We received a total of 181 responses to our recent survey about returning to Mass. About 50% of the respondents have not returned to Mass due to concerns over COVID; 46% of the respondents have returned to Mass. Of those responding, 82% watch our Mass online. We are pleased that so many feel a connection to our faith community as they participate online.
Some of the comments we received had to do with wearing masks, having temperatures taken, hand sanitizing, and social distancing. Please be aware that a lot of thought went into our procedures, as well as guidance from the Diocese and CDC recommendations, and these procedures are in place for the safety of everyone who is in our building. As of October 5, the Diocese has made wearing masks at Mass mandatory. This means keeping your nose and mouth covered at all times. If you cannot wear a mask for health reasons, we ask that you consider using a face shield at a minimum and/or or wear a mask under your nose and sit in the Gathering Space, or remain in the safety of your home and watch our Mass online. We take temperatures to ensure that no one in our building has a fever, which is an indicator of illness. We request that you use hand sanitizer when you enter and leave for your protection. We do sanitize all of the pews and common areas, including bathrooms, after every Mass. Our ushers seat people from front to back to try to ensure that we can fit as many people as we can safely and socially distant in each pew so that all who wish to attend Mass in person can fit in our church. We distribute the Eucharist in sections so that people are not crossing paths with others, again trying to maintain social distancing and safety. We dismiss by section, mainly going from back to front, so that people are not crossing paths. Please know that all of our procedures are in place for everyone’s health and safety. We so appreciate all of you who follow these procedures.
Question 6 asked if you could improve one thing, what would that be? 124 individuals want to see us continue to have the Mass online, which we plan to do for quite some time. A few people gave specific suggestions, mainly about our audio and video capabilities. We are pleased to let you know that, thanks to an anonymous donor, we will be upgrading our camera, which currently has the capability to transmit to Resurrection Hall for overflow Masses, to be able to live-stream. It will also be connected to the sound system, so we believe a much better picture and sound will be available within the next few weeks. The words to the songs can be found on our parish website each week entitled “Worship Aid”.
Question 9 asked what the parish could do to make people feel welcome to come back. One of the choices that received a lot of feedback was communication from our priest about how things are going at our church. Fr. Dave has agreed to a monthly bulletin article that we are calling, “Ask Fr. Dave”! You will be able to ask Fr. Dave your questions about the Catholic faith, our parish, whatever is on your mind. Watch the bulletin for more details!
Another request was to offer resources such as books or online sites to help people connect to their faith. The parish has invested in the FORMED program through the Augustine Institute. This website has thousands of videos, ebooks, audio books, study series, and other amazing content. If you have not yet signed up for this free resource, go to Formed.org and click on Sign Up. Click on Sign Up as a Parishioner. You will then enter your email address, then enter 54313 to see the name of our parish, and click on Ss. Edward & Isidore. FORMED will send you an email with a link back to their site. You are now signed in on that device any time you wish to view content. Traveling? Download an audio book to listen in your car or on an airplane. Movie Night? Choose from hundreds of movies for families or cartoons for children. Children in a sacramental program? There are cartoons and videos to help them learn more. Want to get more out of the Sunday Scripture readings? Check out Opening the Word. Neighborhood book study? There are resources to help with that! For more information about any of these programs, please contact Lori in the parish office at 865-7844.