Our Four Goals
Live Our Faith Joyfully
Nourish Our Faith Continually
Proclaim Our Faith Through Action
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,I write to you today with great joy in my heart. As you are aware, Archbishop Kurtz published his directives and guidelines, which is known as Healthy at Worship to all pastors in our archdiocese on Monday, 11 May, 2020, on how to re-open Churches safely for public liturgical gatherings and other liturgical celebrations. Upon receipt, I have contacted our key liturgical ministers of our worship committee and parish staff, in order to implement the requirements below here at St. Peter the Apostle. As we move forward, I have asked that we keep three principals in mind: the safety of our parish, our preparation to proceed, and our need to be flexible. Given the current uncertainties of our day, for those who arrive through our doors, procedures have changed based on new realities or complexities that have risen in complying with both CDC and Archdiocese guidance. While this letter is an attempt to establish a framework going forward based on our unique conditions, I won’t be able to cover every possibility or contingency; hence, I ask for your understanding and patience. I would like to begin by announcing our start date for public masses is scheduled for Wednesday, 20 May, 2020. Preparations inside the church have currently being made to comply with current guidance. As we gather again as a community, the following procedures will be followed: 1. The need for strict social distancing. Our seating will be significantly reduced to accomplish the six feet of social distancing. Our calculations of our seating capacity inside the Church will be reduced to around 165 and 20 inside the daily chapel. Additionally, the seating will be first-come, first served. The pews will be marked with blue tape, designating a safe space to sit. In the case of families, one family unit can gather in each pew. Spacing between families must also comply with the six feet of separation. 2. Hygiene Standards and the need to stay home if one exhibits flu-like symptoms. All persons should wash their hands thoroughly before attending mass and after using the restroom at the Church. Additionally, I am asking that each person take their temperature at home before arriving for mass. All ministers (Communion, Lector, Cantor, and Ushers) will have their temperatures taken before mass by one of the Ushers. We are also asking that restroom use be limited to one person at a time before, during, and after mass. Finally, hand sanitizer will be available for use at each entrance to the Church. 3. Use of face mask/face coverings. The use of face mask or covering is recommended, not only because we gather in a public space, but this promotes the common good and is an act of charity on the part of the person. Use of face mask/covering also protects one another with whom we come in contact. Note: Not having a mask should not restrict someone from attending Mass, as the parish will have on-hand a limited supply for those that need them. 4. Limiting Physical Contact with one another: Holy Communion (Body of Christ) will be distributed in-pew by Priest, Deacon, or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The Chalice (Precious Blood) will not be distributed at this time. The Sign of Peace will also be omitted and collection baskets will be placed at the entrances in order for the faithful to place offertory envelope. 5. Sanitation and Disinfection of worship space. After each mass, all touched surfaces: tables, pews, countertops, light switches, and cabinet handles will be cleaned with a suitable disinfectant. Restrooms will also be cleaned and disinfected after all masses as well. This is an area in which I will need help from our parish community. I am asking for volunteers to assist us in cleaning of the Church after mass. To that end, I am asking to form cleaning teams to assist us in this cleaning/disinfectant process. Volunteers are asked to contact Beverly in the parish office, who will in turn assist in the start-up of said teams. 6. Funerals and Weddings can again resume. Likewise, on Wednesday, 20 May, 2020 utilizing these same guidelines, both funerals and weddings can resume. The parish is asking that these gatherings also follow the above guidelines. 7. Permission has been granted for the possibility to hold an outdoor or parking lot mass, if deemed needed. The above guidelines would also apply for these gatherings as well. 8. The Sacrament of Penance will again be offered at our normal time on Saturday in the confessional. The use of a mask/face covering, as well as the need for social distancing will also be in effect and followed. 9. Liturgical ministers: The use of one versus two lectors, a Cantor, no Altar Servers, and again only two versus six extra ordinary ministers of Holy Communion will be needed at this time. Congregational singing would also be limited to simple refrains: (Responsorial Psalm response, Alleluia, and Amen). Instrumental music instead would be offered for Opening and Recessional hymn, as well as for Preparation of Gifts. The Cantor would lead the assembly in singing. 10. For those who count the weekly collection: the same precautions would be followed, i.e.: the use of mask/face covering and gloves when counting the collection. 11. Hospitality ministers would open doors for parishioners as they both arrive and depart. We are asking that on Sunday, entrance to the Church occur through the Gathering space, but exit through the white doors to facilitate the cleaning teams to begin the disinfectant process right away. We will not be allowing any gatherings in the gathering space after the masses. 12. Holy Water fonts at the entrances will remain empty: the main baptismal font will only be filled. 13. Discretion in bringing Holy Communion to our Homebound parishioners. Current Hospital and Nursing Home restrictions will also need be followed at all times. 14. Postpone other non-liturgical gatherings at Church, or if needed, to follow the above guidance. 15. Observe these directives and guidelines for any type of activity held in the Church: i.e., prayer services, sacramental gatherings, and Eucharistic Adoration. I would like to echo Archbishop Kurtz issuing of a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until further notice. This dispensation applies for anyone who is sick or living with someone who is sick, as well as those who feel vulnerable for any other reason. Our current parish demographic tells us that many of parishioners fall into the high risk category (according to CDC) and should stay at home for their protection. I am pleased to announce that live-streaming of the mass using our mass schedule on Facebook will continue once public masses resume. We are currently working on the technical issues and will also be addressing the infrastructure to install a permanent system to broadcast our worship services. I have been pleasantly surprised as to the desire from many of you that have said how valuable this live-streaming has been for you and I want to continue to offer that for your convenience. Finally, as we move forward, we will face uncertainty and many unanswered questions. Please know that the parish is doing all it can to provide for your safety and asks us in return to be flexible. May we ask Our Blessed Mother for her intercession, that we may be spared the worst of this illness and that her Son intercede for us, as he did at the Wedding at Cana. Sincerely, Rev Christopher Lubecke, Pastor, St Peter the Apostle & St. Andrew Academy
Support Our Parish
We are entering historic times in the life of St. Peter the Apostle parish. As your new pastor, I am thrilled with what God is doing and will do through us as a parish family. I know that you share my enthusiasm and gratefulness for this time and place in the emerging history of our great parish.
For 10 years, the parish has been enjoying the new worship space. Yet, our beautiful church is not completely paid for, nor is the rest of the building very functional or useable. Following, therefore, the Archbishop’s encouragement to all parishes to engage in a spiritual discernment process, St. Peter underwent that experience last year, looking at our mission and praying about our needs.
The result? It became crystal clear to your pastor at that time, Father Chuck Walker and lay parish leaders, that St. Peter the Apostle Church needed to aggressively seek to pay down debt and renovate the adjoining building, providing a fellowship gathering space seating 400+ parishioners and have adequate bathrooms.
With these two needs clearly identified, the parish engaged in a feasibility study under the director of Generis-Ashley|Rountree. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Parishioners agreed debt needed to be reduced and a Parish Community gathering space needed to be created. Further, the Generis study said we could potentially raise between $1.5M to $2M dollars in a 3-year capital campaign. The decision was made, therefore, to request Archdiocesan permission to conduct a capital campaign, applying $1M to the renovation costs and $1M to the reduction of parish debt.
Today, I am thrilled to announce to you the capital campaign is in full-swing. We are calling the campaign “LIVING STONES” as we are asking every family to be a “living stone” and help build the parish dream, creating a beautiful gathering space, commercial kitchen, with fully-equipped, accessible bathrooms and to significantly drop our debt while we are at it, too.
For our parish to experience a successful campaign, we must have the generous support of everyone and the extraordinary giving of a few. Everyone’s gift matters, just as everyone’s participation matters to the Kingdom of Christ and His Church. Will you pray. Will you be generous? Will you join this effort?
I am excited to see our church moving forward as Living Stones, Building Our Home, Together.
But I need your help. I am asking you to join me in making an extraordinary and generous gift. Soon, I will share with you in Mass what I believe God is leading me to give over the next 3 years. Although I’m new to St. Peter, I would not ask you to do something I would not do. I believe we can grow our family and make our church stronger and greater. Read the enclosed materials. Pray. Ask God to lead you. Then, join me, giving generously and, together, let’s give God glory as Living Stones, Building Together.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Chris Lubecke
|Mar 21,22||Catholic Relief Services Collection, All Masses|