On Friday May 15th, guidance was delivered by the Diocese of Green Bay concerning the distribution of Holy Communion outside of Mass. Click Here for a video message from Bishop Ricken or Click Here to read the press release.
As our parish works to remain compliant with guidance from the Diocese as well as state and local authorities, these plans are very dynamic and likely to change with little notice. With that in mind and a spirit of Christian Charity we request your patience as we work diligently to keep you safe and informed as things evolve. It is clear that many are longing to return to the Mass yet this has to be done safely out of respect for all parishioners and guests of Stella Maris Parish.
Your participation at this time is entirely your personal decision as dispensation from Bishop Ricken remains in place. Below are many of the highlights from the Parishioner Guidelines published by The Diocese of Green Bay on May 12, 2020. Please read and familiarize yourself with them prior to attending the Distribution of Holy Communion Outside of Mass. Please pay particular attention to those in red.
- It is important to remember no Catholic is required to receive Holy Communion during the pandemic.
Permission is for those who desire to receive Holy Communion and can safely do so. Those age 65 or above and
those with compromised immunity are encouraged to stay home.
- In Christian Charity, anyone with a fever, cough or flu-like symptoms should remain at home so as to prevent
further spread of the illness. Those wishing to enter to receive the Blessed Sacrament will have their
temperature taken to ensure they are not running a fever, and all are required to wear a protective mask,
observe social distancing and practice proper hand washing hygiene.
- Prior to receiving Holy Communion, communicants are strongly encouraged to watch an online Mass, listen to a
radio Mass, or read the Scripture readings of the day as preparation to receive Holy Communion.
- The time-frame for offering Holy Communion may be adapted to local circumstances, however for now it must
remain on Saturday after 4pm and on Sunday following livestreaming of the Mass until further notice.
- No more than nine people may be gathered at any one time in one room.
- All parishes will carefully observe civil law and public health guidelines. Social distancing will be strictly enforced.
- Only the Precious Body will be distributed. Low-gluten hosts will be available for those persons in need.
- Those who receive in the hand should consume their consecrated host in the presence of the minister. Those
who receive on the tongue are asked to open their mouths wide and tilt the head back slightly.
- Consecrated hosts may not be taken outside of the church during this time.
- Only up to seven persons, the pastor and the distributing minister may be in the church at one time, which includes any
usher directing the Communion line. Markings on the floor will indicate six feet apart to preserve social
distancing for the Communion line.
- Communicants are expected to wear masks which may be removed or adjusted for the reception of Holy
Communion. The priest or other minister must also wear a mask. Hand hygiene is effective against the
coronavirus, and therefore, gloves are not needed if the priest or minister and the communicant perform proper
- Those queued outside the church doors should maintain 6-feet social distancing between communicants who
are not related or living together.
- Doors will be propped open to eliminate contact. Hand sanitizer will be available and used as people enter and
exit the church.
- The communicants may not stop or stay in the church prior to or after receiving Holy Communion. They should
exit the church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. Communicants should not linger or socialize in the
parking lot, but go immediately to their vehicle. Personal prayer may take place in their cars or at home.
Additional Important Points of Interest -
- Stella Maris Parish will utilize our Sister Bay worship site for the distribution of Holy Communion outside of Mass
- Distribution will take place on Sundays between 11:30am and 3:00pm allowing participants to attend virtual or televised Mass beforehand
- An usher or volunteer will be present to direct traffic and determine order for those looking to participate
- Participants are asked to stay in or near their vehicles, respectfully social distancing until invited forward by an usher
- Participants will be required to stand for roughly 10 minutes during the Communion Rite as chairs will not be provided. Click Here to view the Rite for the Distribution of Holy Communion
- An altar will be located in and distribution will take place in the social hall
- Participants will enter the social hall from the entry on the northwest side of the building
- Prior to entry each participant will be subject to a forehead temperature scan. Any one with a temperature reading equal to or in excess of 100 degrees will be asked to return when they are feeling better.
- Marks will be placed on floors and walks representing the 6ft. social distancing requirements
- Traffic flow will be in one direction, entering in the northwest corner and exiting through the southern entry door
- We are asking those attending to bring a mask if possible, if you do not own one, masks will be provided
- Hand sanitizer will be located at the entry and the exits and should be used by those in attendance
- Only seven participants will be allowed inside the social hall at one time
- While social distancing is not required for families or individuals living together, family groups are counted individually as participants meaning larger family groups may need to divide between sessions of the Communion Rite
- Masks can be kept and taken home or disposed of at the parish
- A basket will be made available to leave envelopes or offertory contributions
- Participants are asked to exit expeditiously following reception of the Eucharist to allow for any necessary sanitizing ahead of the next group
- Those electing not to wear a mask must remain outside and Holy Communion will be brought to them at a location designated by the ushers
- While minor process improvements may occur from week to week, this process will remain in place until further guidance is received from the Diocese
- Specific questions regarding this process can be emailed to Katrina Welborn at [email protected]