FINANCIAL UPDATE FROM FR. MARK | MARCH 25, 2020

Financial Letter March 2020

VIRTUAL PARISH NEWSLETTER | MARCH 22, 2020

Parish Bulletin 3.22.20

UPDATE | MARCH 17, 2020 | 10:30 P.M.

Recently we saw how Fr. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland, came up with an inventive solution to keep people safe while giving parishioners an opportunity to receive a sacrament: drive thru reconciliation.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/churchpop.com/2020/03/16/priest-offers-drive-thru-confessions-amid-church-lockdown-for-coronavirus-precautions/amp/

On Wednesday, March 18, from 6-8 p.m., Fr. Mark will hear confessions in front of the Portico. You stay in your car, we maintain social distancing of 6 feet, and the sacrament can be celebrated.

Curious how this will work? Watch the video (click here) to get an idea! Thank you, Fr. Scott, for your creative solution!

UPDATE | ST. JOHN WESTMINSTER | MARCH 16, 2020 | 5:45 P.M.

My dear Parish Family,

I just wanted to update you on the latest guidelines for our parish.

ST. JOHN PARISH CENTER

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, we will operate functions of the Parish Center from remote locations. A very limited number of essential personnel will report to the building on a daily basis. Though the vast majority of our parish staff will be working remotely, they will be working and accessible. Email will be the best way to communicate with those who are not working at their desks.

Emails for staff:

 

MASSES

We will live stream the following Masses on our Facebook page at facebook.com/SaintJohnWestminster

  • Daily Mass | Monday-Saturday |8 a.m.
  • Sunday Mass | Sunday | 10:30 a.m.

We are currently exploring options to stream to our website.  We encourage all of our faithful to create a free Facebook account and join us in the meantime (all you need is a valid email)!  Many of our Masses and posts on Facebook are available to those without Facebook accounts, too.

Per the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Masses are not allowed for small groups or in private homes.

 

CHURCH OPEN ON WEEKENDS

The Church building will be open for private prayer 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be Reconciliation from 3-5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7-9 a.m. on Sundays.  For more information, see the Reconciliation section of this update.

The Church building will be limited to the number of people currently recommended for a social gathering.  Everyone inside the Church must practice social distancing (a 6 foot distance between all people, using hand sanitizer, etc.).

Those who are ill or vulnerable should refrain from coming to the Church at this time.

 

RECONCILIATION

We will offer Reconciliation during Lent during the following times:

  • Saturday, 3-5 p.m.
  • Sunday, 7-9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.

Reconciliation will take place in the Church.  Confessionals will not be used.  All confessions will be heard in an open-air environment.

The Church building will be limited to the number of people currently recommended for a social gathering.  We will have someone at the door maintaining an accurate count. Everyone inside the Church must practice social distancing (a 6 foot distance between all people, using hand sanitizer, etc.).

 

FUNERALS, WEDDINGS & BAPTISMS

Funerals, weddings and baptisms may continue; however, they will be limited to immediate family only.  All gatherings will be limited to the number of people currently recommended for a social gathering.

 

HEALTH CARE MINISTRY

While Health Care Ministry is currently suspended, our Health Care Ministers will be checking in by phone call during this time with our elderly population.

 

ANOINTING OF THE SICK

May be provided to those sick who are dying should receive the Sacrament, provided that:

  1. the priest first contacts the hospital to confirm any restrictions on visitations;
  2. the priest follows recommended hospital guidelines for protecting himself while administering the Sacrament; and
  3. it be observed that Church law does not require skin to skin contact for administering of the Sacrament.

 

ADORATION

Adoration will continue in the Parish Center Adoration Chapel.  No more than 10 people may be in the chapel at any time. Social distancing rules must be obeyed (maintaining a 6 foot distance), and we ask that you sanitize your pew with disinfectant wipes before you sit and as you leave. You must wash your hands for 20 seconds before entering the Adoration Chapel.

Adoration will be suspended 7:30-9 a.m. Monday-Saturday to allow for daily Mass, and 10-11:30 a.m. Sundays to allow for weekend Mass. No one will be allowed to remain in the chapel during Mass.

 

OFFERTORY/EXPENSES

We are doing everything we can to cut unnecessary expenses, including turning off the heating and air conditioning in buildings not being used, and cancelling all Easter flower orders at this time.

We understand that this pandemic may be a financial burden on many of our parishioners. If you still are able to contribute to the parish at this time, your donation will be greatly appreciated.

There are three options for donating at this time:

  • We highly encourage and ask that all parishioners transfer to online giving at this time. Sign up for online giving through Give Central at https://www.givecentral.org/location/508
  • For those unable to do online giving, the church will be open on Saturday and Sunday, we invite you to Church for a time of private prayer and we will have a secure box where you can place your offertory envelopes, OR…
  • You can drop off your offertory envelope to the Parish Center. There will be a secure lockbox located in the vestibule of the Parish Center (which will remain unlocked).

Fr. Mark will be sending out a letter to give an update on the financial health of our parish and how this pandemic will have a significant impact on our parish’s financial stability.

 

MINISTRIES, MEETINGS, ETC.

ALL on campus meetings, ministries, groups, Masses, Stations of the Cross, etc., are CANCELLED.  No gatherings of any size should be on the St. John campus at this time.

Ministry, committee and group leaders are encouraged to continue communication and meetings through Zoom or other web conferencing and online means.  (A communication will be sent out to ministry leaders shortly.)  Your ministry leaders will reach out to you if this is the case!

All third party events that are scheduled at our parish campus are cancelled and we will not be able to make any new reservations at this time.

 

STAYING CONNECTED

We encourage EVERYONE to join us on our Facebook page for the live streaming of daily Mass, Monday-Saturday at 8 a.m.; Sunday Mass, Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; prayers; live devotions (including the rosary); Stations of the Cross; and more. We will keep you updated!

We encourage all of our faithful to create a free Facebook account and join us!  Many of our Masses and posts on Facebook are available to those without Facebook accounts, too.

The regularly published St. John bulletin has been suspended and will be replaced by an weekly electronic newsletter via FlockNote and available on our website.  To sign up for FlockNote, visit https://sjwest.flocknote.com/everyone

You can follow all the latest information on St. John’s Coronavirus response at sjwest.org/coronavirus

 ST. VINCENT DE PAUL

Effective Monday, March 16, the St. Vincent de Paul office is temporarily closed until further notice.  If you need emergency food from our pantry or for any other request for assistance, please call 410-848-8693 and leave a detailed message.  Your call will be returned within 24 hours.

Anyone who would like to donate food for the pantry during this time: there will be a box in the vestibule of the Parish Center (which will remain unlocked).  We appreciate your generosity!

 

Please know that Fr. Andrew, Fr. Gerard and I are continually keeping you in our thoughts and prayers for the safety, health, and well-being of all.

With the love of Christ,

Fr. Mark

Pastor

 

 

UPDATE | MARCH 15, 2020 | 1 P.M. 

This afternoon we received new guidelines for parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. As a result we will continue adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in church until 6:00 pm; however we will be suspending confessions and benediction. Perpetual Adoration will continue after 6:00 pm in the chapel of the parish center. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt to a fluid and continually changing situation.

UPDATE | MARCH 14, 2020 | 8:45 P.M. 

UPDATE FROM FR. MARK:

In response to public Mass being suspended until further notice in the Archdiocese of Baltimore we will have a Day of Reconciliation and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. John Westminster!

The Blessed Sacrament will be processed from the perpetual adoration chapel to the main church at 6:30 am and will remain until Benediction at 6:00 pm, which would have been the beginning of our last Sunday Mass. It will then be processed back to the perpetual adoration chapel for continued devotion.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered from 6:30 am – 7:30 am and again from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

I ask that our parishioners come to our church throughout the day in solidarity and prayer as a parish family.

I will celebrate a private Mass that will be LIVE STREAMED from the perpetual adoration chapel at 10:30 am on our St. John Facebook Page.

UPDATE | MARCH 14, 2020 | 7:10 P.M.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has just announced that all public Masses, including weekend and weekday, have been “cancelled until further notice.” We are unable to proceed with our modified Mass schedule at St. John Westminster at this time. We will update you with further information as soon as we can.

ST. JOHN WESTMINSTER MASS SCHEDULE | AS OF MARCH 14, 2020 AT 12 NOON

WEEKEND MASSES:
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. | Church
Saturday, 4:45 p.m. | As Needed Overflow | Portico
Sunday, 7:15 a.m. | Church
Sunday, 8:45 a.m. | Church
Sunday, 9 a.m. | As Needed Overflow | Portico
Sunday, 10:30 a.m. | Church
Sunday, 10:45 a.m. | As Needed Overflow | Portico
Sunday, 12 noon | Spanish | Church
Sunday, 6 p.m. | Church
Sunday, 6:15 p.m. | As Needed Overflow | Portico

DAILY MASSES:
Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. | Church
Wednesday, 7 p.m. | Church

• All Masses are limited to 250 people
• Only the front center doors will be open so we can keep an accurate count of how many people are in the buildings
• We ask that you practice social distancing at all Masses (leaving a 6 foot space between you and other faithful)
• We will be Live Streaming our 10:30 a.m. Mass to Facebook

*Please note: Though Masses will continue to be offered in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and at St. John, all members of the faithful are dispensed of the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice. Those who are ill or suspect they may have a contagious illness should refrain from attending Mass.

UPDATE | CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE | AS OF MARCH 13, 2020 AT 5:10 P.M.

As the parish leadership of St. John, Westminster, we place the health, safety and well-being of all our parishioners as our top priority. We are sincerely grateful for the leadership of Governor Hogan for the State of Maryland, our county commissioners and especially Archbishop William Lori as our chief shepherd for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. We are fully committed to being in compliance with all regulations and guidelines during this pandemic.  We have also heard from our parish family that the celebration of Mass and the continuation of the sacramental life of the Church here in Westminster continue as a source of strength, reassurance and spiritual nourishment during this time of crisis. We therefore offer the following guidance for our parish and school community, which will be effective immediately:

MASS

WEEKEND MASSES

Weekend Masses will continue at this time (March 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.).  The church will be limited to holding 250 people, in accordance with the State of Maryland, Carroll County, and Archdiocese of Baltimore regulations.  In an effort to make the Eucharist available to all who want to attend, we will be offering additional overflow Masses in the Portico, on an as-needed basis, at the following Mass times:

  • Saturday, 4:30 p.m. – overflow Mass would start at 4:45 p.m. in the Portico (if needed)
  • Sunday, 8:45 a.m. – overflow Mass would start at 9 a.m. in the Portico (if needed)
  • Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – overflow Mass would start at 10:45 a.m. in the Portico (if needed)
  • Sunday, 6 p.m. – overflow Mass would start at 6:15 p.m. in the Portico (if needed)

*Due to the additional Mass times being offered, Confession times may have to be shortened.

All side entrances to the church will be closed.  Only the main front center entrance will be open, so that we can keep an accurate count of how many people are in the building.

We will limit music ministers to two per Mass – cantor and accompanist – to allow more faithful to attend (this excludes the 7:15 a.m. Mass, which has no music).

We ask that you practice social distancing at all Masses (leaving a 6 foot space between you and other faithful).

*Please note: Though Masses will continue to be offered in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and at St. John, all members of the faithful are dispensed of the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice. Those who are ill or suspect they may have a contagious illness should refrain from attending Mass.

As of this weekend, we will also be Live Streaming our 10:30 a.m. Mass to Facebook. We hope this will allow those members of our community who stay home to remain part of the liturgical life of our St. John community.

WEEKDAY MASSES

Daily Mass will continue at 8 a.m. on weekdays and Saturday.

The school Mass on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. is suspended until further notice.

The 7 p.m. Wednesday Lenten Masses with Reconciliation will continue.

SACRAMENTS

Adoration will continue in the chapel of the Parish Center.

Baptisms, funerals and weddings will continue as scheduled.  Attendees of these events must not exceed 250.

Friday evening Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. will continue as scheduled.  The 2:15 p.m. school Stations are cancelled.

All of our normal Reconciliation times will continue. Lenten penance services will continue as scheduled.  This includes Lenten Wednesdays, with Reconciliation at 6 p.m. and Mass at 7 p.m.

CANCELLED EVENTS/MEETINGS/MINISTRIES

All parish events, faith formation, youth ministry, RCIA, group meetings, ministries, clubs, bible studies, sporting events and leagues, etc., are CANCELLED/SUSPENDED until further notice.

For this Sunday, March 15, that includes Hospitality Sunday, Children’s Liturgy of the Word (CLOW), the nursery, Faith Formation, Confirmation classes, and Antioch.

Faith formation for youth and adults is cancelled until further notice. Students in sacramental prep – please be on the lookout for online instruction in the coming days.

Again, all parish events are cancelled until further notice.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gaelic and Garlic
  • Fish Frys
  • Knights of Columbus Bull Roast
  • Daddy-Daughter Luau
  • Lesson on the Mass for Second Grade

Any events/meetings hosted by outside organizations on our campus are also cancelled until further notice.

HEALTH CARE

At this time all visits by our health care minsters to area nursing homes, Carroll Hospital and individual parishioner’s homes have been suspended until further notice.

Area clergy are not being admitted to Carroll Hospital and our area nursing homes, which will affect the ability of our parish clergy to be called in an emergency for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be available by appointment or on an individual basis in case of emergency outside of an institutional setting such as a nursing home or hospital.

SCHOOL

St. John Catholic School will be closed from now (March 13 at the end of the day) until March 27.

The school building will be completely closed.

The school-sponsored Daddy-Daughter Dance, scheduled for March 21, and Grandparents Day, scheduled for April 3, have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

 

We join with our entire St. John family in praying for all those affected by the pandemic. We especially pray for all those who have died, those who are sick or in quarantine and ask for Mary’s powerful intercession to protect all our officials, health care professionals, first responders and their families.

We thank our parish family for your prayers and cooperation as we work together to care for those most vulnerable among us while being sustained by the Eucharist and the sacramental life of the Church.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Mark

 

UPDATE | MARCH 13, 2020 | 2:50 P.M.

In light of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Carroll County, the Fish Fry for tonight, March 13 is CANCELLED.

UPDATE | MARCH 13, 2020 | 11:45 A.M. 

Our St. John Westminster Fish Fry will take place this evening from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm in the Portico. Take Out is available. We kindly ask that those who are sick or feeling ill to refrain from participation at this time for the well-being of all. We will be announcing changes to future Fish Frys with other parish announcements later today.

Stations of the Cross will also continue today as scheduled.  2:15 p.m. Children’s Stations of the Cross (led by St. John Catholic School students). 7 p.m. Traditional Stations of the Cross.

UPDATE | MARCH 13, 2020 | 10:30 A.M.

Though Masses will continue to be offered in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, all members of the faithful are dispensed of the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice. Those who are ill or suspect they may have a contagious illness should refrain from attending Mass.

UPDATE | MARCH 12, 2020 | 5:45 P.M.

Based on the fluid situation regarding the Coronavirus and public health and safety, in conjunction with guidance from the State of Maryland and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, we will be updating guidelines and event schedules (including Faith Formation and Sacrament Prep) by end of day tomorrow, Friday, March 13. These changes will take effect Monday, March 16, 2020.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.