Following the two-month suspension of in-person, church services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mary of the Assumption will conduct its first Mass Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the church.
The Rev. John Sheridan, pastor, will be officiating the Mass that will be limited to 70 parishioners at the church that has a usual seating capacity of 250.
Asked about the projected turnout for the re-opening of the church to parishioners, the Rev. Sheridan â€œWeâ€™ll see what the Holy Spirit says, because itâ€™s the Feast of Pentecost. I have no idea what kind of numbers to expect – the capacity of the church is 70 with social distancing, but we donâ€™t know in this equation.â€
The churchâ€™s spiritual leader said he has been corresponding regularly with parishioners via email and Facebook and intends to deliver a â€œWelcome Back, Today Is The Feast of Pentecostâ€ message on Saturday.
â€œPentecost is one of the most important Feast days of the churchâ€™s year,â€ said the Rev. Sheridan. â€œIt is third or fourth on the list of the most important Holy Days. I want everyone to wear red for the Holy Spirit.â€
The church will also hold Masses on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. It will livestream a Mass Sunday afternoon at a time to be announced.
The Rev. Sheridan acknowledged that Cardinal Sean Oâ€™Malley â€œhas made it very clear that people are still not bound by the obligation yet due to that we are still under the COVID-19 watch.â€
The spiritual leader said he is looking forward to welcoming back members of the church community.
â€œIâ€™m beyond excited, Iâ€™m thrilled,â€ said the Rev. Sheridan. â€œI canâ€™t wait to see folks. I canâ€™t wait to get back. Itâ€™s been far too long, but I understand why. I get it. Weâ€™re happy to follow the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth and the Governor and weâ€™re looking forward to seeing people again and understanding what the new normal means for all of us. This is a big step.â€
St. Anthony of Padua will resume Mass on June 13
The Rev. Xavier Arulraj of St. Anthony of Padua Church said the church will hold its next in-person Mass on Saturday, June 13 at 4 p.m.
â€œWe are formulating the protocols of the church and the procedures our parishioners must do when we re-open, such as wearing of masks and keeping social distancing,â€ related the Rev. Arulraj.
The spiritual leader said he will be sending the rules and regulations to each parishioner individually by mail.
The St. Anthony Church has a seating capacity of 800, but only 120 parishioners will be allowed to attend the Mass due to social distancing guidelines.
The Rev. Arulraj said there will be three Masses on Sunday, June 14 at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. (on Zoom), and 12 p.m. (noon).
â€œWe will also be doing regular Masses weekdays at 7 a.m. and noon in the main church,â€ said the Rev. Arulraj. â€œWe will also have a Novena Mass on Tuesday at noon.â€