Our Response to COVID-19
Message from Bishop Malesic on the COVID Virus and keeping people safe during the pandemic
The following message was provided to the parish on Friday, August 27th.
We encourage you to take a moment to read.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The latest information from federal, state and local public health agencies informs us that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is surging in our area, causing increased illness and hospitalizations at levels not seen since the spring. For the safety of all who worship at Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Cleveland, I strongly encourage you -- whether vaccinated or not vaccinated -- to wear a face mask while attending Mass indoors. All who want to attend Mass, and who are otherwise vulnerable, should feel safe and welcome inside our sacred spaces. Please use charity and patience with those who do not wish to comply with this strongly stated request. You also might want to consider wearing a face mask for other indoor gatherings, especially for those not yet fully vaccinated. Wearing masks outdoors is not generally required except for activities involving close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Those who are ill, have significant health risk factors or care for someone who is immune-compromised or ill, as well as those who have significant fear or anxiety about contracting the coronavirus in a large group of persons are not obliged to attend Mass.
Pope Francis recently offered a message of hope and unity to the world in an effort to continue increasing confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, specifically in communities disproportionately affected by the virus. “Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” the pope said. “Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love; no matter how small, love is always grand.”
I am fully vaccinated and recommend the same for my family and friends. In consideration of others, I also am wearing a mask during the distribution of holy Communion and I strongly encourage those distributing holy Communion at Mass to wear a mask while distributing as well.
Remember that the situation seems to be ever changing. This request to wear face masks is temporary and will be changed once this current level of increased coronavirus cases is over. Stay connected to information coming from national, state and local health authorities, and stay home and get tested for COVID when you are not feeling well. Following these recommendations will go a long way in helping to keep you and others around you safe.
We are all tired of this pandemic, but we must not forget that we are called to care for the health of others in times of crisis and must continue to protect our healthcare system and medical workers.
May God bless and watch over us in our time of need.
Bishop Edward C. Malesic
St. Julie Billiart ~ Post Pandemic
Based on guidelines presented by our Bishop, St. Julie's has begun to 'return to normal'. As Fr. George has mentioned several times, a conservative approach is being taken and additional steps/events will evolve over the next weeks and months.
As we have heard, the dispensation of the obligation to attend Mass has been removed. The faithful are to attend Mass unless ill, have significant health risk factors or care for someone who is immuno-compromised or ill as well as those who have significant fear or anxiety of contracting the coronavirus in a large group of persons.
Changes in effect as of June 26, 2021
Masks are not required, but encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated, those in a compromised health state, and those who feel greater security in still wearing a mask.
The gold chairs are back! Please note that within the carpeted area, chairs are set in 'pods' to accommodate those who are not quite ready to sit in close proximity to others.
The Holy Water fonts are back. They will be cleaned on a routine basis. Hand sanitizers also remain. Please continue to use.
The 'Sign of Peace' continues. All are encourage to maintain touch-less actions unless a member of your family.
We can 'sing'. Worship books are back and have been placed in the racks under the chairs.
Communion will continue to process via the side aisles... and will begin from the back rows and move forward. While the markers are not on the floor, please be respectful of others in line and step to the side in order to consume the host before returning to your chair.
We are looking to bring back all our ministries!!!
Were you a lector, sacristan, Eucharistic Minister, Hospitality minister, Altar Server, Sunday morning donut crew member, or any of the other jobs that make us an amazing community? have you ever thought to become more involved? WELL... now is the time. Contact the rectory for more information and to get in touch with the groups.
Areas that are not ready to return at this time
Music ministry is working on the details for the return of our choir. Stay tuned.
The offertory basket will remain, for now, at the entrance of the church.
We will continue to distribute communion in the form of the host only. The congregation Chalice will not return yet. Eucharistic Ministers will be required to wear a mask during distribution.
As more ministries, groups, and events are authorized to start up again, the organizers of events will be notified.
The 'cry room' remains unavailable. Families are encouraged to be in the church with the community.
We ask for everyone's understanding and cooperation as we look to incorporate additional adjustments to our community. Please continue to keep those who are ill or struggling from this pandemic in your prayers.
As a community we have been a strong example of being 'church' during this pandemic. Let us continue to transition out of this pandemic with grace towards others.