May 5th, 2020
Dear St. Mary by the Lake Parish Family,
Please review these latest COVID-19 Updates....
Returning to Sunday Mass
Archbishop Listecki has announced that public Sunday masses (which after June 1 include Saturday night masses of anticipation) would resume on Sunday, May 31. These masses must be celebrated according to the guidelines issued by the Archbishop.
The following are the guidelines most relevant to parishioners:
- The obligation to attend Sunday Mass is dispensed through Sunday, July 5 for all Catholics, regardless of age and state of health.
- All people over the age of 60, and anyone with complicating health conditions, are encouraged to stay home and not attend Mass.
- Attendance inside St. Mary by the Lake will be limited to 75 people.
- Social distancing must be maintained between people not living in the same household. Certain pews will be off-limits to facilitate adequate distance.
- The use of facemasks is encouraged.
- Ushers and Greeters will need to wear masks and avoid physical contact with parishioners.
- Holy water fonts will remain empty.
- All books and paper will be removed from pews. Orders of worship will be used once and thrown away.
- There will be no collection taken during masses. Parishioners are encouraged to place their envelopes/donations in designated baskets at the entrances to the church.
- There will not be a procession for the Presentation of the Gifts.
- There will be no physical contact during the Sign of Peace.
- Communion will only be distributed by the priest.
- There will be no communion line – Fr. Pat will bring the Eucharist to each parishioner at their seat.
- Communion is to be received only in the hand.
- Communion will not be distributed by the cup.
- Bulletins will not be distributed. Parishioners are encouraged to subscribe to our online Bulleting at: https://www.stmarybythelake.org/publications/subscribe
St. Mary by the Lake is currently developing a complete plan to implement these measures. Plans are likely to be revised up until the return date of May 31, so please consult the parish website and Facebook pages for current information.
Because it is impossible to know how many people will choose to return to Mass on May 31, it is likewise difficult to know how to accommodate all who might attend while maintaining the attendance cap within the church at 75 people. Your patience is appreciated as we try to devise solutions to problems we have not faced before.
We will need volunteer Cleaning Crew of 4-5 individuals will be needed to assist in the cleaning of the Church between celebrations of Mass each weekend, while maintaining social distancing. If we are unable to properly clean the facility, we will be unable to celebrate the Eucharist. Please contact Heather Warner at 262-510-7573, if you would be willing and able to help with this Ministry.
All parish communities--including our own--continue to experience decreases in offertory giving with the suspension of Masses. We understand this time of crisis has brought financial hardship to many, and unfortunately, our St. Mary by the Lake parish community is not exempt from feeling this economic stress. We invite you to prayerfully consider supporting St. Mary by the Lake through online giving . Or, please mail your offertory support to St. Mary by the Lake 7605 Lakeshore Drive, Racine, WI 53402. Your sacrificial act of generosity is one way to demonstrate your love for God and your brothers and sisters in faith.
Participating in Mass Remotely
While it is not always as stimulating as attending Mass live, there are several local opportunities to celebrate the Mass remotely. Here are some options:
- WITI (Fox 6) at 11:00am with Archbishop Listecki every Sunday.
- WVTV (My 24) at 7:00 am and 9:00 am
- Radio 920 AM (WOLF) at 9:00 am
-Available on wordonfire.org
We understand that as Catholics this is very difficult, as the Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives. It is at this exact moment that our faith is most needed. Yet for those times we can’t attend Mass, we can still reach out to Him by making a Spiritual Communion in prayer. You can make a Spiritual Communion whenever and wherever you'd like.
You can make the following Spiritual Communion below while participating in a remote Mass:
Oh Jesus, I turn toward the holy tabernacle where You live hidden for love of me. I love you, O my God. I cannot receive you in Holy Communion. Come, nevertheless, and visit me with Your grace. Come spiritually into my heart. Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own. Amen.
Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should not enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
Alternatively, you can pray this Spiritual Communion at any time:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Living Your Faith
We encourage you to continue to live your faith in ways that are most meaningful to you.
- Check out Pray As You Go (https://pray-as-you-go.org) or Loyola Press 3 Minute Retreat (https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer) to help structure your prayer time.
- Check out FORMED.org for a free 40 day subscription to Catholic content including bible studies, movies and videos for children.
Our present circumstances allow us to find new ways to be disciples and live our faith. A couple of ways we can stay connected include:
- Parish Facebook– It’s a great place support St. Mary by the Lake and our faith community. We invite you to use that space to connect with others and share how you’re nurturing your own faith and being Christ for others.
- Online Prayer Requests– Click this link and scroll down and share your prayer requests will us online. These requests are prayed over by our Fr. Pat O’Loughlin at Mass.
Please stay tuned for other ways our community will continue to connect and serve you and your family digitally. We hope you feel inspired to pick up the phone and check in on one another during this time. This is a great way to stay connected!
Parish Office Closure
The St. Mary by the Lake Parish Office closed beginning, Wednesday, March 25 and will remain closed until further notice. We will be checking messages twice per day, should you require pastoral or spiritual support. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call (262) 795-6466.
Please remember that WE are the Church—we, together, help make our church what it is. As disciples, each of us can make Christ known to those right here within our own community who are particularly lost or lonely during this time. Please consider the following:
- Helping a senior citizen in our community or in your neighborhood get groceries
- Assisting with childcare for those with less flexible, essential jobs (e.g., nurses, doctors, police officers, grocers, etc.)
- Sharing job opportunities for those who are looking for work
- Supporting small businesses, in whatever was possible (e.g., buying gift cards, making future appointments, ordering carryout)
- Reaching out to family members and friends regularly to check in and connect
- Being alert and responding to community requests regarding need (food pantry, etc.)
In the days and weeks to come, let us hold each other in prayer. With gratitude, savor the unexpected blessings this unprecedented time can bring us—time to slow down our pace, time to refocus on the aspects of life that are truly most important, and time to nurture the emotional and spiritual growth within our families.
The work at St. Mary by the Lake goes on. We continue to offer funerals, attend to the sick, weddings and baptisms. And every day, we are looking for ways to minister to our parish community in this time of social distancing.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."