve your attendance at the Saturday Vigil 4pm, Sunday 10:15am and Sunday 5pm Masses to ensure we do not exceed the 25% maximum attendance.
- A collection basket will not be taken up by the ushers during Mass. Rather, there will be collection baskets stationed by the entrances for those wishing to drop in their offertory envelopes or a donation.
- The option for donating to the parish online remains in effect using the link: https://www.givecentral.org/location/565/event/17015
- Thank you for your understanding and consideration of these realities that we must temporarily observe.
Having shared with you these temporary changes and practices, we are reminded that:
- Bishop Paprocki’s general dispensation that lifts the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect. Those who choose not to attend Sunday Mass do not commit a grave sin.
- Those parishioners suffering from a contagious illness or who have been exposed to a contagious illness, such as COVID-19, are notto attend Mass. This observance should always be practiced, even outside of a pandemic.
- Those parishioners who are have greater health risks due to age or other factors as defined by the CDC are strongly asked to exercise prudence in prayerfully discerning their own Mass attendance at this time.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m. Weekday Masses will continue to be live streamed. There will be no Weekday Masses on Monday and Saturday mornings.
- The Sunday 10:15AM Mass will continue to be live streamed.
- You can view Mass on:
- Father Marty’s Facebook page, Martin Smith
- On his YouTube Channel: Fr. Marty Catholic Watch Party: (link below)
- Or on St. Francis Xavier Website: (link below) https://jerseycountycatholicchurches.org/…/st-francis-xavi…/
- The Saturday 4pm Vigil Mass and Sunday 5pm Mass will not be live streamed.
The pandemic has certainly caused many difficult changes the last several months, including the disruptions in our way of worship and access to the sacraments. However, we are happy and confident that we can safely re-open public Mass following the previously mentioned precautions, and that in the future we will be able to return to Sunday worship as we previously knew it.
Know of my prayers for you all as we continue to adapt and address all the challenges in our daily lives. We also continue to pray for those who are sick or suffering in any way, those who are unemployed, and those who have asked us for our prayers, and those we have promised to pray for. Please keep me in your prayers as well. God bless you all and may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to strengthen us all daily.
Sincerely yours in Christ,