“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
-2 Corinthians 13:11
June 7, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Likely multiple times a day, we make the simple gesture and offer the prayer of the Sign of the Cross. As with many repetitive actions, we may not reflect on the depths of these words and this gesture. First, we trace the cross on our bodies, committing to embracing the cross of discipleship. Second, we accept the commission as ambassadors of God. In whose name do we act and speak? In the name of the One God! In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!
This is indeed a great mystery. We are invited into communion with God. While we fail to comprehend how God can be truly One but also Three, we are invited to participate in this dynamic relationship. God calls us his beloved daughters and sons, heirs through Christ Jesus. Let us not forget this wondrous truth and aim to pray with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength as we pray the simplest of all prayers.
In the work for God’s Kingdom, in the hopes of rooting out all racism, prejudice, and injustice, Archbishop Lori continues to make concrete steps for growth. This week, he appointed Mrs. Sherita Thomas as the new interim director for the Office of Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Mrs. Thomas currently works for T. Rowe Price and is the former chairwoman of the Archdiocesan Black Catholic Ministries Board. She is also an active and engaged parishioner at New All Saints Catholic Church. With her, the Archbishop has appointed a team of consultants to assist her in bringing to concrete action the vision of his pastoral reflection, “The Journey to Racial Justice: Repentance, Healing, and Action.” If you have not read the pastoral letter, I encourage you to pray with the short document and ask the Holy Spirit to aid our efforts in rooting out all racism, prejudice, and injustice. If you have read the letter, I encourage you likewise to pray with the short document as you reread it and ask the Holy Spirit to aid our efforts.
In addition to the ministerial efforts of the Archdiocese to root out racism, prejudice, and injustice, there has also been recent work to reopen parishes safely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. With some relief, the State of Maryland and Howard County are now in sync as we have moved into Phase 2. As we navigate these new realities, please continue to communicate with us. I am grateful to so many parishioners who completed our online survey, which helped us form a plan for Mass this past weekend and in the weeks to come. While I recognize our communications have been long and shifting each week, we hope to restore a rhythm and routine to our schedule. Please note, while we are legally allowed to proceed, we are not ready to reopen to all our activities and ministries at this time. In each instance, our parish leadership must complete a risk assessment provided in guidance from the Archdiocese to determine when a particular activity or ministry may resume.
Our schedule for the week of June 7th will include:
— 8:15am daily Mass, live streamed Monday to Saturday. (Please note the shift back to 8:15 am Mass.)
The only exception is this Thursday, June 11, at 9:30 am for the Closing School Mass.
Parishioners may attend Mass in the Church on Wednesday and Friday this week.
The Church will open at 7:45 am and close at 9:30 am.
— The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Outdoors, Wednesdays, 11 am to 12 Noon & 6 pm to 7 pm; and on Fridays, 4 pm to 6 pm.
— Eucharistic Adoration & Prayer: Wednesdays, from 1 pm to 7 pm.
Sunday Mass schedule:
— Saturdays at 4:30 pm inside the church, on
— Sundays at 9 am and at 11 am outdoors, at the Harrison Hall landing.
— Sundays at 9 am live streamed from the church (not open for public attendance.)
If you plan to join us for Mass on campus next weekend, either Saturday indoor or Sunday outdoors, we again request you SIGN UP HERE so that we may plan for your arrival and ensure we need not turn anyone away. Below is a continued reminder of our safety and security guidelines including the need to wear a mask or facial coverings at indoor or outdoor offerings (Mass or Confession). Please know pews, door handles and restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized in between all indoor Mass offerings. Lastly, our indoor capacity is much lower due to the need to ensure proper distancing between those attending indoor Mass
During much of our live streaming experiences, Deacon Jeremy has been serving our parish. This week, Deacon Jeremy will be returning to minister at St. Mary’s in Hagerstown for the summer as he prepares for ordination. With the shift in his ordination date, Deacon Jeremy will also be completing the 30-day Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in July. While few of you have personally met Deacon Jeremy, please continue in prayer for him. Archbishop Lori will ordain him a priest on Saturday, August 22, at the Cathedral. While we are not yet aware if we will be able to physically attend, I encourage you to keep him in your prayers and mark your calendars.
Our parish will host seminarian John-Paul LaGare for a short pastoral experience. While these are unique days, I hope that many of you will have an opportunity to interact with him, both digitally and in-person (while respecting the physical distancing expectations). John-Paul is closer to the beginning of his journey, as he will be starting 1st Theology at the North American College in Rome this year. Please pray for him, that our Lord will continue to lead him on his journey in, formation.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett
The following guidelines must be followed by you and your family before coming to Mass on Saturday or Sunday:
▫ Check your temperature; if it is above 99.9°, remain home.
▫ If you or a family member are feeling ill, remain home; if you or a family member have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 or have been symptomatic within 14 days, you are not permitted on campus.
▫ Bring a mask or facial covering for each family member (with the exception of those children who are 2 years old or younger).
▫ Pack chairs, seat pads, or blankets that are easy for placement on the Harrison Hall parking lot.
▫ Please plan in advance your need for a restroom. If necessary, the family restroom in the lower level Parish Center will be available. We must request your personal responsibility to sanitize after each use.
Mass will be offered from the Harrison Hall concrete landing on Sunday at 9am and 11am; Mass will be in the Church on Saturday at 4:30pm. You will be invited to sit, with proper social distancing, on the asphalt lot before the Harrison Hall entrance or inside the Church respectively. As you arrive on campus you will be greeted with parking and seating directions. Those with physical limitations will be allowed “curbside drop off.” You should expect a one-way traffic direction from the main entrance, around the front to the school, past the church, and as necessary behind the church towards the parish center. There will be no thru traffic between the playground and Harrison Hall.
As you park, please follow these safety guidelines:
▫ With the exception of Holy Communion, your mouth and nose must be covered from the time you leave your car until the time you return to your car to depart campus.
▫ Please follow directions on where to be seated, maintaining the necessary distance. As we practice “physical distancing” of 6-8 feet between persons not of the same household, we also need to refrain from socializing with each other.
▫ If a restroom is required, we ask you to please safely line up outside the lower level Parish Center or in the Narthex where you will be guided to the restroom as available. The family restrooms in both respective spaces will be available, and requires you to sanitize after each use.
▫ For our Outdoor Masses, during the Eucharistic Prayer, where it is customary to kneel, you are welcome to remain standing.
▫ For Holy Communion, you will be guided to one of our communion stations. A Communion Minister will distribute the Blessed Sacrament to you while wearing a face covering. When it is your turn, remove your mask, receive Communion, replace your mask and continue following the directional flow back to your seat. If a Communion Minister comes into contact with your hands, they will place the Blessed Sacrament on the table, sanitize their hands, and then resume distribution. It is highly encouraged for you to receive Communion in the hand as an act of charity. If you must insist on receiving on the tongue, only the priest will distribute in this manner (it is not fair to ask Communion Ministers at large to take that risk). You will either need to be seated in the priest section or wait until after Mass as movement during Mass will not be possible. Note the priest will sanitize before and after distributing to each person on the tongue. We appreciate your patience as communion flow may take a bit more time. The good news: we will keep the homily short!
▫ After the Blessing and Dismissal, you will be dismissed by section to limit congregating and violating social distance safety. Please note, for the safety and flow of the process, all parishioners must wait until the end of Mass before departing.
▫ There is an old expression, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Knowing there are many factors we cannot control, we yield to the fact that weather may cause us to alter or cancel Mass.
▫ The Mass will be spoken. There will be no music nor singing, no worship aids, missalettes or bulletins, and no sign of peace exchanged. This is all with the desire to not spread Covid-19 and to keep all parishioners and clergy safe and healthy.
▫ An offertory drop box will be available, yet electronic giving is safest for us (olphparish.org/giving).