COVID-19 Information Concerning St. Edward Parish
There is currently no longer a need to sign up to attend Mass. Face masks and distancing are still required inside the building.
The attendance limit for Oregon churches has been adjusted. Please continue to sign up for Masses using the sheets at the church entrance.
The state of Oregon is returning to increased restrictions on indoor gatherings for at least the next two weeks, meaning Mass attendance again has a maximum limit of 25 people. If you want to attend one of the week’s Masses be sure to sign up ahead of time on the sheet at the church entrance.
September 8 – Letter from Fr. Peter
Dear St. Edward Parishioners,
As you know, the COVID-19 concerns have resulted in changes to everyone’s normal schedule and activities. Currently we are under a “State of Emergency” and the Governor of Oregon has extended the “State of Emergency” until November 3, 2020. Archbishop Sample has promulgated a dispensation (permission) to not attend Mass until conditions are deemed safe by public officials. We are not obligated to attend Mass at this time however, many of us have been glad to be able to come to Mass for worship.
The current government restrictions limit us to having no more than 100 people at Mass at one time, provided safe distance of 6 feet of separation is available. In reviewing our worship space at St. Edward, we can accommodate around 75 people with safe distance, hence the sign-up sheets by the front door. The restrictions also make wearing masks mandatory for people age 5 and up while inside the building. Outside gatherings require masks only when 6 feet distance cannot be maintained.
As the Pastor, I have listened to a variety of perspectives on what should or should not be done. From those vehemently opposed to having the Church open at all to those who believe this whole thing is a sham and we shouldn’t wear masks anywhere at all. After conducting a survey with many of the parents of our students, 100% of them expressed that students in preparation for sacraments or applying for a scholarship should meet Mass attendance requirements. As a result, this is the plan that I have come up with under the present restrictions and concerns:
Children’s Liturgy of the Word and Religious Education begins Saturday, October 4 at the regular time. These activities will take place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Students preparing for First Penance and First Communion are required to be at Mass on the days of class (2 times a month). More frequent attendance is up to them. Parents of students preparing for the sacraments are required to attend class once a month. Parents who do not feel comfortable with having their children in a classroom or attending Mass are free to defer until the following year. All classroom settings include wearing masks, safe distancing and sanitation. We need additional teachers for Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Please contact the office if you would like to help. Thank you.
S.E.T. classes begin Saturday, October 10 at 3:30 pm. S.E.T. will meet the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 3:30 to 4:45 pm. All classroom and small group settings require masks, safe distance and sanitation. As of yet, I cannot be certain of a Confirmation class this year due to community service and retreat requirements.
As you look at the schedule of classes, it is obvious that parents with children in religious education should have first preference to sign up for Mass on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Please keep them in mind as you schedule yourself for Mass. The schedule of S.E.T. classes on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month provides an option for those families and students to attend Mass on Saturday night at 5:15 pm which, hopefully reduces pressure on the Sunday 10:30 am Mass.
You are already aware of the recommendations by public health offices and the Bishop. People who are experiencing symptoms or do not fell well should remain at home. You should also know that you do have the option to get tested. If you have had contact with someone who tested positive you are required to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. You may wish to get tested if that occurs too. If you have tested positive and recovered, you must be released by a doctor’s permission to resume your activities. I believe you should test negative before returning to public activity to ensure the safety of others.
In the event that you test positive and you have been to Mass, you need to obtain a copy of the list of those in attendance and report it to the County Health Department who trace, contact, and follow up with the people concerned and keep statistics.
It is important to remember that we are all in this together. The entire world and every level of society is still being impacted by illness and the restrictions associated with the virus. The poor are especially impacted. Many of us have come to realize how essential it is for us to gather, worship God, connect and experience freedom from forces of darkness. Parents have emphasized the necessity of faith formation for their children. We all miss being able to come together in safety and freedom. People who have not been able to attend Mass are missed by the community and those who are at greater risk have expressed their longing to feel safe and be with the community for worship. Several who have been viewing the Mass livestream have expressed that there is no substitute for being there in person.
There is hope and light on the horizon. In time, this will pass and we will emerge more firm and confident in God’s love and care. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.
God bless and protect you always! +++ Fr. Peter
Linn County has been approved to move to the next phase of reopening, meaning we can now have more people at Mass.
Please continue to sign up for attendance using the sheet at the church entrance during the week.
May 8 – Update on St. Edward Masses
Beginning on Saturday, May 9, at 5:15 pm St. Edward will resume the regular schedule of Masses, with certain restrictions.
In accordance with the continued restrictions on public gatherings, only 25 people at a time will be allowed in the church and social distancing will be applied. The church has been sanitized and precautions have been taken to keep everyone as safe as possible. There is a sign up sheet for each Mass for this weekend and next week, Wednesday through Sunday, with instructions at the front entrance of the church. You must come in person to sign up for the Mass you wish to attend. One person can sign up for the whole family. You can only sign up for one weekend Mass until further notice; this is to give everyone a chance. One family at a time is allowed in the cry room and it is reserved for families with small children. Please be patient and understanding as we go through this process of reopening the church to everyone.
The dispensation from Archbishop Sample remains in effect for those unable to attend and for elderly or at risk parishioners who are still encouraged to remain home at this time.
Masses will continue to be livestreamed on the St. Edward Facebook page until further notice, except for the Saturday Vigil Mass.
Please see this video message from Archbishop Sample concerning gradual reopening of churches in the Archdiocese of Portland.
Watch for an update from Fr. Peter about the plans here at St. Edward.
March 28 – Update from Fr. Peter
Please see this video message from Fr. Peter. Starting tomorrow he will begin livestreaming Masses on the St. Edward Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view the streams, when the video is live a link to watch will be showing on the page. Concluded livestreams can be viewed from the videos page.
March 18 – Message from Fr. Peter
Peace and blessings to you all! As you know, every country in the world is impacted by the Covid-19 virus. Medical health communities everywhere strongly advise us to take serious precautions to limit the spread of sickness by limiting our exposure to possibly contracting the virus. I am following their instructions. The office will be closed except for appointments.
This is a time when we look to God more than ever as our help and our shield. Please pray! Pray! Pray! (I’m quoting Blessed Mother) Praying the Rosary at home is a consolation and it brings a special grace to our homes and families. Reading the bible gives us hope and bolsters our faith: it is God’s living Word! Keeping up with the readings for Mass and watching Mass on EWTN and making a spiritual communion are good practices too. This is also a time when tensions and stress can cause disturbance in our relationships. Please be mindful of that and know that prayer helps!
I know that some people want to come to the Church and pray. There is a combination lock on the Chapel door so it is available 24/7. The combination is the feast day of our patron, St. Edward the Confessor. The Church will be open during the day while I am in the office keeping up with tasks that I have to do but there are no set hours. I plan on being available for the sacrament of Penance according to the regular schedule and I may offer additional times. l am praying the Mass for everyone, everywhere.
If there is an emergency, please call the office number and follow the prompts, it will get you to my personal phone. If I don’t answer, please leave a message with your phone number.
I look forward to the time when this is behind us and we can be together again to sing God’s praises and worship!
Peace and blessings to you all! +++ Fr. Peter