Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Great news!  We are in the first wave of openings in Massachusetts.  St Pats will be open for all masses starting Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 am.

That said, here are a bunch of things to keep in mind:

  1. Because you can come to mass, doesn’t mean that you have to come to mass.  Bishop is continuing to give permission for people to miss Sunday mass and holy days of obligation during the pandemic.
  2. If you feel ill, do not come to mass.  Even if you think, ‘Oh, it’s just a little cough.  It’s allergies.’  Whatever.  Your little cough is going to panic everyone near you.
  3. If you have an underlying medical condition (see below) you should seriously consider not coming, or at least take extra precautions.
  4. Everyone MUST wear masks.  The only exception is if you have a medical condition where you cannot wear a mask.  We will have masks available at the doors, but please bring your own if you can.
  5. Please bring hand sanitizer from home.  Some will be available at the doors, but it would be helpful if people could bring their own.
  6. We are limited to 40% seating capacity.  People must sit 6 feet apart, unless you are family members.  There are marking tapes indicating where to sit, and ushers will be available to help you.
  7. There will only be two doors open to the Church – the side door by the Tabernacle and the side door by the Mary Statue.  The doors by Main Street will remain locked.
  8. If we need to have overflow seating, the mass will be simulcast in the gym, and ministers will bring communion to those in the gym.
  9. Communion will be distributed at the end of mass to limit the number of times that people need to move.
  10. We will continue our practice of no touching at the sign of peace, no communion by the cup, no holy water in the fonts.  Lastly, there will be no missals in the pews.  Hope everyone has memorized their prayers.

I know that this is a lot to digest all at once.  Remember that we will continue to livestream all of the daily masses and the 9:00 am Sunday Mass.  A lot of people have told me that they like ‘Couch Church’ – you can pray in your PJ’s with a cup of coffee and mute the homily. 

But I hope that those of you who feel ready to do so will come back.  It is my deepest desire to share the Eucharist with you in person.  May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Peace of Christ,

Fr James

Underlying medical conditions - CDC Guidelines

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease