Reopening the Church - Pastor Letter, Updates, Guidelines

The Archdiocese of Boston, following the example of the Cardinal and the Holy Father, continues to urge vaccination as the most effective way to bring this pandemic under control and keep families safe.

COVID Update - February 10,2022

From the Pandemic Response Team:

Mask Mandate for public Masses to be lifted on February 28th. As of February 28, masks will no longer be required at public Masses in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Masks will also not be required in Parish Faith Formation programs as of February 28.

If a pastor decides that it is not yet time in his community for a dropping of a mask requirement, based on his knowledge of the needs of his particular community, he may continue to require the wearing of masks in his parish.

If the local municipality continues to require the wearing of masks in public places, the parish must comply with those regulations.

Parishes are still required to maintain, mark, and communicate a portion of each worship space as being reserved for those who wish to wear masks and social distance.

Parishes are also encouraged to continue to exercise and encourage caution in all parish activities.

COVID Update - January 6,2022
Boston Diocese Logo

From the Archdiocese of Boston Pandemic Response Team:

In light of the continued growth in the numbers of new COVID cases, Cardinal Seán is extending the current mask mandate.
 
It is mandated that throughout the Archdiocese of Boston all people attending public Masses, including weddings and funerals, wear masks. This is an extension of the mandate currently in effect and expires on Thursday, March 3, 2022, which is the day after Ash Wednesday.

Children under the age of five are not required to wear masks. Children under the age of two should not wear masks. 

In addition, all churches must continue to provide a designated area in which social distancing is respected for those who want to use it.

Questions about the implementation of this policy should be requested to [email protected]

 

COVID Update - December 24,2021

Today we were made aware that a parishioner that attended Mass on Friday, December 24 at 4:00 PM has tested positive for COVID. Please remember that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston advise that non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in church.

COVID Update - December 3,2021

Today we were made aware that a parishioner that attended Mass on Sunday, November 28 at 10:00 AM has tested positive for COVID. Please remember that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston advise that non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in church.

Covid update - August 13, 2021

MASKS: With the support of the Archdiocese, I have decided to ask everyone, whether vaccinated against the Coronavirus or not, to wear a mask at Mass beginning this weekend. So both Saturdays/Sundays and throughout the week masks must been worn at all Masses. We will have them available if needed. Thanks for your cooperation. In Jesus' Name -J.F.H.

COVID Update - August 4,2021

Today we were made aware that two parishioners that attended Mass on Sunday, August 1 at 10:00 AM have tested positive for COVID. Please remember that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston advise that non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in church.

COVID Update - July 13,2021

Today we were made aware that a parishioner that attended Mass on Sunday, July 11 at 10:00 AM has tested positive for COVID. Please remember that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston advise that non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in church. 

Archdiocese of Boston COvid update link
Father Hickey's Letter to Parishioners 

Click here to read.

New Mass Guidelines Starting May 29,2021

Click here to read.

New Schedules at Holy Family for Masses, Confession Funerals

Click here to read.

 
 
Father Hickey's Letter to Parishioners 

June 1, 2021

Dear parishioners of Holy Family Parish, Peace in Jesus Christ!

            I have written you many times over the years.  However, this letter may be the most significant I’ve ever asked you to read and act on.

            For fourteen months we have weathered the pandemic.  Cardinal Sean dispensed us from the obligation of Sunday Mass.  And sadly as a consequence of both we have had slender attendance “face to face” at Mass.  Now as the restrictions have begun to lift, even though the Cardinal has left us free not to come back yet, I think that for most of us the time has come to return to Sunday Mass.  I’d bet you agree.  Let me encourage you.

            There is a very enlightening text from Sacred Scripture which may address this moment in our lives.  St. Paul in Ephesians says that the “building up” of the Church is actually the work of the people whom he calls “the holy ones,” the ordinary faithful.  Here is the text: “And he (Christ) gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (4:12).  He mentions for example my role, as pastor, and says that I am to “equip” you for your work of building up the Church.  You might have expected him to have taught the opposite.  Significantly he did not.  St. Paul is saying that Father Jim O’Driscoll and I are your helpers and you, not we, are the ones who will make the Church alive, a living body.  A fascinating idea!  And of course it is true!

            My invitation: Come, let’s move on this idea.  Christ wants you, yes with your priests, to take Holy Family into a resurgence of life as His Body.

            It’s simple.  First: COME TO CHURCH!  Every Sunday!  Second: encourage and even invite your family members, friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers, in short any and everyone to
“COME TO CHURCH!!”  You can make a difference and we have proof of that.

            Maybe during these 14 months you had a chance to come into Church for Mass?  Were you as pleasantly surprised as I have been by our wonderful greeters/ushers?  What a sturdy, happy bunch they are!  Their happiness at seeing folks, their smiles and words while escorting people to their pews defeated the gloom of the virus.  To come to Mass willing to lift up others, allows God to lift us up too.

            Come!  Just come!  Your vocation is the same one that our Lord Jesus gave to the humble Saint Francis of Assisi.  Jesus said to him, what He is now saying to you, “Rebuild My Church!”

            Let me thank you beforehand because I feel deeply that you will come and your worship will make all the difference.  Pray on this.  His Peace will slip over you casting out any fear.  Let us heed the lovely advice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Let us do something beautiful for God!” 

            In this bulletin you will find further guidelines helpful for us all as we take up our normal lives as parishioners of Holy Family.  Thank you for taking time to absorb my thoughts.  I trust that they are really His.  God bless.  O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

                                                                                    In Jesus’ Name,   JFH

 
New Mass Guidelines Starting May 29,2021

Given the new Commonwealth of Massachusetts protocols that go into place on May 29, and with guidance from the Archdiocese of Boston Pandemic Response Team the following changes are being introduced at Holy Family beginning Saturday, May 29, 2021.

1. Vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks or socially distance at church.

2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Archdiocese of Boston advises that non-vaccinated people should continue to wear masks in church.

3. The dispensation from the obligation for coming to Sunday Mass has not yet been lifted, and even when it is, if a parishioner is feeling ill they should remain at home.

4. It is understood that different people will be ready to take off their masks and sit near one another at different times. We know also that some of our parishioners may be comfortable dropping social distancing but may not yet be comfortable taking off their masks. Please feel free to continue to wear masks as long as you like.

5. Sign Ups for Mass will no longer be needed.

Mass Options for Regular Mass and Social-Distancing Mass

1. Saturday, 4:00 PM Mass in the Main Church. All tape has been removed and all pews are available for seating. You do not need to sign up to attend Mass. Missal/Hymnal will be available in the pew.

2. Sunday, 10:00 AM Mass in the Main Church. All tape has been removed and all pews are available for seating.  You do not need to sign up to attend Mass. Missal/Hymnal will be available in the pew.

3. Sunday, 10:00 AM Mass in Mary's Chapel. Will remain taped off for social distancing. Ushers will direct parishioners for Communion maintaining social distance for those in attendance.  You do not need to sign up to attend Mass. Missal/Hymnal will be available in the pew.

4. Mass Online/WRPS Cable: will continue to be available for all to watch with the new Sunday Mass posted weekly. 

Father Hickey will be sending a letter to all parishioners with these updates and many more that will take effect the weekend of June 14th. These updates will also be posted on the website. Please continue to check it regularly!

New Schedules at Holy Family for Masses, Confession Funerals

WEEKEND MASSES: (Non-vaccinated people are advised to continue to wear masks in Church please.)

Starting the weekend of June 12/13, 2021

            Saturday Vigil Mass  4 p.m. Main Church

            Sunday Masses         7:30 a.m.   Main Church

                                            10:00 a.m.    Main Church

                                           *10:00 a.m.    Mary’s Chapel

            * The 10 a.m. Mass in Mary’s Chapel will be marked off for a social distance Mass.

DAILY MASS: (Non-vaccinated people are advised to continue to wear masks in Church please.)

Daily Mass will be held Monday – Saturday at 9 a.m. in Mary’s Chapel. 

Also, Mary’s Chapel will be opened during the week, Monday – Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. for personal prayer and adoration. 

CONFESSIONS:

Confession is available inside St. Joseph’s Center on Saturday afternoons from 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.; face to face (6 feet apart, masks on, standing) or   anonymously (priest behind door) (6 feet apart, mask on, standing) or you may call the rectory (781-878-0160) and make an appointment with a priest. Non-vaccinated people need to wear a mask. 

FUNERALS:

  • Funeral Masses can be scheduled at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday beginning May 31, 2021.
  • No limitations on seating.
  • Non-vaccinated people need to wear masks in the Church.
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