August 9, 2020

Dear Friends,

In reading St Paul’s letter to the Romans Chapter 8, you come to these words, ”If God is for us, who can be against us”! I hear many people are staying home, others are fearing more outbreaks, and others are saying Where is God? I asked you for your prayers a few weeks back for a parishioner undergoing heart transplant surgery! Where is God, Bob has come home and is doing well! The truth found in the words of St. Paul.

Mass Reservations (Please Read)

We are at a point where our masses are becoming full! Remember, we have only 35 pews available, because of social distancing. There is a maximum of 60 people plus volunteers and Staff. You must take into consideration that some people come as one person, others come as couples, and then some are families. Your reservation is essential for the health and safety of all parishioners. Mass times currently are Saturday at 4:00 pm and Sunday at 8:00 am and noon. It is required that reservations be made to attend Mass. We need pertinent information with this reservation to ensure you have a seat for your chosen mass and to have contact tracing records. We are limited to 60 people per mass. Please complete a separate reservation for everyone who will attend mass with you. Reservations can be made on our website starting Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm through Friday at noon weekly. Phone reservations are being taken Thursdays from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm by calling (203) 450-6898. Please make your reservations.

Peace,

Msgr. Ryan

August 2, 2020

Dear Friends,
As we plan, for the next steps to opening our Church for Mass and the Sacraments, I need your assistance. We are preparing a survey so that we can serve people as they return to Church life. As Pastor, I need to balance the spiritual life of the parish and the health of parishioners which is guided by guidelines and mandates which are beyond my control. I thank you for your support as we have journeyed through the re-opening plan. Our volunteers have stepped up with suggestions and then volunteered their time to make the system work. You will soon be receiving a survey! In order to serve the people returning to church, we ask for your thoughts! This will be a process that will take time. I ask your patience and understanding! The survey will ask about your returning to Mass. Where and how Mass will be celebrated.
Mass Reservations (Please Read)
We are at a point where our masses are becoming full! Remember, we have only 35 pews available, because of social distancing. There is a maximum of 60 people plus volunteers and staff. You must take into consideration that some people come as one person, others come as couples, and then some are families. Your reservation is essential for the health and safety of all parishioners. Mass times currently are Saturday at 4:00 pm and Sunday at 8:00 am and noon. It is required that reservations be made to attend Mass. We need pertinent information with this reservation to ensure you have a seat for your chosen mass and to have contact tracing records. We are limited to 60 people per mass. Please complete a separate reservation for everyone who will attend mass with you. Reservations can be made on our website on the Mass Reservation page starting Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm through Friday at noon weekly. Phone reservations are being taken Thursdays from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm by calling (203) 450-6898. Please make your reservations.

Thank you,

Msgr. Ryan

July 26, 2020

Dear Friends,

I thank you for your continued support of our parish during the pandemic. It is so important that we care for each other and try to keep each other safe! Thank you for making your reservations for mass, washing your hands, keeping a social distance, and understanding the need for the practice of good health practice!

As we re-open our church and follow the good health practices, I find many people asking questions for the future. To allow the parish leadership to make plans for the fall, the staff is preparing a short survey that will be available online and in the bulletin during August. I hope that you will assist us by answering the questions for the future

Reservations for Mass – We are having Masses in the Church on weekends. Mass times currently are Saturday at 4:00 pm and Sunday at 8:00 am and noon. It is required that reservations are made to attend Mass. We need pertinent information with this reservation to ensure you have a seat for your chosen mass and to have contact tracing records. We are limited to 60 people per mass. Please complete a reservation for each individual who will attend mass with you. Reservations can be made on our website starting Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm through Friday at noon weekly. Phone reservations are being taken Thursdays from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm by calling (203) 450-6898 weekly. Please make your reservations weekly.

Weddings and Baptisms – The sacramental moments of the parish have been taking place during the past three weeks. We have had four funerals and a wedding. We have been able to support our parishioners for their spiritual moments.

We are developing for our baptismal program a video-conferencing seminar which will continue to have the name Growing up Catholic. To keep the children and their families safe, we will have the pre-Baptism class by video conference. More information to follow!

We will have baptisms on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Our baptisms will be limited to one child so that we can create social distancing and because of limited seating. Please see the bulletin in coming weeks, for more information regarding our baptismal program.

We are presently working with five couples who are planning their wedding day. There are many challenges in working to plan with a couple. We ask any couple who will be planning to be married in the next year to contact Monsignor Ryan.

God Bless!

Msgr. Ryan

 

July 19, 2020

Dear Friends,
We will reopen our church for daily mass beginning on Monday, July 20.This should be a positive sign for our parish. We should understand that the reopening process is slow. We have taken our time to make sure that we keep our parishioners safe and that we continue the spiritual life of the parish. The morning mass will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 9:00 am. The church will open at 8:45. Seating will be limited to the front half of the church. There will be no mass on Wednesday morning. For those who will attend morning mass you will be expected to wear a face mask and practice social distancing! You will need to sign a register with your name and phone number to record your attendance. You will also be expected to use the spray and wipes that will be provided to clean the area you used for morning mass. The cleaning of the church is important to the rest of the parish so that the church will be prepared for prayer time and the scheduling of funerals. I thank you for your cooperation.

The Hope for the Future campaign has been of great assistance to the parish during these past months. The campaign envelope is dated July 26th. We hope that you will join us in financially supporting the parish and build this hope for the future of Our Lady of Grace parish. Thank you for your generosity.

During this pandemic time, we all need a little good news. Two years ago, the parish entered a contract for solar power. We received a new roof on the rectory and a new roof on the parish center as part of that agreement. I would like to report to you, that the system is working well, and our electric bill has not increased. I want to thank the Building and Grounds Committee for their work during the installation of the solar panel.

In the coming weeks we will be working on a series of plans that will take on the next challenges for reopening parish life. I will alert you to changes that occur both by calling post and the parish bulletin.

I thank you for your support. Please continue to pray with me and that we will find a vaccine that will overcome the coronavirus.

Msgr. Ryan

July 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

The reopening of the parish church to Sunday Mass has gone very well. I thank you for coming to church to celebrate mass and to receive Holy Communion. This could not be accomplished without the help of many parish volunteers. We will continue to need volunteers to help us to serve people as people make their way back to church. Thank you again for your service and your generosity of heart.

 We will reopen our church for daily mass beginning on Monday, July 20. The morning mass will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 9:00 am. The church will open at 8:45. Seating will be limited to the front half of the church. There will be no mass on Wednesday morning. For those who will attend morning mass you will be expected to wear a face mask and practice social distancing! You will need to sign a register with your name and phone number to record your attendance. You will also be expected to use the spray and wipes that will be provided to clean the area you used for morning mass. The cleaning of the church is important to the rest of the parish so that the church will be prepared for prayer time and the scheduling of funerals. I thank you for your cooperation.

What are the challenges of parish life during the coronavirus pandemic? It is the need for the church to be cleaned on an ongoing basis? We are doing our best to clean the church on Saturday and Sunday. You need to know that the church may be locked when you were able to enter previously on a given day. We are doing an important service by making sure that our parish church has been cleaned and sanitized. We will need your help! At times like church prayer time and daily mass time, there will be spray bottles and paper wipes available for you to wipe the space you used while you were in church. We will have a plastic basket by the door available for your dirty toweling and we ask you to help us to continue to keep our church clean. Thank you!

We are receiving requests for the celebration of these sacraments and masses. We are scheduling Bap- tisms on the first and third Sundays of the month at 2:30 pm. The reason for the late time of the Baptism is the need for the cleaning of church after noon mass.

We have sent a letter to those families who were not able to celebrate a funeral mass for their loved one because of the pandemic. We will begin scheduling those masses as they are requested. We are also receiving funerals of people who have passed by in recent days. This will have an impact on our schedule especially with the need for us to have specific cleaning done between church events. I ask you to be mindful of the schedule and please work with us so that we might serve all our parishioners.

God bless you,

Msgr. Ryan