OUR PARISH OFFICE IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AT THIS TIME. SOMEONE WILL BE THERE ANSWERING PHONES DURING NORMAL BUSINES HOURS. YOU MAY CALL 520-885-5908 WITH QUESTIONS. YOU MAY ALSO MAIL OR BRING IN YOUR ENVELOPE DONATIONS.
January 6, 2021
My brothers and sisters, greetings to you, and blessings.
I write to inform you of yet another change in the parish protocols in light of the current spike in COVID-19 numbers in Arizona and how it affects us here at St. Francis de Sales parish.
The parish protocols we have adopted are based off of the directives from the Diocese of Tucson issued on Monday, January 4 2021. You can find those diocesan directives at www.diocesetucson.org; the protocols take effect across the diocese from Friday January 8, 2012 till February 5, 2021.
Based off of those diocesan protocols, here are the directives I am issuing to be implemented here at St. Francis de Sales Parish till February 5.
Beginning January 11, 2021: daily Masses will be suspended, including outdoor Masses until at least February 5, 2021.
Beginning January 9, no indoor Mass. We will have outdoor Mass in the parking lot in front of the church. No parking will be permitted in that area: Parishioners can park in the eastern part of the parking lot. Parishioners will be required to bring their own chairs, or they may stand. Parishioners must follow social distance rules and wear a face covering.
Outdoor Mass times are as follows: Saturday at 4 PM, Sundays at 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM. Please dress warm, depending on the time of day; or stay in your car.
Visiting Priests must follow protocols from the Bishop, and the pastor.
Ushers will direct Parishioners as to where to park and sit. They will safely collect offerings as Parishioners drive out of the parking lot.
Parishioners may also choose to use online donation systems for Sunday collection for their own convenience.
No Altar Servers will be needed at this time for health and safety of our teenagers.
There will be at least 4-6 Eucharistic Ministers per Mass, to distribute communion. They will bring Communion to your car or where you are seated. Please be patient, they have a huge parking lot to cover.
Only one cantor will be allowed per Mass, with 2 Lectors.
There will be no bulletins issued for the month of January so follow the parish website, Flocknotes, text messages and parish Facebook page as closely as possible for any updates or sudden changes. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Offices will be closed to the public during the period in question, till after February 5th, 2021. A staff member will be in the office during normal business hours to answer phones. You may drop off your donation envelopes during this time as well, and please follow COVID-19 protocols at the office as well.
There will still be outdoor communion service on Monday mornings at 9 am for those who are not able to attend any of the weekend Masses.
All of this will remain in effect until at least February 5, 2021 when it shall be reviewed again, depending on how the Pandemic is moving.
I thank you for your understanding and patience with all this. We are people of hope, and a community of prayer – let us turn to the Lord in prayer to help us during these difficult days for humanity. If each of us will pray a Rosary intention each day for the pandemic to slow down, it will go a long way. Please remember those suffering from the virus, and especially remember those who have died.
May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
On a separate note, I am doing better day by day and working
hard at physical therapy. I truly appreciate all your prayerful support and hope to rejoin you soon.
I Love you all, dearly.
Thank you all and, blessings.
Fr. Richard Kusugh, Pastor.
St. Francis de Sales Parish Statement of the Continuation of Safety Protocols
and the Opening with the Diocese Phase I to take effect when approved by the Diocese.
· We continue to remind and emphasize that the Sunday Mass obligation is suspended indefinitely for all persons living or visiting the Diocese of Tucson despite the changes of our safety protocols. We make clear the risks at hand and the safety precautions that we are keeping and implementing. We also continue to encourage the vulnerable to remain home.
· Those in the vulnerable classification (age 65+ or those with a chronic health condition) are strongly urged to remain at home.
· For those who attend Mass, there is an inherent risk regardless of age or health in attending any public event, this includes any religious event. While we are working to reduce the risk, there is no risk-free situation. Please understand that by you attending Mass or any public event on our parish property you run the risk of contagion. Your presence constitutes your understanding and acceptance of this essential level risk.
· Those who are feeling ill in any way are urged, in the strongest sense, to remain at home and not come onto parish property.
· Please respect any sign posted on church property, whether at the entrance of the church or on our parking lot.
· Please make sure you always use a mask (under age 6 exempted); it is a sign of our desire to do our part in helping to prevent others from potential contagion. In the words of our bishop, the use of a mask is an especially strong sign of your support for your priests and ministers.
· An announcement will be given explaining the reception of Holy Communion.
· The distribution of Holy Communion may take place at the end of Mass. Parishioners will remain in their places and Eucharistic Ministers come to them throughout the parking lot, thus preventing lines from forming and encouraging a breakdown of social distancing.
· The priest and/or Eucharistic Ministers will be wearing a mask or face shield during the distribution.
Communion to Hospitals, nursing homes, homebound
· At this time, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion is currently NOT available in nursing homes or hospitals.
Hymnals, envelopes, bulletins and handouts
· There will be no hymnals or envelopes available.
· Bulletins will not be available at this time.
· There will be no choirs permitted during the celebration of the Mass.
· Only one cantor will be allowed at this time. Congregational singing will continue to be discouraged.
· The ushers will be collecting donations at the end of Mass as you leave the parking lot.
· We will be celebrating individual baptisms.
· We will allow for 10 people to attend the baptism while still following the ordinary safety precautions.
· These celebrations will follow the same restrictions and safety protocols as the Sunday Masses, allowing no more than 25 people to attend.
· There will always be an usher present during these celebrations to count the people that come in and to assist with seating arrangements.
Sacrament of Reconciliations
· We will continue to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturdays at 3:30 PM outside. Social distancing will be used and all will be wearing a mask.
· We will also celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation by appointment.
· At this time there will not be Holy Hour Adoration.
· Holy water in the holy water fonts will not be available for the faithful in the Church.
· If parishioners wish to have this sacramental at home, they will be encouraged to bring a bottle of water to be blessed by the priest.
Meetings and Fundraisers
· During phase I there will be no in-person meetings, all ministry, volunteers or group meetings will be held via-zoom. No fundraisers or events will be allowed on the church property.
This is a lot for all of us to consider the above. Please remember The Sunday Mass obligation remains dispensed for vulnerable person and those who live with them. If after reading all of this and you have questions, please call us here at the office at 520-885-5908.
Rev. Richard Kusugh, V.C.
SIGN UP TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH OUR PARISH
How awesome would it be to stay in touch with your Parish and be informed in real time about what is happening at the church? Yes, we always have a bulletin on Sundays, but sometimes things come up or change within the week in between Sundays and there is no way to let you know—no way to get that information out to you in real time.
Or, if for any reason, there is a sudden change of plans—say we have to cancel an event, a meeting, a class, or other Parish event due to some unforeseen circumstance like rain, snow, dust, raccoons, zombies, or who knows what—there is no way to contact you until the next Sunday when a bulletin will be printed. Oops! Too late.
We have also looked into what it costs us to mail letters through the post office each time we have to send bulk mail to everyone on the Parish register. We are talking envelopes, stamps and all that. Wouldn’t it be nicer, cheaper, and faster if we could just send one message one time through email or text? I think it would be awesome!
So, to keep you posted and to help you be more involved in the daily life of the Parish, we are inviting you to sign on through FLOCKNOTES as a way of staying in touch and involved with your beloved Saint Francis de Sales Parish and the Diocese of Tucson.
All you need to do is type this link in your browser: https://stfrancisdesalesparish.flocknote.com, and follow a few clicks. Or, if you don’t have email, no problem. From your cell phone, text the word sfdstucson to 84576 to sign up. It’s that easy!
Thanks to all those who have already joined the SFDS Parish Tucson (Eastside) Group in Flocknotes.