COVID-19 Archdiocese Updates

November 16,2020

While Archbishop Wester’s directive to suspend indoor Mass and limit attendance at other rites remains in effect, being cognizant that the Governor’s Office consults with many health professionals, and because of the expressed anguish of many of the faithful of not being able to attend Mass because of earlier-imposed restrictions, the Archbishop allows pastors to ease the severity of restrictions to those outlined in the Governor’s order, effectively immediately, should they determine that local pandemic conditions so allow.  However, desiring to work in cooperation with civil authorities because of the medical expertise available to them, restrictions may be increased when authorities determine such is necessary to safeguard lives.  Therefore, until further notice, our St. John's Mass schedule is back in place—Tuesday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. and on the weekends, Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.  A maximum of 75 people will be allowed in the church but, if we are at capacity inside, you are welcome to stay and listen to the Mass in your cars in the parking lot, just tune to 95.3 FM.   A Deacon will come outside and offer Holy Communion to those in their cars.   Please stay tuned for information on Mass times and procedures as restrictions can change at any time.  We will post the most up-to-date information as soon as we can on the website at stjohnsantafe.weconnect.com, and on our outgoing phone message, 983-5034, option 1.

Confession continues on Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in Lamy Hall.

 

October 27, 2020

Due to stated increases in the number of coronavirus cases and subsequent concerns for its continued spread, the Archbishop has decided to re-implement his initial directive of suspending the live celebration of Mass in the churches until further notice.  He has however, allowed for the churches to be opened for devotional prayer.  The faithful are once again encouraged to participate in the liturgy through live-streaming wherever and whenever it can be accessed, especially on Sundays.  The church here at St. John's will be open Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  The faithful are encourage to visit Jesus, and to remain connected to Him through prayer and works of mercy.  I will also continue to offer the Sacrament of Confession at the usual time on Saturdays beginning at 2:00 p.m.

It is my hope and prayer that all of us will find the strength and perseverance to continue to move through this time of profound spiritual and physical challenges.  It is imperative that we recognize that Jesus is the very source of thye grace that will help us to achieve this.  Remain rooted in Him so that we can more courageously discern God's will and continue to deepen our growth in faith, hope, and love.

Remember that I will continue to celebrate the Holy Mass daily in private and the intentions that have been offered for each Mass will be fulfilled.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, be assured of my prayers for you and your families, and know that you will be with me on the Holy Altar at each Mass.  Receive my priestly blessing in Christ.

Your pastor,

Fr. James

 

March 16, 2020

The church will be opened at 9:00 a.m. each day for private prayer.  The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed during this time - you are encouraged to pray often for the safety of God's people and spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, and any other devotions, are great sources of God's grace as we place our trust in God.

Confession will also be available as needed.  Please call the Parish Office to schedule a time, 505-983-5034.

Celebration of the Mass, and other events, are still cancelled until further notice.  Participation in the Holy Mass can be accessed through different websites.  Mass can be viewed through the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at archdiosf.org/covid-19 or listened to on Catholic radio at 98.9 FM.  Mass intentions already scheduled are being remembered in private Mass every day.

Please continue to exercise hygienic precautions issued by the CDC and other medical professionals.

Be assured of my prayers and spiritual support throughout this challenging time.

---Fr. James

 

March 18, 2020

The Lunch Kitchen will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 11:15-12:15 during COVID-19.  Sack lunches will be provided, however, no one will be allowed inside Lamy Hall except for Volunteers and Staff.  The monthly food giveaway, scheduled in March for the 19th, will also be conducted outside at 3:00 p.m.  Hygienic precautions remain in effect.

 

March 26, 2020

We have been instructed to close the church to all activities for the next few weeks.  The Parish Office will be closed to the public but open to a couple of staff members on Mondays and Thursdays.  There is a mail slot near the front doors of the Office if you would like to leave your offertory envelopes.  Baptisms, confirmations, first holy communion, and weddings will be postponed until further notice.  We will inform you in the weeks to come how the sacraments will be administered.  All other information is still in effect.  Please see the Bulletin for more information.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

 

April 13, 2020

You can now “Empty Your Rice Bowl” virtually.

Instead of dropping your Rice Bowl off at the parish, there is another way you can give! Rice Bowl helps us to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in need.  Give your 2020 Lenten Rice Bowl Contribution here: https://archdiocesesantafegiving.org/virtual-crs-rice-bowl.  We encourage you to donate what you have collected during Lent.  It is more important now than ever before!  If you prefer to bring your Rice Bowl to the office, please come on Mondays or Thursdays and drop off your donation in the box placed in the vestibule.  Thanks!

 

April 16, 2020

From the Archdiocese Offices: "There is a FAKE website going around www.nmcovid19.org that is trying to tell people if they fill out the survey they can get Personal Protective Equipment. It is a mining site to gather data.  DO NOT USE IT!! The State Fusion Center, part of the Homeland Security Bureau, is working to take it down along with their Facebook and Twitter accounts."

 

May 18, 2020

We are in the process of determining the best and safest way to open the church for Masses again.  When we have a plan in place, we will post it on this website as well as the weekly Bulletin and other means through which we can reach our parishioners.  Please stay tuned for that information and let your non-technology friends and family know we will be in touch.  God bless you!

 

May 21, 2020

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we continue our courageous response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to the manifest changes it has created in our daily lives, we want to give thanks to God for the gift of being able to return to our places of worship. We know and believe that "our help is in the name of the Lord Who made heaven and earth", Who promised to be with us till the end. This is a profound sentiment that is transmitted to us each time we gather to worship as Catholics, and which gives us tremendous consolation in knowing and experiencing His enduring presence.

On Wednesday of last week, the governor issued a revised public health order that permits houses of worship to open for services but only at 25% capacity. On Thursday of last week, Archbishop John Wester issued a statement lifting the suspension of public Masses in Catholic parishes, allowing for the public celebration of the Holy Mass, again with the stated 25% of total occupancy. Below are the general requirements that parishes are encouraged to observe in light of the reopening.

A quick note: It is important to remember that the dispensation from Sunday obligation continues to remain in effect for all persons who are sick, have a compromised immune system, or are simply afraid to venture out into the public at this time.

Here at St. John the Baptist, we will resume our normal weekend Mass schedule with Saturday vigil Mass, May 23rd at 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 24th at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Because of the occupancy limitations, we will limit the number of parishioners to 100 in the church. Please be very aware that we are limited to this number which is mandated by the public health order. The side chapel will be closed to all parishioners. If possible, parishioners are asked to bring their own hand sanitizer.

The following points are also very important:

  1. Persons are asked to enter through the doors on the west side ONLY (front of the church, street-side). Parishioners will exit through either of the east side doors ONLY (back parking lot).
  2. Persons will be counted as they enter the church. When we reach the authorized capacity of 100, no one else will be allowed to enter.
  3. All persons 3 years of age and older MUST wear a mask/facial covering. This is NOT an option.
  4. There will be a collection bowl near the Holy Communion line in which you may place your offertory envelopes after you have received the Holy Eucharist.
  5. Please sit in designated pews only. Social distancing MUST be observed, maintaining at least 6 feet of separation between persons (families may sit together).
  6. No Holy water will be available in the fonts.
  7. There will be no PowerPoint displays of liturgical music as the congregation is asked not to sing during the Mass.
  8. There are no exchanges of handshakes or other physical greetings.
  9. The priest has been instructed to shorten the length of the Mass (within reason and appropriateness) so as to shorten the length of exposure time between persons. For instance, the Archbishop has instructed us to preach for no more than three minutes (hold down the applause please!).
  10. Per the guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Holy Communion will be distributed at the end of Mass. It is encouraged that the faithful receive carefully and reverently the Sacred Host by the hand. Yet, no one who prefers to receive on the tongue will be denied the Eucharist. Facial masks may be briefly removed in order to consume the Eucharist but should be put back on immediately after placing the Host in you mouth. No one is allowed to leave until the Eucharist is consumed.
  • Please note that the church will be cleaned after every Mass to help reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus.
  • Daily Mass will resume on Monday, May 25th at 9:00 a.m., making it possible for more people to fulfill their desire to attend Mass at least once a week.
  • Confessions (Saturday, 2:00 p.m.) will resume in Lamy Hall, a larger area and private at the same time.
  • Until further notice, NO distribution of Holy Communion to the homebound will be authorized.

Lastly, I am extremely grateful to all who have responded to the ongoing commitment of tithing. It is a sign of your continuing and enduring love for your parish home. It has made my job much easier.

My staff, the parish volunteers, and I will continue to serve you to the very best of our ability. Please be patient as we adapt to these (what we hope will be) temporary circumstances.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. James Sanchez

These new procedures are subject to change as we go through implementation.