💁🏻 St. Mary’s Fun Festival is now cancelled for this year. Stay tuned for other fundraisers.
Updated July 2nd at 3:00 PM
Yesterday, Governor Wolf signed an order from the Secretary of Health mandating that masks be worn in all public spaces. [Access the order here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/20200701-SOH-Universal-Face-Coverings-Order.pdf] This includes our church properties whenever the faithful are assembling for Holy Mass or other liturgical services. Please note that the following amends all previous instructions given by the Commonwealth and the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Masks are to be worn by all individuals, laity and clergy, attending liturgical services and parochial events whether in a church building or out of doors. The masks are to remain on the faces of individuals the entire time they are assembled with the exception of the reception of Holy Communion. Priests are to wear masks during the Celebration of Mass with the exceptions of: the proclamation of the biblical readings and homily, and the recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer. Priests and deacons are to wear masks during the celebration of the sacraments whenever possible, especially when they are in proximity to others.
The order from the Secretary of Health includes exceptions due to age, health situations, and ability to safely remove a mask as indicated in the order. For those who come to Mass without a mask due to one of these orders a special seating area should be arranged to separate them from others.
We are asked to comply with these regulations as given.
Updated Friday June 26 at 9:00 PM
“Following the diocesan guidelines for parishes in the Green Phase, when Lebanon County moves into the Green Phase on Friday, July 3, 2020, there will be no changes from our current practices at St. Mary’s and Our Lady of Fatima. The basic safeguards of wearing a mask, social distancing, not gathering in the narthex and the frequent washing and sanitizing of hands and spaces are to be maintained. All other practices of the Yellow Phase will be continued in the Green Phase until further notice.
Please remember that Bishop Gainer continues to extend the Dispensation from the Sunday Obligation to those who are not able to attend Mass. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems or anyone with concerns about exposure to Covid-19 should consider carefully the choice to attend Mass. Anyone who is sick or does not feel well should not attend Mass.
While the parish office is open, we are screening visits and following PA Covid-19 safety procedures for businesses in order to protect our parishioners and employees working in the Commonwealth. If you must come to the Parish Office, please call or email first to make sure we can accommodate you. If you come to the office, you will need to wear a mask, have your temperature taken and provide us with contact tracing information.
Thank you for your compliance with these safeguards and thank you to the parish and mission staffs and volunteers who work hard to keep us all as safe as possible.”
Updated May 27th at 12:00 Noon
As we prepare to move into the Yellow Phase and having consulted diocesan guidelines, CDC interim guidelines for faith communities and parish staff, weekend Masses with a congregation will resume on June 6th and 7th. Daily Masses will resume on Tuesday, June 2nd at 8 am. These dates give us time to inform parishioners, comply with guidelines and troubleshoot issues associated with the many changes that come with a return to celebrating Mass publicly. Below is a list of changes applicable to St. Mary’s and the Fatima Mission. Please know that Bishop Gainer has extended the Dispensation from the Sunday Obligation to those who are not able to attend Mass. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems or anyone with concerns about exposure to Covid-19 in a group setting should consider carefully the choice to attend Mass. Anyone who is sick or does not feel well should not attend Mass.
* Until further notice, weekend masses will be celebrated at St. Mary’s according to the following schedule: Saturday at 5:30 pm, Sunday at 7:30 am and 10:30 am. This schedule is subject to change.
* Weather permitting, confessions will be held outdoors in the parking lot on Saturdays from 4-5 pm or in another well-ventilated space.
* Masses at the Fatima Chapel will be outdoors during the summer months and on a “to be announced” basis. Please check email, website and Facebook for updates.
* Weekday Masses at St. Mary’s will be celebrated in the main church Tuesday through Friday at 8 am. The changes below will apply.
* There will be no Tuesday morning confessions until further notice.
* At St. Mary’s we will use only the front doors of the church to enter the church. This will make the church accessible to the disabled and facilitate sanitizing.
* The wing doors of the church may be opened during Mass to facilitate better ventilation.
* Face masks are to be worn by all the lay faithful with the exception of those who do not wear masks for medical reasons. The only time face masks are to be removed is when a lector proclaims the readings and for the reception of Holy Communion. A cantor who is separated by a good distance from the assembly my participate without a face mask.
* Face masks are not to be worn by the clergy during the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. However, the clergy will wear masks for the distribution of Holy Communion (see below).
* Pews will be taped off to facilitate social distancing. Only those living in the same household should sit together. All others should exercise the 6-foot social distancing norm.
* Hymnals will be removed.
* Access to lighting votive candles is restricted to the pastoral staff.
* There will be no offertory procession or sign of peace.
* Collection baskets will be placed (not passed) for parishioners to drop off their contributions.
* Altar servers may not serve at Mass during the Yellow Phase.
* Extraordinary Ministers of Communion will not serve during the Yellow Phase except in necessary cases and with the permission of the Office of Divine Worship.
* All gatherings before or after Mass are prohibited in the narthex, church proper and entrances/exits.
* In order to provide for proper social distancing, fewer than 1/3 total occupancy may occupy the church at a given time. For St. Mary’s, that should be less than 200 and ideally between 100-150 parishioners (religious spaces are not held to the same standard as gatherings established for businesses).
* After each Mass the church will be sanitized.
* Following option #2, Mass followed by the distribution of Holy Communion, with special precautions (from “The Working Group on Infectious Disease Protocols for Sacraments and Pastoral Care”, April 28, 2020), Holy Communion will be distributed after the Mass has officially concluded. This will allow for the priest and deacon to wear a mask during distribution of Holy Communion and will allow for the communicant to immediately leave church or remain for silent prayer if desired. Reception of Communion in the hand is recommended during the Yellow Phase. Social distancing while standing in line is to be maintained. Please follow the ushers’ directions for the flow of the Communion Procession.
* Gloves may not be worn for the distribution or reception of Holy Communion.
* Should other changes come about, announcements will be made before the start of each Mass.
* For your situational awareness, according to our February 2020 statistics, the Sunday 10:30 am Mass averaged about 210, Sunday 7:30 am Mass averaged about 140 and the Saturday 5:30 pm Mass averaged about 170.
Thank you for your attention to these matters as we begin to celebrate Mass publicly again. The celebration of other sacraments will also come with changes and restrictions depending on the specific sacrament. We will keep you informed and do our best to keep you safe. I ask for your patience and understanding. Thank you to our parish staff and volunteers who have been working very hard during these unprecedented times.
Our Parish Staff looks forward to welcoming you back!
Peace and all good,
✔️Click here to donate ; safe and secure During this difficult time, despite the fact that we cannot attend HolyMass, we need to continue to support our parish so as Father Bob said, “We can keep the lights on.”
Thank you so much. May you experience God’s peace through these trying times.
you can donate online by following this link or mail your envelope to Assumption BVM, 2 N. 8th Street, Lebanon, PA 17042
✔️ Nursing Home Visits Suspended: posted March 18 . First Friday visits to the home bound and pastoral visits to nursing homes are suspended. Anointing and Viaticum (Last Rites) are still available to those in danger of death.
Penance Update: No Tuesday morning confessions until further notice
Bishop Gainer’s recently issued a number of directives to his priests and deacons. The directive regarding the Sacrament of Penance (during the Coronavirus Pandemic) states;
- “The faithful should be urged to request the sacrament of penance only in danger of death.”
- Also, regularly scheduled confessions on Tuesdays at 7:15 am and Saturdays from 4-5 pm have been cancelled until further notice.
What can I do ? I need and want to confess my sins. Watch this 3 minute video for an answer!
Without the opportunity to go to confession Pope Francis has said, “You do what the Catechism says. It is very clear: if you do not find a priest to hear your confession, speak to God, he is your father, and tell him the truth…Promise him: ‘Later I will confess, but forgive me now.’ And immediately you will return to the grace of God,”
Our Cathechism: ‘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).
Thus, perfect contrition requires • the love of God • the sincere desire for forgiveness • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available.
- During this time, especially during the Lenten season, we wanted to remind you that EWTN broadcasts the daily Mass live at 8am Eastern from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on the EWTN campus in Irondale, Alabama. You can watch live on TV or online via streaming at ewtn.com/tv/watch-live.You can also listen to the Mass live on the radio, SIRIUS/XM, or listen online at ewtn.com/radio/listen-live.If you missed the live stream, you can get today’s daily readings and homily at this link.
Below is a suggested prayer of spiritual Communion.
Jesus, really present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, since I cannot now receive thee under the sacramental veil, I beseech thee, with a heart full of love and longing, to come spiritually into my soul through the Immaculate Heart of thy most Holy Mother, and to abide with me, thou in me, and I in thee, in time and in eternity. Amen.