10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass now open in the Green Phase
Dear St. Charles Parish Family and All Friends in Christ,
This Sunday, June 28, is the first Sunday after Bucks County has entered the “Green Phase”, and thanks to the response of a group of new volunteers, we are able to increase the Mass schedule to include a 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. The 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass will continue as a “quiet” Mass with no congregational singing or music. The 10:00 a.m. and the 12:00 Spanish Mass will have music and singing and be live-streamed. On Wednesday, I attended a webinar on the celebration of the sacred liturgy in the “green” phase, and practically speaking, there are no substantive changes to how things will operate in this transition from the yellow to the more open “green” phase. The faithful continue to be dispensed by the Archbishop from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until further notice. Several weeks notice will be provided as to when the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will be reinstated. Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a face covering or mask throughout the celebration of Mass, except when it comes time for the reception of Holy Communion. We still have to maintain social distancing at the recommended six feet, and all “high-touch” surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected after each celebration according to the CDC directives. We still cannot use pew missals or hymnals, and the holy water fonts are still to be kept empty. We will provide a one-time-use worship aid with the hymns for the Mass that can be picked up on the way into church. This worship aid will also be posted on the parish website along with a link to the readings for Sunday. All are welcome to bring their own missal or personal device to follow the readings. The sign of peace continues to be suspended. The strong recommendation remains that the faithful receive the Body of Christ in the hand, but no one will be denied Holy Communion on the tongue. We continue to have a reserved seating section and communion station with the necessary sanitary precautions for those who wish to receive on the tongue. One change in the green phase is that now priests, deacons, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may resume visits with Holy Communion to the homebound as long as there is mutual agreement between the Communion minister and the person receiving the visit. Funerals or memorial Masses for those who died during the pandemic should be scheduled. Please contact the parish office for any of these needs.
Our ability to get back to a full Mass schedule will depend on the number of volunteers we have to assist with greeting, coordinating the flow of the people for communion, and sanitizing the church after each Mass. We will need a team of people for each of these duties at each Mass. Anyone willing to assist at any Mass, please contact the parish office at email@example.com or 215-638-3625 with your name, phone number, and email. A clear “job description” will be provided for each position. With a group of 5 cleaners, the church can be made ready for the next mass in less than a half hour. I am very grateful for those who have volunteered and are willing to help.
So many people have faithfully “taken up the cross” of this pandemic and followed Christ in ways that have generated new life in the midst of these difficult times. I am grateful for and pray daily for those who put themselves at risk to serve those in need. In losing oneself” for Christ’s sake – for love of the other – we find our reward – the newness of life that Christ promises – a life with him. Please continue to pray for each other and to care for each other and to be open to receiving those the Lord places in your path.
Please see below for other announcements and the links to “stay connected” to the Mass and to what is happening at St. Charles.
There is no obligation to attend Mass at this time. Those who are sick or at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 should not come to church. We will continue to live-stream the Masses each Sunday and post them on the website, Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/scbbensalem/ and YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSf0XIKmwgRsxkG80ItXrwg. The best place to watch the Mass live or on replay is right on the homepage of our parish website: http://stcharlesbensalem.org A worship aid that includes the hymns and other music for the Mass is available on the website.
The readings for the Mass can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062820.cfm
This Sunday’s Bulletin is available here: https://www.e-churchbulletins.com/bulletins/511434.pdf
I ask all those who do intend to come to Mass to watch the instructional video and to review the guidelines for returning to Mass that are posted on the parish website http://stcharlesbensalem.org so you will know what to expect when you arrive at church. Printed copies of the guidelines are available in the church.
To make an on-line gift or become a regular electronic donor, follow this link: https://scbbensalem.churchgiving.com Those who prefer not to give on-line, please mail your offering envelope to the rectory or drop it through the mail slot in the front door of the rectory office. No gift is too small. Every gift makes a difference. Your continued financial support during this time is crucial for the ongoing operations of the parish. I am very grateful for the generosity of the many people who have maintained their weekly offering or given even more at this time.
Parish Meetings and Facilities Use during the Green Phase
All onsite meetings of ministry groups, prayer groups, committees, adult faith formation classes, parish organizations and similar gatherings including BINGO and other social and fundraising events remain suspended during the “green phase”. All groups should continue to conduct meetings through electronic means as their leaders see fit. The need for this restriction will be reevaluated on an ongoing basis.
The parish office will be open during the “green phase”, but all parish business will be conducted by phone or video conference and by appointment only. Parish registrations, baptismal registrations, and Letters of Eligibility can be arranged by a phone or video appointment with Fr. Forlano. Please call or email the office to arrange an appointment. In-person pick-up of Mass cards and other items must be scheduled in advance and will take place through the scrip office window. In keeping with current directives, all who do come to the office for essential business need to wear a face mask and practice social distancing inside the parish office.
Thank you for your understanding, patience, and active cooperation with these efforts to protect those who work at St. Charles as well as the vendors and visitors to our facilities.
Mass Cards are Available
We are not taking “announced intentions” with set dates until we are able to return to the full Mass schedule to ensure that all intentions already scheduled can be satisfied. Those wishing to have an unannounced Mass or an “announced” Mass offered at St. Charles at the first available opening (date is not set in advance) may contact the parish office or mail in requests. Mass card pick-up is available Thursdays from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the scrip office window.
To allow for Eucharistic Adoration while addressing the necessary social distancing and sanitation concerns, we will begin Adoration on Wednesdays in the main church at St. Charles as soon as we have commitments to cover the hours from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. If you are willing to spend an hour or even a half hour with the Lord before the Blessed Sacrament, please contact the parish office at 215-638-3625 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up for a time on Wednesdays. Please leave your name, number, and email. Those who have been regular adorers at the Our Lady of Fatima Adoration Chapel are encouraged to continue your hours of adoration at St. Charles.
Weekly On-line Scripture Reflection Group
I invite everyone to join me in a weekly on-line reflection on the Sunday readings. Please email me at email@example.com, and I will send you a link to join the on-line meeting through Zoom. The meeting for women is on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. The discussion for men is at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays.
Rev. Philip M. Forlano, Pastor
St. Charles Borromeo Parish
1731 Hulmeville Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 638-3625, ext. 726