MDP Coronavirus Updates

We are excited to be able to welcome you back!  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we make our way back to the in-person celebration of the Mass.  All of us need to do our part to make sure that our return to Mass is an orderly and safe experience for all.

 

Update: May 19, 2021

At the recommendation of the CDC, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and our MDP St. Zita Cleaning Volunteers, a few changes will be made to our procedures, beginning immediately:

  • Masks are no longer required for those who are FULLY VACCINATED.  Those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated are still asked to wear a mask in church.  This being said, we will not be “checking” vaccination status, but trust that everyone will act accordingly.  Of course, those who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask.
  • Holy Water will be available in the fonts at the entrances of church. The water will be changed weekly.
  • Rocks will no longer be necessary as pew markers for daily Mass.
  • A limited number of music books will be available in the pews.
  • Regarding sanitation: 
    • Pews will be cleaned on Saturday mornings after 8:00 AM Mass.
    • Bathrooms and doors will be sanitized Saturday mornings after 8:00 AM Mass and Sunday mornings after the 10:30 AM Mass, and possibly mid-week if needed.
    • For special events such as funerals and weddings, bathrooms and doors will be sanitized. Pews will not be especially sanitized before and after these events.
  • The number of guests at Baptisms will no longer be limited.
  • All church doors will be opened for your entrance.
  • A Knight of Columbus will no longer spray your hands with hand sanitizer upon your entrance or in the Communion line.  Hand sanitizer will remain available at the entrances of the church and in the Communion line.  Please bring your own hand sanitizer if you would like.
  • The noon rosary on Zoom will occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  There will be no Zoom rosary on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  (There will be no rosary on holidays such as Memorial Day, July 5th (4th of July observed), and Labor Day.)
  • There will be no restrictions on liturgical singing or musicians.
  • There is no capacity limit in the church, although pew tape will remain for the time being.  Social distancing will not be required, but is welcomed for those who are more comfortable with that.

 

The following change will be implemented starting in July:

  • We will offer Baptisms every other weekend (usually the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month) with up to 3 babies being baptized at each.

 

The following measures are still in place:

  • The sign of peace is still suspended.
  • The obligation to attend Mass is still dispensed, although we encourage our parishioners to join us in person if they are in good health.
  • The distribution of the Precious Blood is still suspended.

 

The CDC says the following about sanitation of surfaces in regards to COVID-19: “In most situations, the risk of infection from touching a surface is low.  The most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer.”  The CDC emphasizes the difference between cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing.  According to the CDC, “Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.”  The CDC recommends concentrating sanitation efforts to high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, railings, etc. 

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

 

We are thrilled to see more and more of our parishioners back at Mass each weekend, and we continue to keep your safety and comfort in mind.  We extend a special thank you to our St. Zita Cleaning Volunteers who continue to assist us each weekend. 

 

 

Click here to read Cardinal Robert Sarah’s letter “Returning with Joy.”

 

Important Information and Instructions

Mass Schedule

All Masses will be in the church.   We will continue to live-stream all Masses on the MDP Facebook PagePlease be sure to thoroughly read the "Attending Mass" tab for all the protocols that will be in place.  We need your cooperation to make this work!  For the Saturday evening and Sunday Masses, we ask everyone to plan to arrive and be seated no later than 15 minutes before Mass begins. 

  • Saturday Vigil Mass:  4:00 PM
  • Sunday Mass: 8:00 AM & 10:30 AM
  • Daily Mass: Monday - Saturday at 8:00 AM

Remember, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be dispensed at this time.  You are not required to attend Mass.

 

Eucharistic Adoration

Tuesdays after the 8:00 AM Mass until 7:00 PM.

 

Rosary via Zoom

We encourage all families to take a break from their day's activities and join us in the recitation of the rosary at 12:00 noon Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Zoom.   There will be no rosary Tuesdays or Thursdays.  We pray for one another, for an end to the pandemic, for the sick, and in support of healthcare workers.  You can join this interactive video-conference on your computer or through a tablet or smartphone. Or you can simply call in on any phone and join in the audio portion.

Click here to join the meeting

You may be prompted to download an application for it to work; follow the directions on your screen.

If you have the Zoom app on your phone or tablet, enter the MEETING ID: 683 396 563  and the PASSWORD: MDP-Rosary

If you wish to call in, please call (301)-715-8592.  Please note this is not a local call; we don't have the ability to provide a toll-free number.  After you dial, enter the MEETING ID: 683 396 563 and the PASSWORD: 276250.

 

Miraculous Medal Novena

We will pray the Miraculous Medal Novena on Saturdays immediately after the 8:00 AM Mass.  We are not able to distribute booklets at this time.  You may bring your own copy of the novena from home.  Click here for the prayers.

Before attending Mass, please read the following thoroughly to be familiar with the protocols in effect at this time.

General Points

  • The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is dispensed at this time. You are not required to attend Mass.
  • Please stay home if you are sick.

 

Before Coming to the Church

  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Masks are no longer required for those who are FULLY VACCINATED.  Those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated are still asked to wear a mask in church.  This being said, we will not be “checking” vaccination status, but trust that everyone will act accordingly.  Of course, those who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask.
  • Please do not come to the church if you are sick.
  • A limited number of hymnals will be available in church beginning shortly.  You are welcome to bring your own missal or copy of the readings with you.  A copy of the readings will be available here for you to print and bring with you.
  • Saturday Evening and Sundays: The church will open 50 minutes before Mass begins.  We ask everyone to plan to arrive and be seated by 15 minutes before the start of Mass.  The process for seating is outlined below; please allow enough time.
  • Weekdays/Saturday morning: The church will be open at 7:00 AM.

 

Arrival, Entry, and Seating

Saturday Evening and Sunday Masses:

  •  All entrances of the church will be accessible. 
  • Please take a seat in one of the open pews.  Every other pew is taped off to ensure social distancing.  Social distancing between families will not be required, but is still recommended.
  • If you are gluten-free, please stop into the sacristy to let the clergy or sacristan know.

Weekday Masses

  • The main doors, the doors to the vestibule on the parking lot side, and the accessible entrance will be unlocked.
  • When you enter the church, please use the hand sanitizer, located near the entrances. (Note, the dispenser works via a foot pump.)

 

The Celebration of Mass

  • There will be a collection at the Saturday Evening and Sunday Masses.  If you prefer, you may sign up for e-giving.
  • There will not be a procession of the gifts of bread and wine in order to minimize the number of people having contact with the vessels. 
  • As is the norm, there should be no holding of hands during the Our Father.
  • The exchange of the Sign of Peace between the faithful remains suspended.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed in the form of the Consecrated Host only.  There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.

 

The Reception of Holy Communion

  • The flow for receiving Holy Communion will be opposite what we are used to.
  • The procession for Communion will form in the side aisles of the church, with the faithful returning to their pews via the center aisle.
    • A minister of Holy Communion will still bring Holy Communion to the handicapped in their pews.

 

After Mass

  • If you brought anything with you into the church, please ensure you take it with you when you leave.
  • The parish bulletin will be available online.  We will not have printed bulletins at this time.

 

Our Commitment to You

Mother of Divine Providence has been following the guidelines from the CDC for sanitation throughout this pandemic and will continue to be vigilant.  We want to "worship God first, above all things," and we are committed to ensuring that we can do so safely.  We are very grateful to all of the volunteers who continue to clean and sanitize the church.  If you'd like to assist in this service to our community, please call the parish office at (610)-265-4178.

To ensure everyone's safety and comfort, we are taking caution in the following ways:

  • Masks are no longer required for those who are FULLY VACCINATED.  Those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated are still asked to wear a mask in church.  This being said, we will not be “checking” vaccination status, but trust that everyone will act accordingly.  Of course, those who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask.
  • Every other pew has been taped off to ensure social distancing.
  • Social distancing between families is not required, but recommended.
  • Pews are sanitized after Saturday morning Masses.  To volunteer to help us clean, please click here.
  • All of our clergy have been vaccinated, and will wear masks at the liturgically-appropriate times of the Mass.
  • Extraordinary Ministers and clergy are required to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before Mass.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at all entrances of the church.

Church Hours

The church is open for private prayer at the following times:
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday from 7:00 AM until Benediction at 7:00 PM
Friday from 7:00 AM until 12:00 PM noon
Saturday from 7:00 AM until after the 8:00 AM Mass and from 3:00 PM until after the 4:00 PM Mass
Sunday from 9:30 AM until after the 10:30 AM Mass

 

Parish Office Hours

The parish office open 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday-Thursday and 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM Friday.  There are no weekend or evening hours at this time.  If you need to stop in, please be sure to wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated.

Penance/Reconciliation/Confession

The Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated Saturdays from 3:00-3:45 or by appointment.

To avoid risk to both the priest and those coming to celebrate the sacrament, we will not be using the confessionals. Confessions will be heard in the side room of the vestibule.  There will be signs posted, and members of the Knights of Columbus will be available to help guide you. Access to the main church will be controlled during the time of Confessions in order to adhere to our cleaning and sanitation protocols.  Your cooperation is very much appreciated.

 

Baptism

We will schedule one child/family per Sunday through June.  Beginning in July, we will resume our normal schedule of up to 3 children being baptized every other Sunday.  Masks are no longer required for those who are FULLY VACCINATED.  Those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated are still asked to wear a mask in church.  This being said, we will not be “checking” vaccination status, but trust that everyone will act accordingly.  Of course, those who are fully vaccinated may choose to wear a mask.

Please call the office at (610)-265-4178 and ask for Jenna for additional information or to (re-)schedule a baptism.

 

Holy Communion to the Homebound

Communion calls have resumed for those that are comfortable having an Extraordinary Minister visit their home.  Someone from the parish will contact you to arrange for this visit.  If you would like to be put on our list, please call the office at 610-265-4178 and ask for Jenna.

 

Anointing of the Sick

The sacrament is available by appointment. We are required to follow the protocols of the Archdiocese and local facilities with regard to visits for the sacraments.

 

Funerals

No viewings/visitations will be permitted in the church at this time.

The parish priests and staff will work with the funeral directors to discuss the best way to balance the family's needs in their mourning with the health concerns caused by this pandemic.

Access to parish facilities remains limited at this time.  Insofar as possible, group meetings have been transitioned to the Zoom platform.  Other group meetings are cancelled or postponed.  For more information, get in touch with the group contact person.  A list of groups can be found here.

We know in these uncertain times, many of our parish families are suddenly dealing with unprecedented and unexpected financial stresses and difficulties.  Let us all unite in prayer that God's mercy and providence will  end this pandemic and allow everyone to experience good health and a restoration of stability.

Our parish likewise has been confronted with the reality of decreased contributions since this began. We ask those who are able, to continue to support the parish as best as they can during this pandemic.  Contributions can be sent in by mail or dropped off at the mail slot in the parish office building.  You may wish to consider signing up for our e-giving options here.   We are truly grateful for your continued support.

Our outreach and social mission have not stopped!  We're continuing to look for ways to ensure that this remains a strong aspect of our parish life.

Phone Outreach

We recently made an effort to reach out to every parish family to ascertain how they're doing and see if they had any specific needs or prayer requests.  At the start of the pandemic, we also reached out to those on our list of homebound parishioners and others who may be especially isolated and alone to see if there was anything we could do to assist.  We encourage our parishioners to reach out to each other to check in and say hello!

 

Blood Drives

The Red Cross had a critical need for blood during the pandemic.  MDP hosted several blood drives in the gym. Future drives will be announced.  You can always check the website of the American Red Cross to find blood drives in the area.

 

Food Donations

We continue to support the food pantry at Catholic Social Services in Norristown.  You can drop off food donations in the blue bins in the church vestibule.  We all know there has been an increased need for food assistance in these difficult times, and your generosity in helping feed the hungry is appreciated.

The Holy See has granted "The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members, and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them." (Apostolic Penitentiary, March 20, 2020)

 

  • A plenary Indulgence removes all of the temporal punishment due to sins and may be applied to oneself or to the souls of the deceased (CCC no. 1471).
  • There are four separate special Indulgences addressing four different groups:
    • For those who are ill with COVID-19.  This Indulgence can be gained by the sick who "offer this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters," and meet these requirements:
      • Performance of the following with the intention of gaining an Indulgence: unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of the Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion OR at least recite the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
      • Meeting these three conditions, or having the sincere intention to fulfill them as soon as possible:
        • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
        • Reception of Holy Communion
        • Praying for the Holy Father's intentions
      • Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins

 

    • For health care workers and family members who are caring for those who are ill with COVID-19
      • Performance of the following with the intention of gaining an Indulgence: caring for the sick who are infected with the Coronavirus in the spirit that follows Christ's words: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).
      • Meeting these three conditions, or having the sincere intention to fulfill them as soon as possible:
        • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
        • Reception of Holy Communion
        • Praying for the Holy Father's intentions
      • Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins

 

    • For those who offer special prayers for the end of the pandemic
      • Performance of the following with the intention of gaining an Indulgence: Offer one of the following "to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted, and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself"
        • A visit to the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic Adoration
        • Reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour
        • Recitation of the Holy Rosary
        • Pious exercise of the Way of the Cross
        • Recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
      • Meeting these three conditions, or having the sincere intention to fulfill them as soon as possible:
        • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
        • Reception of Holy Communion
        • Praying for the Holy Father's intentions
      • Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins

 

    • For those who may be at the point of death and are unable to receive the Anointing of the Sick or Viaticum (Communion at the end of one's life)
      • Provided that they are duly disposed
      • Have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (for the attainment of this indulgence, it is recommended that a crucifix or cross be provided to the dying person)
      • For this indulgence, the Church makes up for the three usual conditions of Confession, Communion, and prayer for the Holy Father's intentions, so they are not required.
      • Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.