My Dearest Parishioners,
Throughout the country, plans are being made for the gradual reopening of businesses and phased resumption of public gatherings. It is not totally clear when resumption of public gatherings for Mass will be possible in the Diocese of Venice. Nevertheless, the Diocese is planning so that parishes are able to move gradually and prudently towards resumption of public celebrations of Mass as soon as local conditions permit this to be done safely.
As planning has progressed the Bishop has decided that it would be prudent to begin our first phase by allowing the faithful access to our Parish Churches for individual visitation. Visits would allow the faithful to have the opportunity for private prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament will remain in the tabernacle at this time and not exposed. The adoration chapel will not be opened at this time and public gatherings for Mass or other liturgical services will still not be possible.
Presently I have been working with my staff and volunteers to prepare the church for such visitations. You will find that all the pews have been marked in accordance with distancing guidelines. It is my hope that we will be able to begin these individual visitations by next week. I have been working at getting sanitizing supplies. Everyone will be required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands. I would like to ask you to please bring your own mask and sanitizer for you and your family. If you do not wear a mask you will not be permitted inside the church space. The times in which this will take place will be from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday. Families may sit next to each other, but all others must always remain 6 feet apart. Since there is a very limited amount of space that can be utilized for safety reasons I would kindly ask that you do limit your time so that others who may have to wait outside can come in and pray also. If you are sick or experiencing symptoms of any kind please stay home. I encourage those who are at greater risk of complications not to visit. When I receive the necessary sanitizing supplies, I will announce the date on which we will begin. Please refer to our parish web site often for further updates. www.avemariaparish.org
As the Church continues to rejoice in the Paschal Joy of the Easter Season, allow me to extend my cordial greetings along with a prayer for your continued good health and strength during these difficult times. May our Lord bless you and your family abundantly. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Fr. Cory A. Mayer