Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,
As the “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan” is implemented during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic allowing a gradual return to work and the lifting of some of the restrictions regarding consumer, retail and services, the Catholic Bishops of the State of Ohio have announced directives for the safe return to the public celebration of the Mass.
On May 8, 2020 the priests of the Diocese of Youngstown were informed by Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. that we will begin celebrating Mass again with our people. Please note that at St. Patrick Church weekend Masses will begin again on Pentecost weekend, May 30-31, 2020. Weekday Masses at St. Patrick Church (Tuesday thru Friday) will begin June 2, 2020.
The Worship Office of the Diocese of Youngstown, in consultation with Liturgical Commissions throughout the dioceses of Ohio, has provided Directives and Guidelines for the Diocese of Youngstown outlining the safe practices and procedures we must implement for the resumption of public liturgies. Among other practices, these detailed directives and guidelines will include maintaining social distancing, recommendations to provide a safe environment and instructions for the distribution of Holy Communion.
Please note that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass still remains in effect. Bishop Murry dispenses the Catholic faithful who reside in the Diocese of Youngstown and all other Catholics currently in the diocese from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass until further notice. As our bishop, he states, “I continue to be cautious and concerned for those who are most at risk, the elderly and those with serious health issues. I strongly urge those who are most vulnerable to stay at home and I implore those who are not feeling well to refrain from coming to church”. Bishop Murry thanks the faithful for their patience, understanding and cooperation as we implement this return to the public celebration of Mass.
When we gather on the Solemnity of Pentecost, it will have been 77-days since we celebrated the Eucharist together. If you are feeling well, I hope to see you again at Mass on May 30-31. I know things will perhaps “look” a bit different and “feel” a bit different….but one thing will never change: the love our God has for us through good times and bad, and our need to gather as His people to give thanks for the blessings that are ours. Know that you and your intentions are remembered in my daily prayers. Stay safe, my friends.
God’s blessings – always,
Fr. Richard Pentello