So, with one week of experience from the return of public daily Masses, what have we learned?
It has worked well being able to rope off every other row at both of our churches. That seems to be sufficient space between rows. At least at St. Benedict I’d say that more than 95% of those attending Mass have brought or worn face coverings. Thank you to parishioners for providing at least a dozen re-washable masks that have been available in case anyone has needed one.
Our Monday morning Mass on May 18th was well attended for a daily Mass, with around 40 people. The rest of the daily Masses was closer to our usual ~20, but with some new faces. Likewise, the evening Masses on Tuesday and Thursday at Sts. Peter and Paul had around 30 people. Thank you, again, Fr. Nicholas Ginnetti, for being available offer those Masses in Lore City!
We will repeat the daily Mass schedule this upcoming week, including 6:30 p.m. Masses on Tuesday, May 26th and Thursday, May 28th, but not have a Saturday morning Mass in Lore City on May 30th since we would have the two Masses at St. Benedict, one at 8:35 a.m. and another at 5:00 p.m. Fr. Ginnetti will also be available for confessions before the 12:15 p.m. Mass on Sunday, May 31st.
Based on observing the “elbow room” at these daily Masses, it looks like the spacing that first weekend for Sunday Masses on the 30th and 31st could be a bit snug, especially at the 10:30 a.m. Mass., as well as close to our 50% capacity allowed at the 12:15 p.m. Mass in Lore City. So, I would encourage you to consider attending the other two Masses (the Saturday 5:00 p.m. or 8:00 a.m.) if you’re planning to attend that weekend. We usually have between 200 and 250 for the 10:30 a.m. Mass and our allowed capacity is closer to 150 at St. Benedict, with every other row roped off.
It looks like we can return to having our post-Mass daily Rosary at St. Benedict in the church this week starting on Tuesday, May 26th and to offering Scrip sales on Sunday mornings, beginning on May 31st. The Marian Room will be opened only for Scrip sales and only for the liturgical ministers to check in or to get and/or return their servers robes. Distancing and face coverings would be expected for while obtaining Scrip.
Please keep Deacon Nicholas Ward in prayer this week as his priesthood ordination is planned for this Friday, May 29th at 5:00 p.m. at Holy Rosary Church in Steubenville. He will be planning to offer Masses of Thanksgiving here at our Christ Our Light Parish churches soon – as soon as his new assignment and start date is clarified, and in light of plans to visit other classmates whose priesthood ordinations are upcoming.
And, please continue lifting up Jeremiah Hahn in prayer as well as his diaconate ordination is planned for the following Friday, June 5th at 5:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s, also in Steubenville.
We are still planning to have an outdoor Mass at Mt. Calvary Cemetery along U.S. 40 on Memorial Day morning, Monday, May 25th at 9:00 a.m. – weather permitting! It looks like we might be drying out a bit over the weekend, so please bring a lawn chair – and, yes, a facial covering! We will plan to spread out a bit more than usual for that Mass, to maintain the 6 ft. distance, and to have our portable parish sound system with wireless microphone and speaker.
We will plan to continue live-streaming our daily St. Benedict Church Masses – and maybe soon the Masses at Sts. Peter & Paul – at our Facebook page, including the outdoor Mass at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
May the Lord keep us protected and healthy and, as always, well prepared for the gift of eternal life!