35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
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Parish Update

March 3, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

During the month of February, our Sunday Mass attendance consistently increased. From Sunday, February 7 through Sunday, February 28, the total Mass attendance number for those four Sundays were 530 (February 7), 531 (February 14), 676 (February 21), and 762 (February 28). Many factors have contributed to this increase over the past month. Among the reasons are improved weather, the beginning of Lent, and people’s desire to return to Sunday Mass. The most well attended Masses have been the 5:00PM on Saturday and the 10:00AM and 11:45 Masses on Sunday.

Among our first concerns for those who come to Sunday Mass is the health and safety of all. To that end, masks are required. Parishioners are greeted and assisted with finding a seat. Sections of the church are created for family groupings, groups of two persons, and persons attending Mass as a single. This method allows us to make effective use of our available space. After Mass, pews are cleaned with a spray sanitizer. Several parishioners have graciously assisted Sr. Judy in helping to create a safe environment for our Sunday Mass parishioners. In recent weeks we have been using the church balcony for the increased numbers.

This past weekend 184 people attended the Saturday evening Mass and 169 people attended the 11:45 Mass. Though capacity regulations at 50% suggest we can accommodate 400 persons, that is simply impossible if we continue to observe social distancing as we have all during this past year of pandemic. 170 or more persons pushes our limit.

We want to continue our health and safety practices. We have chosen to add three additional Masses to our Sunday schedule. WE WILL CREATE WORSHIP SPACE IN THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA AND ADD MASSES AT 5:00PM SATURDAY AND 10:00 AND 11:45 MASSES ON SUNDAY. THESE ADDITIONAL MASSES WILL BEGIN THIS WEEKEND. Once the church has reached its capacity of 160 persons, parishioners will be asked to go downstairs to the cafeteria for Mass. Masks will be required. Chairs will be setup for family groupings, twos and singles. Social distancing will be observed. For the immediate present, there will be no music in the cafeteria Masses.

Other changes will be included in the Sunday Masses in the Church. There will be a single lector at each Sunday Mass. The lector will read both Sunday readings. Mass will begin with a procession up the main aisle that includes the lector, deacon, and priest. At most Masses, the more populated ones, a deacon will assist with the distribution of Holy Communion. We will continue to have Mass without the presence of altar servers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. We look forward to post-pandemic time when we will be able to welcome back our generous altar servers and extraordinary ministers.

We hope that the addition of these three Sunday Masses will help accommodate our increasing numbers of persons. They are added to assist us in providing a healthy and safe environment. As we move forward towards Holy Week and Easter, please be alert to other changes that we may need to introduce. Thank you for your presence at Sunday Mass. Thank you for your vigilance and patience in helping the parish maintain its safety protocols. Thank you for your continued prayerful and financial support of the parish.

Peace be with you.

Fr. Tom