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Frequently Asked Questions about the return to public Masses at St. Ann Catholic Church in Normandy
When are Masses?
We have returned turn to our regular Mass schedule. Masses are weekdays Monday through Friday at 8 AM, Saturday vigil 5 PM, and Sunday at 8 and 11 AM.
Who should come to Mass?
By order of the Archbishop, those who are symptomatic, i.e., a fever, and those who are because of exposure within the last 14 days to somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19 within that same period are to self-quarantine, are not to attend public Masses.
Those who are considered at higher risk by the centers of disease control, those over 60 years old or who have an underlying condition, are strongly encouraged, for their own health, to avoid the risk of attending public celebrations of the Mass.
Is it a sin not to go to Mass?
No, all Catholics in the Archdiocese are dispensed from the obligation to holy Mass until further notice. There is no sin in missing Mass, there can be a sin and coming to Mass when it would be imprudent or in danger somebody else’s health.
I am over 60, can I come to Mass?
When it comes to risk for the disease and for severe consequences of the illness, each person is responsible for making those decisions for themselves. Anyone who is not symptomatic or required to self-quarantine is welcome at Mass. Those who are at higher risk of tragic outcomes from the disease should take that carefully into consideration before coming. That said, many of those who are attending public masses now are over 60. Each person is responsible for making their own decision.
If I do not/can not come to Mass, what should I do?
You can continue as you have before by praying at home. You can find a video live-stream of the 11 AM Mass celebrated St. Ann on our YouTube channel, our Facebook page, and our parish website, StAnnChurch-STL.org . There are many additional resources available to you to aid your prayer at home.
What do I need to do to prepare to come to Mass?
Some form of masker face covering is required to enter the church. All who are attending Mass are encouraged to take their temperature before leaving to verify that they do not have a fever.
What do I need to know when I’m at Mass?
You should wear a mask, except when you’re in the pew or for a brief moment when you are receiving Communion. You are expected to maintain 6 feet of distance between you and anyone not in your household. It is essential to be aware of your surroundings. Even if you do not care about the risk, we should respect the concerns others might have. There is a traffic pattern, and all aisles and doors are one-way only. Please respect the directional signs posted on the doors and floor. Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are available at the entrances and exits to the church, and you are encouraged to make liberal use of both. There will be no offertory taken up at Mass. Drop boxes are located by the entrances for your offertory gift. There are no hymnals in the pews. All paper and porous items have been removed from the pews. Feel free to bring any worship aid you have at home. The Choose Christ Missals are available, in grocery bags on the sides of the church, to take home and to bring to Mass each week so you can have the text of the readings and the prayers for Mass.
How will the distribution of Holy Communion go?
Before leaving the pew for Communion, you are required to put on your face-covering. In the aisles there are markers on the floor distributed about every 6 feet. Each spot is for one person to stand. No one should be standing in the aisle and not on a spot. The spot before the communion minister has instructions to lower your mask. After receiving Communion, return the mask to your face and return to your pew while respecting social distance. Communion must be received in the hands.
Why must Communion be received in the hands?
Health officials believe that there is an unacceptably high risk of transmitting the virus through Communion on the tongue. Droplets from the open mouth of the Communicant can carry the virus onto the hand of Communion minister. The Archbishop has asked all the faithful to refrain from receiving Communion on the tongue for the time being. If you have further questions, you are encouraged to speak to the pastor.
What else is being done?
The doors will be propped open before and after Mass, to avoid contact with door handles. The church is sanitized before and after each Mass. All ministers of Holy Communion will wear masks, sanitize their hands before and after Communion, and have a little towel soaked in alcohol to purify their fingers after any incidental contact with someone. Two out of every three rows are roped off to ensure distancing between people. Additional space is set aside around the musicians, as evidence seems to suggest that singing can propel the virus further than ordinary speech. The church is limited to 150 people total occupancy, 25% of its rated occupancy.
What are the ways that I can minimize my risk?
The safest option is to stay at home. Life involves negotiating levels of risk; otherwise, none of us would ever leave home. You can take extra precautions and still attend Mass or receive Communion. You are welcome to wear your mask through the entirety of the Mass. You are encouraged to use the disinfecting wipes to protect yourselves from surfaces that may be contaminated. You may also consider attending daily Mass or one of the less crowded masses, like 5 PM or 8 AM, to minimize your exposure to other people. If you do not feel safe going into the church but would still like to be present and receive Communion, you can tune your car radio to 97.5 FM while parked in the back parking lot behind the rectory. You can then listen to Mass over the radio and then come forward to receive Communion in your car at the end of Mass if you would like.
How long will things stay this way?
That is unclear. Archdiocesan leadership will continue their conversation with local health and civic officials. For the parish we will make decisions based on our local circumstances. For example, should someone from the parish be infected with COVID-19 we will have to assess what mitigation steps would be necessary, including suspending the public celebration of Mass for a week or two.
How can I stay up today?
You can subscribe to the parish email list on the parish website, StAnnChurch-STL.org
Rooted deeply in the teachings of the Catholic Church and the life of our neighborhood, we at St. Ann in Normandy minister to our community which is richly diverse in age, culture, economics, education and faith traditions.
As servants and disciples, together we:
Welcome and worship; celebrate and socialize serve and support.
We do this as a Eucharistic people, called by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
St. Ann Catholic School is a diverse Christian community in Normandy, MO devoted to providing a comprehensive curriculum and a learning environment that encourages students to reach their full potential.
Saint Ann Early Childhood Center is an accredited preschool serving children 2 1/2 -5 years of age and their families. We offer high-quality education in a loving Catholic setting.
St. Ann Catholic Church is a Mid-Century modern masterpiece. It was featured in Time Magazine, Popular Science, The Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as several liturgical magazines.
It all started with the kindness of a woman, who like the widow in the gospel, was so incredibly generous with what God had given to her. In 1854, the widow Anne Lucas-Hunt donated the land along with a monetary donation to the Jesuit Order “to establish a church and see to the education of the children” in her beloved Normandy, Missouri. The Jesuits then tasked Fr. Peter DeSmet with the project of establishing St. Ann church. In him we know a parish founded with a missionary spirit. St. Ann was his ‘home’ when his feet were not on the road proclaiming the good news to the Native American Indians. Our first pastor, Fr. Adrian Van Hulst, would make the journey from the Jesuit provincial house at the corner of Lindell Boulevard and Grand Avenue by horse and carriage. It was said that he was so punctual that farmers could set their watches by his approach. In him, we see the virtue of a steadfast, faithful presence.
Generosity, missionary spirit and steadfast presence – these are the foundational gifts at the heart of this parish community. And these are the lived virtues that continue to guide the community we call St. Ann parish. My hope is these web pages will give you a glimpse into this vibrant, welcoming parish and the people who have been “Living Faith Since 1856…”