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Some Michigan Public Catholic Masses To Resume, But This Church Will Require Reservations & Tickets To Attend!   (vanity)
All Saints Catholic Parish Church Bulletin ^ | May 24, 2020 | Rev. Joe Muszkiewicz

Posted on 05/28/2020 7:52:59 PM PDT by Songcraft

St. Anne Catholic Church (All Saints Parish)
Alpena, Michigan

Some relatives of ours received a letter from their priest at St. Anne Catholic Church (All Saints Parish) in Alpena, Michigan, saying that public Masses there will resume this coming weekend (5/30 - 5/31), and explaining to them how those Masses will be conducted.   It is a very long, wordy letter (which I'll include below for any interested and patient people), and it is also included in their online church bulletin, under the section in the bulletin titled "From Fr. Joe".

Some of the strange points that jumped out at me in the letter, included the following.

  1. Limited seating - need to make reservations & obtain tickets (called "MassPas") to attend Masses.   (First come / first serve for tickets & reservations.)   If you don't have a reservation & a ticket, you will not be admitted to Mass!

  2. Limited restroom availability, so don't drink a lot of water before coming to Mass, and use your own restroom before coming to Mass.

  3. Take your temperature before coming to Mass, and arrive 20-30 minutes before Mass time.

  4. Assigned "zone" and seat - can't pick own seats.   (Limited number of people with reservations and tickets will be admitted, then the doors will be locked.)

  5. Volunteer "stormtroopers" -- I mean, "friendly assistants" -- will check to ensure you have a reservation and a valid ticket, before allowing you to enter church, where they will escort you directly to your assigned seat.   No dilly-dallying or lollygagging around.

  6. Everyone must wear a mask into church, sanitize their hands before entering church, and maintain the six-feet separation with everyone else.

  7. By having lists of all the registrations for everyone at all Masses there, they will also be able to keep track of who is attending Mass, and who is not.

  8. No sign of peace, no socializing permitted.

  9. They will not pass collection plates, but, don't worry, you will still be able to bring your money in to the church, and be relieved of it, so be reassured by that comforting spiritual thought.

  10. They will need to obtain and maintain various contact information for all Mass attendees, supposedly only in order to be able to let people know if someone in their "zone" comes down with COVID-19.

Link for their online church bulletin:
        Online Church Bulletin (includes priest's letter) - St. Anne Catholic Church (All Saints Parish) - Alpena, Michigan.

Link for the web page of their church COVID-19 resources, including several links for videos showing the two priests there discussing these upcoming COVID-19 changes:
        COVID-19 Information - St. Anne Catholic Church (All Saints Parish) - Alpena, Michigan.   (I have to confess that I did not view all those lengthy videos, so watch them at your own risk!)

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; church; covid19; mass

When I first read that letter, a couple other thoughts occurred to me too.   For example, can you imagine Jesus sending His disciples out before His "Sermon on the Mount", to boot out everyone there who did not have a registered reservation and valid ticket?   Also, do those two local priests and their bishop really believe in God, and in His unlimited power to do His will, and in His unlimited power to protect whomever He wills during all those Masses?   Do they believe that Jesus is the "Great Physician", who has the power to heal whoever He wants to heal, and to wisely choose in His infinite wisdom and in His permissive will, as to who will live, and who will die, if He happens to permit them to catch this COVID-19?

I also wanted to mention that I don't believe that there is going to be a mad rush of people going back to church right away, when they are finally opened to the public again, and I think they really won't have huge crowds, and that they will actually have plenty of empty seats available in the pews, and they won't require all these kinds of bizarre, restrictive measures to limit attendance, but I could be wrong.   What do you think?   (By the way, their bishop has declared that the dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and other Holy Days of Obligation is extended through September 6, 2020.)

1 posted on 05/28/2020 7:52:59 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Songcraft

The Catholic Church is dead. Has been since Vatican II.

2 posted on 05/28/2020 7:55:10 PM PDT by HIDEK6 ( God bless Donald Trump.)
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To: Songcraft

For an organization that used to sell admittance to heaven, setting up reservations for 9 am mass should be easy.


3 posted on 05/28/2020 7:55:30 PM PDT by Vermont Lt
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To: Songcraft

As promised, here's the (long) letter their priest sent to all their parishioners.

May 20, 2020

Dear All Saints Parishioners:

It is my hope that all of you are well and have been weathering the far reaching effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through all of this, please know that both Fr. Scott and I have been praying for all of you and have continued to celebrate Masses (privately) for those intentions that have been scheduled and for others. We have also been looking forward and trying to prepare for whatever might come next in the life of the parish. This letter is about something we’ve all been looking forward to – being able to gather for Mass again. Due to the current pandemic we have not had a public Mass in Alpena since midMarch, and have been waiting for permission to do so. During this time many people have expressed how much they miss coming to Mass and receiving Holy Communion (as well as seeing fellow parishioners) and are longing for the opportunity again. If in this time of waiting you have been yearning to celebrate the Eucharist – honor that. It means something you value deeply has been missing. Well, the wait is over. Public Masses in All Saints Parish will resume Pentecost weekend, May 30th/31st.

Nevertheless, now that we are allowed to celebrate Mass again with an assembly present, it does not mean we are returning to the way things were before the pandemic. Bishop Raica has given permission for public Masses to resume as long as particular protocols are in place to provide a safe environment for the protection of those who attend Mass. Those protocols include keeping appropriate social distance – that means 6 feet distance between individuals who are not of the same shared household or who have not had regular close contact with each other. Maintaining social distance affects how many people can attend any particular Mass. For example, before the pandemic a typical Saturday 4:00pm Mass would have 350-400 people present. Keeping the appropriate social distance allows for a maximum of about 200 persons at any Mass, and that includes using the parish center! So, as you can see, at least for the foreseeable future, there is no way things will be back as they were before the pandemic began. Before describing how it will be possible to now attend Mass at All Saints Parish, please recognize that, no matter how well thought out, no strategy or plan is going to be perfect – so don’t expect it to be. That being said, please know that with prayerful deliberation, and holding to the protocols and directives of our bishop and our state civil authorities, much thought, preparation, and consideration of options have gone into the plan developed for All Saints Parish. I imagine some of you have ideas, suggestions, or questions that you feel should be considered. Trust me, they most likely have been. In any case, in order to facilitate providing public Mass without further delay, our plan is in place and we are moving forward.

Okay, so what’s the “plan” for All Saints Parish? In order to provide access to “live, in-person” Mass and ensure that those attending will have appropriate social distancing, admittance to Mass will be limited by using a system we are calling “MassPas SM” – essentially a way of making a reservation for a space at Mass. MassPas SM is available to anyone. Why should I have to make a “reservation” to attend Mass? Shouldn’t it be open to everyone? In answer and as an example, think of this, when visiting the Vatican, anyone can request to attend a papal Mass, but because space is limited, one must obtain a ticket – which is without cost – in order to get in. Here at All Saints Parish, at least in the initial phase of opening for public Mass, there will be four weekend Masses: Saturday at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Sunday at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, which means there are 800 spaces available each weekend for those who wish to attend Mass. There needs to be a way to allocate those available spaces, and for us that is MassPas SM. Please note, each MassPas SM is valid for one weekend only. (i.e. you can only request a MassPas SM for the coming Sunday - you cannot “book ahead” beyond the coming Sunday).

How does someone get a MassPas SM? There will be two ways to get a MassPas SM for one of the upcoming weekend Masses, both of which are available Tuesday through Friday noon.

1. on-line through our parish website – Click the icon: , and depending on the information you provide you will be able to request a space at one of the four Masses. (on-line access available all day & night Tuesday-Friday noon )

2. Call the parish office 12 noon – 2:00 pm Tuesday – Thursday, and Wednesday evening 6-7 pm (If calling the parish office regarding MassPas SM, you will be directed to an extension dedicated for MassPas SM.

What if I, or my family, are not able to obtain a MassPas SM? (i.e. there were not enough spaces?) First, remember that the dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and other Holy Days of Obligation is extended through September 6, 2020. Also, when trying to sign-up for a MassPas SM, if you are informed that there is no space available, you will have the option to put your name on a waiting list in case a space opens, in which case you would be notified. If no spaces open up, this waiting list will be used for someone to contact you the following Monday (before the regular Tuesday-Friday noon timeframe) to give you first preference if you desire a MassPas SM for the next weekend’s Masses.

Are all seats as individuals 6 ft. apart, or will I be able to sit with my spouse or family? There will be spaces available for individuals, couples, and families, including those with limited mobility. Before a space is assigned for those requesting one, you will be required to give your name, and if requesting to be seated as a couple or family, the names of the others who will be attending with you. If there are no more spaces available for the Mass you had hoped to attend, you can check availability at one of the other Masses for that weekend.

Will I be able to choose my seat? No, you will not be able to request a specific seat. Seating will be by zones – there are six zones at each Mass. You will be assigned a space in one of the zones depending on the information you provide and the availability of a space fitting your particular needs. In order for everyone to be in place so that Mass can begin on time, no one will be allowed to change their space assignment. If you don’t like where you have been assigned, offer that up as a sacrifice and as a thanksgiving that you are able to attend Mass. If for some reason you refuse to be placed where you have been assigned, unfortunately your only other option will be to leave. To maintain an orderly flow and a safe environment for everyone, your cooperation and understanding is necessary.

How will I know where to go when I arrive for Mass? There will be only one entry point – the doors to the parish center located closest to the parish offices on the Sable St. parking lot side. All other entrances will be locked. (Please know that while entry is limited to one set of doors only, all doors are available as emergency exits.) Look for the “Check-In” sign at the Sable St. entrance to the Parish Center (the entrance closest to the parish offices). At the check-in station, after confirming your name is on the MassPas SM list, you will be given your zone assignment. Please note, couples and families need to check-in and enter together. Upon entering, everyone will be required to sanitize their hands, and will then be shown where your zone is located. Promptly proceed to your zone and follow the directions of the volunteer to your seat. Because it is necessary to maintain appropriate social distance, going over to others to visit while waiting for Mass to begin is not allowed. (We realize this may be difficult especially when you haven’t seen someone for a while. Again, offer that inconvenience as a sacrifice and a way to prepare for Mass to begin.) As you can imagine this process of getting into church and in place before Mass begins will take some time. That is why you should plan to arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the scheduled Mass time. Another reason for this is that the one entrance door will be locked to further entry once Mass begins.

Do I need to wear a mask at Mass? Yes, face masks are required to be worn by everyone able to remove the mask themselves in an emergency (this generally excludes children under the age of 2 years, and the disabled who are unable to do so). Wearing a mask is an act of charity for the protection of others and yourself. Another way of showing charity is to err on the side of caution. For example – and per diocesan protocols – those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another with the virus within 14 days are not permitted to enter the church. Members of the same household are to remain home as well. Before coming to church, everyone is requested to take their temperature at home. If a person’s temperature is at or above 100.4 (CDC guideline) they and members of their household must remain at home. But what if I don’t want to, don’t feel I need to, or I just can’t stand wearing a face mask? The requirement of wearing a face mask is not optional at this time. If you can’t or refuse to wear a mask coming in for Mass and during Mass, then do not come for Mass at this time. You will not be allowed in without a face mask. Know that the dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and other Holy Days of Obligation is extended through September 6, 2020.

What about restroom availability? There are only three unisex restrooms available: two in what had been the “cry room”, and one in the back of church (near 9th St.). The restrooms will be cleaned between Masses but not after each use (unless by the user). So please use the restrooms sparingly and at your own risk. Plan accordingly, limit your liquid intake and go to the restroom at home before coming to Mass. If there is a wait line to use the restroom, make use of the taped lines to maintain social distancing.

Will there be a collection of parish support envelopes? If you bring your support envelope with you to Mass, there will be a secure and locked container as you enter for Mass in which to put your envelope. (Ushers will not be going with a basket among the pews.) Another option is to bring your parish support envelope to the office during the week, or please consider signing up for Online Giving – it’s easy, secure, and convenient.

Will I be able to receive Holy Communion at Mass? Holy Communion in the form of the Body of Christ will be available at Mass for those who are Catholic and in a state of grace (not aware of having any unforgiven mortal sins). You are encouraged to receive the Body of Christ with proper reverence in your hand (making a throne with your hands to receive our Lord). However, no one will be denied the right to receive on the tongue. Those wishing to receive on the tongue should wait and be the last to receive in their respective Communion zone. (Please know there will be instructions given at each Mass regarding the procedure for receiving Communion.) Per diocesan recommendations, during this time the distribution of Holy Communion will take place when Mass has concluded. In this way once you receive Holy Communion you will then exit through the door nearest your assigned Communion station. (Each seating zone has its own designated Communion station). This will facilitate an orderly and less time consuming exit after Mass, and yet maintain the appropriate social distancing. Do not linger and visit after exiting, but proceed to your vehicle. (Enclosed in this letter, that you will receive in the mail, is a copy of a Prayer of Thanksgiving after Receiving Holy Communion. Keep this prayer with you or leave it in your vehicle, and pray it before you drive away.)

Ahhhhh!!! This seems so complicated and a lot of work. Hey, I just want to go to Mass. Is all of this really necessary? Well … yes. But please consider that this imperfect plan is in place for your protection and that of everyone else. It follows all of the required protocols and directives which need to be in place before we can even offer public Mass. It allows for contact tracing so people can be notified and take appropriate precautions and/or seek necessary medical treatment in the event that someone becomes ill with the coronavirus, or has been in contact with the virus. And even though it seems complicated, give it a try – you may be surprised how well it works.

A few things to keep in mind:

• The experience of Mass will be different, not totally, but certainly enough to be noticeable and maybe even unsettling for a while.

• Expect the process of Mass to take at least 1½ hours, giving enough time to arrive early to get checked in and get to your seat, and for Communion to take longer as we keep social distancing in the Communion line.

• The volunteers are good people who are giving their time (more time than you are committing to come to Mass) to help guide you and make sure the church is sanitized after each Mass. Be kind and courteous to them, and follow their directions. They know what they are doing.

• If you don’t feel comfortable yet, are concerned about your vulnerability to illness, or you don’t think you can comply, or refuse to comply with the protocols, or you just don’t want to bother with what seems such a hassle, it’s okay for you not to come to Mass at this time. Again, remember that the dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass and other Holy Days of Obligation is extended through September 6, 2020.

• In addition to the opportunities to watch Mass (e.g. on TV via the Cathedral Mass from Gaylord, on EWTN, and on the internet via other social outlets), we hope to have the ability to livestream some of our All Saints Parish Masses.

• Please be patient as we begin having public Masses again. This resuming process is new to everyone.

• If you don’t like the plan for All Saints Parish – follow it anyway and offer up any dissatisfaction as a prayerful sacrifice for someone or some thing needing prayers.

Yes, we’ve been waiting, longing, and yearning for Mass and the Eucharist for what seems too long of a time. And now that we finally have the opportunity to go to Mass again, it will be different than how it had been before. But then, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Maybe we had taken Mass and the Eucharist for granted. While we might fall back into that soon enough, maybe – hopefully – we won’t. (If we ever do, let’s lovingly remind each other.) As we move forward, may we never lose that longing and yearning for the Eucharist, so much so that we resolve to live in such a way as to always be ready and worthy to receive it.

I’m so grateful to be a part of All Saints Parish. God bless. Fr. Joe


✔ Sign up for Mass through our website, or call the Parish Office (254-2019 - see front page of this bulletin for times available to call).

✔ Don't attempt to ingest your daily quotient of water prior to Mass. There will be limited restrooms available.

✔ Take your temperature at home before coming. If it is above 100.4, or if you are feeling ill, stay home.

✔ Remember to bring your mask. It is required.

✔ Arrive 20-30 minutes early.

✔ Be kind and patient with our volunteers. They are doing their best to assist you.

✔ Refrain from visiting please, as it compromises social distance (6 ft. apart).

✔ The simplest, yet most effective item on this list, PRAY.

4 posted on 05/28/2020 7:57:26 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Vermont Lt

Just to clarify - they're tickets are free.   Also, the Lutherans in that town are not open at all yet.        :-)

5 posted on 05/28/2020 8:05:00 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Songcraft

"they're" = "their"

6 posted on 05/28/2020 8:05:48 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Songcraft

We can have 25% capacity in our state. For our church that is 100 and they added one mass so we’re good and if more come we will add another mass.

7 posted on 05/28/2020 8:07:03 PM PDT by tiki (Obamagate)
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To: tiki

Just curious, do they count people coming in, then lock the doors when they hit 100?   And, if you don't mind sharing, what state are you in?

8 posted on 05/28/2020 8:11:48 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Songcraft

Great to see this Pastor is treating his Parishioners like 5 year olds. I will tell him what he could do with his tickets.

9 posted on 05/28/2020 8:20:40 PM PDT by EC Washington
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To: Songcraft

I’d find another, gestapo-free, Parish to attend Mass....... This Pastor resembles the liberal God-less bureaucrats who are calling the shots right now....

10 posted on 05/28/2020 8:20:46 PM PDT by MurphsLaw ("Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven...")
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To: EC Washington

That does seem rather at odds with the specific invitation from Jesus Christ, "Come unto me ALL..."   (Matthew 11:28)

And if there isn't enough room because of COVID-19 spacing concerns, just schedule another Mass (like they're doing at the church of a previous poster in this thread).

11 posted on 05/28/2020 8:42:59 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: MurphsLaw

He sure does, and he is cooperating closely with Gauleiter Wretched Gretchen Whitler in Michigan.

12 posted on 05/28/2020 8:47:29 PM PDT by Songcraft
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Well, I can honestly say that I fully endorse and second your tagline, "God bless Donald Trump."!         :-)

13 posted on 05/28/2020 9:50:24 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: Songcraft

Reservations and Tickets?

Christ invited everyone. He even fed 5000 people.

14 posted on 05/28/2020 10:25:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Songcraft

Destroying religion is the left agenda and the religious schools too. Assigned seating will be next in church.

15 posted on 05/29/2020 1:12:01 AM PDT by cnsmom
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To: Songcraft

They count and would have to close the doors after 100. They have every other line of pews closed and you have to sit 6 feet away from others unless, families can sit together.

We are in the Diocese of Las Cruces. The other dioceses in the state may not be open. The diocese has been having mass from our cars since after Easter but the bishop did the Triduum at Easter.

16 posted on 05/29/2020 5:31:20 AM PDT by tiki (Obamagate)
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To: Salvation

"Christ invited everyone. He even fed 5000 people."

Good points!   I was honestly shocked when I first found out about this.   There seem to be much better ways to deal with this, as far as designing ways for reopening the Masses to the public again.

(I'm also going to take this opportunity to express appreciation for all of your outstanding threads and posts, Salvation.   You obviously put so much time and effort into them, and they are bright spots in the middle of all the darkness going on and being discussed these days.  I even like your FR-donation-solicitation-posts, with all the pretty flowers and things!   Thank you, and God bless you!)

17 posted on 05/29/2020 8:51:55 AM PDT by Songcraft
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To: cnsmom

You are so right, and they were very happy to see all the churches close like that, and to stay closed so long, and would love to keep them closed forever.   You might be right about that assigned seating coming too.   That would be one way the state could track all churchgoers too.

18 posted on 05/29/2020 11:44:09 AM PDT by Songcraft
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To: tiki

That system you have there sounds like a much better initial approach to this situation.

I'm not sure, but I think that's the way it is all over the Country, with each Diocese developing their own rules, and each Church within each Diocese developing their own system within those local Diocesan rules.   Some of those designs are better than others.

19 posted on 05/29/2020 1:54:47 PM PDT by Songcraft
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To: All

Just a quick update to this story, I initially overlooked this video the Associate Pastor at that church created, which shows the complicated procedure their parishioners have to go through, even after making their required reservation, and obtaining their required ticket, in order to be admitted into Mass, and taken to their assigned seating section.

       "MassPas Procedure - St. Anne Catholic Church, All Saints Parish" (youtube video)

And, here is their latest online church bulletin from this week, where you can see they are obviously still going forward with their "reservation/ticket" plans:

       Online Church Bulletin - St. Anne Church - May 31, 2020

I honestly can't picture them getting a large crowd of people to attend Mass there, under these conditions, having to first make reservations, then obtain tickets, then go through all this rigmarole once you get there, but I don't know for sure, and I don't know anyone who was planning on attending there this weekend.   (If you happen to know anyone who attended Mass at that church this weekend, please post an estimate of the number of attendees at any of their Masses.)

20 posted on 05/31/2020 11:27:43 AM PDT by Songcraft
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