Posted June 4, 2020
At long last we have been given the green light to reopen for public masses ON WEEKDAYS ONLY (Mon-Sat, 8:30 am) beginning this coming Monday, June 8. We have made the necessary preparations for your safety and look forward to your return to worship. Our church has been sanitized and will be cleaned again following each Mass.
As we do so, however, things are going to be a bit different. Please read the following important guidelines so that you know what you will need to do before you can come back to Mass, and what to expect when you return.
DECIDE whether or not you should return to Mass in person at this time:
– Remember the obligation to attend Mass is still suspended.
– LIVESTREAMING OF EVERY MASS will continue
– Those who should consider remaining at home:
- Those with other underlying health risks
- Anyone who feels sick, or has a cough, cold, fever or active allergies
- Those caring for an elderly or sick person at home
- Anyone feeling anxious or fearful for their health
- Each person must decide and take responsibility for her/his own decision to return. (While we are doing our part to keep the church as sanitized as possible, any gathering of people carries a risk, and we cannot provide an absolute guarantee of your safety.)
- SEATING IS LIMITED. Make a RESERVATION ONLINE (www.stgeorgeguilford.org) or by calling the parish office. Initially we ask that you register for only ONE MASS PER WEEK to allow as many parishioners as possible to have the same opportunity. Having a list of those who attend each Mass will also help us to contact trace in the event of a need to do so.
- WEAR A MASK/CLOTH FACE COVERING and BRING HAND SANITIZER
- ARRIVE EARLY. There will be a need to check-in and get familiar with new procedures. Remember to maintain 6 FEET OF SOCIAL DISTANCE when moving about or waiting to enter.
- USE FRONT ENTRANCE ONLY. PLEASE LEAVE PARKING SPACES ALONG THE DRIVEWAY (FRONT AND BOTH SIDES) FOR HANDICAPPED AND ELDERLY PARKING.
- PLEASE NO GATHERING to socialize before or after Mass in vestibules or parking lot.
- SIT ONLY WITH MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD. Follow all instructions of ushers regarding seating and movement.
- NO CONGREGATIONAL SINGING. Singing and loud speech expel excessive water droplets which may transmit the virus. There will be no hymnals or missalettes in the pews.
- COMMUNION will be given by the priest, after sanitizing hands. Please follow the priest’s instructions and ushers’ directions at communion time.
- EXIT the church building through the exit doors in the rear of the wing in which you are seated, starting from the rear. Do not exit through the hall unless instructed to do so. Maintain 6 feet of social distance. Observe ushers’ directions. Return immediately to your vehicles, again no lingering to socialize, inside or out, or in parking lot.
We know these are a lot of “rules” to follow. But please be mindful that following them is an act of love for our fellow parishioners to keep everyone healthy and safe. If you feel you cannot observe these guidelines, then perhaps it is not time for you to return to public worship. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we re-open for daily Mass.
Posted April 3, 2020
Dear parishioners, for the safety of all during this time of pandemic, Archbishop Blair has chosen to suspend confessions. Please read his statement below. This means that we will not be able to hold the usual confession times on Saturday afternoons or Monday evenings until further notice. Please know that this is for all our safety and to further limit any spread of the coronavirus. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. ~Fr. Stephen
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, confessions have continued to be heard in the Archdiocese, and anyone who felt secure in approaching the sacrament has been able to do so. However, the time has now come to suspend publicly scheduled confessions until further notice in light of the growing spread of the virus in Connecticut, which is anticipated to peak in the coming weeks. This is necessary for the protection of both penitents and priests.
I repeat once again what is clearly the teaching of the Church as set forth recently by the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome, as follows:
‘Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).’”
Posted March 24, 2020
Parish Office Closed
Per Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7H of March 20, 2020, th parish office is temporarily closed until April 22, 2020. All staff who are able will continue to work from home, daily checking emails and voicemails and conducting all business insofar as it is possible during this time of shutdown. Fr. Stehpen and Fr. Ricardo will continue to be available for parishioners’ spiritual needs and any emergencies that may arise during this time. For any needs whatsoever, please call the parish office number: (203) 453-2788 and listen to the options provided in the electronic greeting. For routine matters, please direct these to the appropriate staff person’s extension and they will get back to you. If you are unsure where to direct your call, please leave a message for Liz at extension 210. If you have a sacramental emergency requiring a priest, leave your message at extension 211. (All of these options are given in the initial recorded greeting).
Masses and Mass Intentions
During this period when we are not able to have publicly attended Masses, Fr. Stephen and Fr. Ricardo continue to celebrate Mass daily, offering the Mass for the intentions entrusted to us as scheduled and as always praying for our entire parish family. Because the weekend does not require four of the same Mass being celebrated, the intentions for the Weekend Masses will be handled as follows: The Mass Intention for the Saturday 4:30 Mass will be celebrated at the livestreamed 8:30am Saturday morning Mass. The Mass Intention for the Sunday 11:30am Mass will be offered at the livestreamed Friday 8:30am morning Mass (also livestreamed). The Mass Intentions for the 8:00am and 10:00am Sunday morning Masses will be offered at the concelebrated 10:00am livestreamed Mass. Fr. Ricardo will offer the Mass for one intention while Fr. Stephen will offer Mass for the other. Both names will be announced during the intercessions at that Mass. Where there are exceptions, those who have scheduled the Mass will be contacted. We will also publish these intentions in the bulletin with the relevant changes. If you have any questions about this, please contact Fr .Stephen directly by phone or email, and he will be happy to discuss with you. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these very unusual times.
Because social distancing remains the most effective way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and Governor Lamont has urged all residents to “stay home and stay safe,” our communion ministers, Sr. Kathleen and the priests will not be making regular communion visits to our parishioners at home, in care facilities or in the hospital. Since this is generally a vulnerable population to begin with, we do not wish to put anyone’s health or life at risk. Those who make regular visits will check in with phone calls. If you have any spiritual need at this time please call the office phone number and we will follow up with you as appropriate. Anyone needing the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should call the office and leave a message at the Emergency extension, 211.
Because we are not permitted to hold public Masses or even gather at the funeral home, the Archbishop has directed that any funerals during this time will be conducted as a graveside service/burial with immediate family only. A Memorial Mass at the parish may be scheduled for the deceased at a later date in consultation with the family.
Food Donations for Food Pantry
Thank you again so much for your generous response to our plea to help restock the Food Pantry shelves. At this time any and all non-perishable goods are welcome. With so many being affected by business shutdowns and layoffs, we will likely see an increase in those requesting help from our Food Pantry. Whatever help you can provide is greatly appreciated at a time when those who are most vulnerable economically will need our assistance. The Food Pantry volunteers will be available on Sunday morning between 9am and Noon to collect donations directly at the red barn right off the parking lot behind the church and parish hall. With the parish office closed, if you wish to leave your food donations at any other time, please leave them inside one of the church vestibules between 9am and 8pm Mon-Saturday and after Noon until 8pm on Sunday. We will routinely check for and transfer these items to the Food Pantry throughout the week. Thank you again for so lovingly feeding the hungry in our community!
If You Find Yourself in Need
Please contact our office should you find yourself in need of food or financial assistance at this time. We may be able to help directly or can refer you to resources we know are available in our community. If you need help with shopping or food delivery because you are unable or feel uncomfortable leaving your home, we have a number of parishioners have offered to help shop for and deliver groceries. Others can help with technology for those who need assistance with online ordering. Please know that we are still here for you our parishioners, even while the office is closed and we are not gathering for Mass.
Thank you to everyone who has been so diligent in sending in your envelopes in this time while Masses are suspended. Many others of you have been faithful to your online giving or even signed up as new givers! We am so grateful personally for your continued support during this time as we need to continue to meet the financial obligations we have as a parish to our staff, our vendors, utilities and others. We are grateful for the many of you who continue to support the Matthew 25 collection for these funds enable us to continue to help those in need.
We at Saint George realize that in uncertain times like these we need to be financially secure ourselves. If you have experienced a change in your financial status and need to decrease or even stop your parish financial support altogether, we certainly understand. We would never want you to feel obligated to make your regular church offering at the expense of your own financial security. However, if you are able, please help us by making your regular offerings either by mail, your bank’s bill-pay, or through online giving. If you’d like to sign up for online giving, you may do so by visiting our online donation page and click on “Donate.” Follow the instructions for setting up an account found there. In the meantime, measures to reduce spending at the parish level, by holding off on any non-essential expenses, saving on utilities, reducing staff hours to the extent possible and reducing other costs wherever possible are being taken. We will be tightening our belts during this time of economic uncertainty as we are sure you are doing as well. Thank you as always for doing what you can, especially for the most vulnerable among us! May God continue to bless and reward you for your faithfulness and generosity.