My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Peace and All-Good!
It is with joy and some caution that I share the news that we will soon be opening again with restrictions. Given COVID-19 has not gone away, we are using this week to prepare how to safely worship together with all the social distancing regulations in place. That said, do not feel that you are obligated to attend Mass. The Cardinal has extended the dispensation, so that no-one is required to go to mass. We acknowledge there are good reasons for those who are unsure and especially for those who are in the high-risk categories. Please use your best judgment. We will continue live-streaming our Masses online to our St. Leonard Parish Facebook page, so you are welcome to join us in that way.
It seems fitting that we should open on the weekend of Pentecost, May 30-31, the birthday of the Church. We will have all of our normal Masses; the 5:00 pm on Saturday and 9:00 am, 10:30 am (Italian) and 12:00 pm on Sunday. Daily Mass will also begin as usual on Monday, June 1st at 12:05pm.
It is critical for the safety of our community that we follow the rules of the Commonwealth and the Archdiocese as we begin again.
1) Stay apart. As the temptation to greet one another will be high, I just wanted to caution us to not congregate in groups before or after mass. Inside the Church, we have been instructed to only allow a maximum of 40% of our capacity, while maintaining the 6-foot social distancing rule. The pews will be marked off, including special areas for families who may sit together. In the event we cannot safely fit everyone inside, we are making provisions for additional seating in the hall and outside.
2) Soap and water are available in the bathroom and hand sanitizers will be placed at the doors.
3) Face masks must be worn by everyone throughout the Mass, except those under 6 years old.
4) Music will be played but there will be no singing allowed and no hymn books or missalettes.
5) Collections can be placed in the middle basket or see our website for no-touch donations.
6) Communion lines will be marked out with tape on the floor. With your mask on, please keep the 6-foot rule always. When you arrive at the minister, receive the Eucharist by hand only, (the Host will be dropped into your hand), step to the side, take your mask off, consume the host, then re-mask and return to your seat.
7) Dismissal. We will need patience for an immediate, orderly and safe exiting of the Church by rows. The ushers will instruct and lead the process.
8) Cleaning and disinfection will be done by volunteers after each Mass. If you would like to be one please contact the office (617- 523-2110).
If you have any questions, comments, ideas, suggestions, please contact us. These first celebrations will be somewhat of a challenge for us, but at the same time it is a blessing to be back.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Michael Della Penna