A LETTER FROM FATHER DATTILO
June 1, 2021
Dear St. Catharine of Siena Parishioners,
We have all spent the last year and a half dealing with serious restrictions imposed on both our public life and our church community. On March 22, 2020 the celebration of the Eucharist was completely shut down, and Mass was not available for almost three months. When we were finally able to open up, the Ohio bishops very wisely permitted the public celebration but lifted the obligation to attend so that no one would be unduly burdened. Things began to change even more as the production and administration of the Covid-19 vaccines reduced the number of infections, and gave people greater confidence to be together again in a public setting.
Now we have reached the point where Archbishop Schnurr and the five other diocesan bishops of Ohio are calling us back to observe the Lord’s Day. Our core responsibility as Catholics has always been to celebrate the Liturgy with each other at the Saturday Vigil or one of the Sunday Day Masses. There is no better way to witness to the world that we belong to Christ than by fulfilling this important obligation. The obligation to attend Mass returns on the weekend of June 5 & 6, the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord or “Corpus Christi.” Our pre-pandemic three Mass weekend schedule will also return that weekend and continue for the foreseeable future:
Saturday – 4:00 PM Mass
Sunday – 9:00 & 11:00 AM Masses
(Weekday Masses: Tuesday & Thursday—10:00 AM, Friday—8:00 AM)
Please remember that, as has always been the case, those having serious medical or emotional conditions themselves, those who take care of people with such conditions, those who work the entire weekend etc. are exempt from the obligation to attend. Likewise, anybody who still has significant fear or anxiety about contracting the Covid-19 virus by being in a large group setting is also exempt from this obligation.
I hope the call to embrace the Sunday Mass obligation finds a welcome place in your hearts, and that you are eager to be at Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi or soon thereafter. Attending Mass on “the Lord’s Day” (Saturday or Sunday) stands at the core of who we are as Catholics.
Please note that the State of Ohio has eased the restrictions of mask wearing and social distancing, but we encourage you to continue following them when you come to church if they make you feel more comfortable and safer. Open seating will be standard in church except in a few places where ropes will help maintain social distancing for those who choose to sit in those sections.
Finally, I also hope that the old adage, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” applies to you, your love for Sunday Mass and for Saint Catharine Parish. Thank you for your very generous financial support during this difficult time. We have been able to pay all employees and parish expenses because of you! I look forward to celebrating the Lord’s Day with as many of you as possible beginning on the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord—June 5 &6.
Rev. Anthony M. Dattilo
** IMPORTANT UPDATE **
WEEKEND MASS SCHEDULE
Archbishop Schnurr and the bishops of Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown and Steubenville have re-instated the Obligation to Attend Mass on Sunday, the Lord’s Day beginning on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi) June 5 and 6. As of that date weekend Masses of Obligation at Saint Catharine of Siena Parish will be celebrated as follows:
4:00 PM – Saturday Vigil Mass
9:00 AM – Sunday Day Mass
11:00 AM – Sunday Day Mass
Weekday Masses (for the time being) will be celebrated as follows:
Tuesday – 10:00 AM
Thursday – 10:00 AM
Friday – 8:00 AM
**Any Mass Intentions previously scheduled for 10 AM Sunday Mass will be moved to 9 AM Sunday Mass. Please contact the Parish Office if there is a conflict with this change. Thank you.
Happy Easter 2021! St. Catharine will offer the following Masses during Holy Week.
Please click the link below to see Father Dattilo’s Easter letter
RECENT PETITIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
As we celebrate Sunday Mass we still need to avoid possible contagion as much as possible. Although the following list of dos and don’ts is familiar to most of us, it still needs to be repeated:
1) Remember that you have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. That dispensation will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Those who have fragile health conditions should not come to church. Those who attend on a weekday do not need to return on the weekend.
2) We continue our special Mass schedule next week and until further notice:
Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 AM; Saturday at 4:00 PM; Sunday at 10:00 AM.
Confessions: Saturday 3:00 – 3:30 PM.
This schedule was chosen to give our maintenance crew ample time to clean and disinfect the church after each service.
3) Each pew will be marked with blue tape (down the pew backside) for the seating of three adults. Sit with your back against the tape to maintain a social distance of 6 feet on each side. However, family members (and close friends) may sit together taking up the entire space between two blue tape lines. That will leave room for a single individual at one end of the pew. Pews that are roped off must remain empty. We strongly encourage wearing face masks throughout Mass, lowering them to receive communion. Hymnals have been removed from the pews; familiar music will be used keeping responses to a minimum.
4) Recognize others with a smile or nod of the head at the Sign of Peace instead of physical contact. Keep a good distance from the person ahead of you in the Communion line. Communion reception on the tongue is strongly discouraged. Reception of Communion from the Chalice is suspended indefinitely.
We will re-evaluate our Mass schedule and guidelines every week. Thank you for your patience, cooperation and especially your continued generosity to the parish. Spend some time today giving thanks for the gift of the Spirit who is with us in all our challenges. And, thanks again for caring so faithfully for St. C’s. Come, Holy Spirit! Fill our hearts with your love every day!
Fr. Tony Dattilo
Guidelines for the Resumption of Public Worship
If you are present in Church for a weekday, weekend Mass or Funeral Mass, Remember…
Catholics who reside in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and all other Catholics in the archdiocese continue to be dispensed from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass. Those who are at risk or fearful that they or their family might become sick are encouraged to stay home.
- The gifts of bread and wine must come from the servers’ table near the altar and NOT from an open public place.
- Maintain a respectful “social distance” of six feet from other people
- There should be no hand holding during the Our Father and no physical contact during the Sign of Peace. Recognize others with a smile, a nod of the head, a wave of the hand…
- Reception of Communion on the tongue is strongly discouraged.
- Reception of Communion from the Chalice is suspended indefinitely.
- Holy Water fonts will be intentionally be left dry.
- Anyone who feels sick or has symptoms of any kind should NOT be present.
- Hymnals and other materials should be removed from the pews. Disposable worship aids are OK.
- As of Wednesday July 8, 2020, in Hamilton County face masks are mandated by the State of Ohio to be worn inside at any indoor location that is not a residence.
- Consideration should be given to reducing the role of choirs and ensembles in light of social distancing regulations.
- Mass and homilies should not be unnecessarily long.
- The pastor can arrange for the baptism of infants, teens and adult converts at Mass or outside Mass; First Communion celebrations may take place in an appropriate way.
- Seating in church may be regulated by color coding of pews and alternation for different Masses.
- Greet people before/after Mass only by maintaining social distancing.
I PRAY WE DON’T GO BACK TO NORMAL
I pray that the next time a friend grabs me and pulls me in for a hug,
I actually take the time to appreciate
the gift of their embrace.
I pray that when school resumes and people are dropping kids off,
they take the time to thank the staff for the amazing gift
that they give to our community.
I pray that the next time I’m sitting in a crowded restaurant
I take the time to look around at the smiling faces, loud voices
and thank God for the gift of community.
I pray that the next time I’m standing in church
listening to the voices of praise and worship
that I take a moment to thank God
for the gift of congregation.
I pray that the next time I see a person or situation that needs prayer,
I hope I pray as passionately and fervently
as I have these past few weeks.
I pray that when I am at the grocery store that I take a moment to thank God
that He provides us with the necessities of life and the amazing people
who work so hard to keep us supplied.
I pray that I never again take for granted the ability to hop in the car
and visit a friend, go to the mall, go to a gathering…
So, truth is, I don’t want things to return to the way they once were.
I pray that we take the lessons and challenges of the past few weeks
and create a new normal.
My goal is to truly appreciate the daily abundance of blessings
that were so easily overlooked just a mere few weeks ago.
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
UPDATES AS OF SATURDAY, 7.11.2020: Masks are now mandated in Hamilton County by the state of Ohio to be worn in any indoor location that is not a residence. Mass times at St. Catharine Church continue to be Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 AM; Saturday at 4:00 PM; Sunday at 10:00 AM. Confessions are again being held from 3:00 – 3:30 PM on Saturdays.
UPDATES AS OF WEDNESDAY, 4.1.2020:
Please visit CATHOLICCINCINNATI.ORG and click on the “Live Streaming” link to access information about the live-streaming Holy Week and Easter Liturgies schedule.
UPDATES AS OF MONDAY, 3.23.2020:
BASED UPON THE DIRECTIVE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OHIO ON MARCH 22, 2020 THE RECTORY OFFICES WILL MAINTAIN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED OFFICE HOURS. SHOULD YOU NEED TO VISIT THE RECTORY FOR ANY REASON PLEASE CALL AHEAD FIRST 661 – 0651 TO MAKE SURE SOMEONE IS AVAILABLE.
PLEASE VISIT THE ARCHDIOCESE WEBSITE AT CATHOLICCINCINNATI.ORG AND CHOOSE THE COVID19-RESPONSE LINK FOR INFORMATION ON TELEVISED AND STREAMING MASSES AND RESOURCES FOR PARISHIONERS WORSHIPING AT HOME.