Updated Mass guidelines
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has granted permission for parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to move to Phase II of offering public Mass during the coronavirus pandemic. The new guidelines, which were effective June 22, include:
• All parishes should adhere to the capacity restrictions mandated by the city or county officials where they reside, but also be mindful of the six-feet social distancing requirements recommended by health officials. While some areas will be loosening to a 50-percent capacity restriction, all churches must ensure that parishioners can still maintain six feet between themselves.
• Masks will still be required to enter a parish within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. While the archdiocese still strongly recommends the use of masks throughout Mass with the exception of receiving Holy Communion, the requirement of wearing masks in the pews will continue to be a decision made by the parish pastor.
• Holy Communion may now be offered in the hand or on the tongue. Holy Communion distributed by extraordinary ministers will be administered in the hand only. It is strongly recommend that parishioners receive Holy Communion in the hand, however, as this is a celebration of God’s love for us and the most important part of our Mass, parishioners who still wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue should receive from the Mass celebrant only.
• Continue the suspension of the distribution of Holy Communion via the chalice.
• Parishes will now only be required to clean pews once a day unless otherwise stated by city or county health officials.
• Holy Communion for the homebound also will resume with safety measures in place including the use of masks, sanitizer and adhering to social distancing.
For more information on the new guidelines, visit
Feed My People thrift stores reopen
The Thrifty Hanger thrift stores operated in south St. Louis County and High Ridge by Feed My People will celebrate their grand re-openings beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, June 29. “As a social enterprise, funds raised by our two stores are critical to continuing Feed My People’s mission: to show God’s love and compassion to all His people, and particularly to people in need,” said Karen Lanter, executive director of Feed My People. “Dramatic rises in food insecurity, fundraising event cancellations and other lost income due to COVID-19 make the sales revenue generated by the thrift stores more important than ever.” Feed My People’s 17-member staff and 400 volunteers serve as a safety net to about 375 families per week. Feed My People partners with more than two dozen congregations, including several Catholic parishes. Donations of clothing and household items will be accepted until storage containers are full and only during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 171 Kingston Drive in south St. Louis County and from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, at 3295 Ottomeyer Road in High Ridge. Anyone interested in organizing food drives are invited to call Stephanie Berberich at (314) 631-4900, ext. 315.
Enhancing evangelization, parish support
The archdiocese’s Department of Evangelization and Parish Ministry Support announced changes effective next month to more efficiently support parishes and enhance outreach to the community in sharing the faith. Deepan Rajaratnam will become the director of formation and parish support. In this restructured position, he will be responsible for the formation and programming from the Office of Youth Ministry, CYC Sports, Young Adult Ministry, Lay Formation and the new Faith Alive in the Family program. He brings experience in professional ministry and theology instruction serving Catholic youth, young adults and families. Sister Mary Kathleen Ronan, RSM, director of the Lay Formation Program, will transition from the Office of Catholic Education and Formation to join the department. While retaining her current responsibility, she will also be involved in curriculum development and adult faith formation. Sister Maureen Martin, ASCJ, will be the program director for Faith Alive in the Home, a home-visitor mentoring program that supports parents as first teachers of the faith. Collaborating with parishes and other agencies, the program also connects young parents with their peers in the larger faith community. Prior to developing this formation program three years ago, Sister Maureen served as an educator as well as an administrator serving grades 2-12.
Stained glass and veggies
Residents of L’Arche St. Louis’ Sunrise House recently created “stained glass” windows. They enjoy the bright colors when they eat dinner together on the deck. To create your own windows with a stained-glass look, visit bit.ly/2zU9JE0. Residents also are growing lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, broccoli, a variety of flowers and more. L’Arche St. Louis is a faith-based community, rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, of people with and without disabilities who share their lives in profound ways. For information, visit