We’re Still Here

Volume 4, Issue 1: Sunday, July 5, 2020


Masses have resumed and the Church is still alive and well.
Some ministries have resumed and we are adjusting to virtual meetings.
Welcome to the latest issue of The Matthian.
A nod to the founding members of the parish community, utilizing a new way to communicate and stay in touch.

All Are Welcome at Mass!

NEW: As of July 1st, Governor Newsom has ordered that “houses of worship” discontinue singing. We will continue to have instrumental music, but no one will be singing. “Activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing,” the state said in its new guidelines.

When you arrive to Church, a member of our staff will greet you at one of the double doors. There are baskets at both entrances for your donations (thank you!) We will direct you to a pew. Pews are numbered and every other pew is blocked off to maintain the mandatory 6 ft. of physical distance between households. Masks are required. Eucharistic Ministers will bring Communion to you. At the end of Mass, we ask that you exit quickly as we have cleaning protocols to begin. If you would like to volunteer to help us with the end of Mass cleaning, please speak to Sabrina, Lisa, Deacon David or Deacon Rich. We welcome your assistance!

REMINDER: The dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect. Those who are 50+ years old or have a pre-existing health condition that makes you more vulnerable to infection should stay home.

Those who have already completed the Informed Consent Form are not required to complete a form each weekend. If next weekend is your first time back, please bring your completed Informed Consent Form. (If you forget, don’t worry — we have copies in Fr. Lacey Hall).

A new page on the parish website has been created for COVID-19 updates. Please check frequently to stay up to date. https://www.stmatthiasparish.org/covid-19-updates/

Beginning July 5th: St. Matthias 10:30 am Mass will be Live streamed on YouTube

Beginning today, Sunday, July 5th St. Matthias’ 10:30 am Sunday Mass will be live streamed. We have established a YouTube channel for parishioners to access this Mass each weekend. Click here to learn more.

Scripture Reflection – The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

During the coronavirus pandemic as we deal with day to day anxieties, many of us find the time to pray asking for and seeking feelings of inner peace. In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Come to me all who labor and find life burdensome, I will give you rest.” Click here to read more

Subscribe to the St. Matthias Bulletin

Due to the restrictions in place because of the global pandemic, all worship aids were removed from Church except the weekly bulletin. This now contains the readings for Sunday Mass, prayer requests and Mass Intentions. You can receive this resource to your email inbox by subscribing or at Mass. Subscribe to the bulletin by clicking here

Faith Formation Ideas for Families

For Parents:
* Bible Study: Our Breaking Open the Word group for parents is ongoing. If you would like to join, please email Sabrina. We are meeting on Wednesdays at 3:30 pm. Click here to read more.

For Families with Children:
Check out St. Matthias’ Pinterest Page for faith formation ideas for families for the month of July. https://www.pinterest.com/smff2013/july-family-faith-ideas/

Peninsula Multifaith Coalition: Samaritan House Collection

Samaritan House of San Mateo is in need of children’s socks and undergarments for distribution through their Kids Closet. We thought we could help by organizing a donation drive to collect these items now so they are ready to be delivered once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted (hopefully before school starts in August). Click here for more information.

Thank you for your continued support!
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting everyday life, St. Matthias Parish would like to thank everyone for their continued support, both spiritual and financially. As we adapt to these unprecedented times, we are committed to serve our community as best we can. Please remember to check our website www.stmatthiasparish.org for updates.

Please carefully read through the guidelines below.

On May 29, 2020, Archbishop Cordileone confirmed that “Masses may resume in San Mateo County, beginning on June 1st at the pastor’s discretion, but with the state-imposed limitation of 25% capacity of the church or 100 people, whichever is lower, as well as adhering to the safety protocols issued by the Archdiocese for opening our churches to public Mass.” He continues, “It is of paramount importance to insure that all of these safety measures be carefully implemented and meticulously observed.”

As Fr. Dave reminded us in his homily on Sunday, May 31st, the Feast of Pentecost, “The church has not been closed since March 15…but the church, the people of God does not require a building to be church. That church never closes, our work is never done…” We thank all the lay liturgical ministers who have volunteered to serve at the upcoming Masses and we understand that not all will feel comfortable worshipping with the community yet. As Archbishop Cordileone asked us to reiterate, the dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect.

In order to comply with public health guidelines and directives from the Archdiocese, St. Matthias will observe the following good practices that keep people healthy:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing
  • No physical contact between people (hugs, handshake)
  • Wear face masks
  • Provide hand sanitizer in multiple places especially at entrances/exits, restrooms, near ambo and altar and on the credence table.
  • Ask all Mass attendees to bring their own mask and hand sanitizer.

Continue Live Streaming Mass

The 8:30 am Mass at St. Charles will continue to be live streamed for those who wish to remain sheltering in place. The live streams can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/StCharlesParishSC/videos or on the St. Matthias parish website https://www.stmatthiasparish.org.

Please follow all the directional signs and important do’s and don’ts posted inside and outside of Church.
All will be invited to enter through the double doors (side entrances will be for exiting only). Please plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the start of Mass to facilitate the collection of the Informed Consent Forms (below) and navigating the new seating arrangement. Observe 6ft. social distancing outside as you are waiting to enter the building. Once you enter the Church, visit a hand sanitizing station before finding your pew.

Informed Consent Forms

The San Mateo Public Health Officer recommends faith communities have their members who attend services in person sign an informed consent form that lays out the risks of such gatherings. Archbishop Cordileone is requiring all parishioners who attend Masses to complete this form. In order to assist with contact tracing (if necessary), we are also required to obtain the names and contact information of all who attend Masses for the next 45 days. This form is required for all those who attend Mass including ministers (one form per family/household). Sabrina and Lisa will be at the double doors to collect your completed forms. For those who do not bring the form, a table with forms will be available in the Hall. Click here to download the form to print and complete.

A-L / M-Z

In order to assist with limiting the number of people who attend each weekend, those with A-L surnames are invited to attend on June 6/7 and June 20/21, while those with M-Z surnames are invited to attend on June 13/14 and June 27/28. Liturgical Ministers do not need to follow this pattern.

The Worship Space

  • All who enter St. Matthias Church must wear a mask or face covering.
  • Signs will be posted on each pew. Every other pew will be closed to maintain 6ft. physical distancing. Other pews will be marked with the number of seats available. Only one family/household will be allowed per pew. If you are a family of 4, please find a pew marked with 4 seats. If you are an individual, please find a seat marked with 2 seats. A seating chart will be available for reference and Greeters will be on hand to assist.
  • Collection baskets will be placed at exit doors of the Church. Please deposit your envelopes or donations into the baskets as you exit the Church.
  • No print materials (except the bulletin) will be available in the worship space. This includes Breaking Bread, hymnals, missalettes, children’s’ toys and any other materials. Parents are encouraged to bring materials from home for young children. Bulletins will be available on tables by the entry doors and include the text of the readings.
  • There will be no Holy Water in the small fonts or in the Baptismal font.
  • Only one person (or family) will be able to enter the restroom at a time. There will be a sign posted on the door indicating occupied/available. Disinfecting wipes will be available for use on toilet seats and sinks. Please do not flush the wipes. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to leaving the restroom.
  • The water fountain in the hall will not be available. We are encouraging parishioners to bring their own water bottles to Church (we will have a limited supply of bottled water available).

There will be no overflow seating in the hall.

During Mass

We are happy to welcome you all back to worship together. Please be aware that there are many changes made to maintain maximum safety for all, especially during Communion. The priest celebrant will give directions throughout.

  • The Liturgical Procession (server, deacon and priest) will proceed from the sacristy to the altar.
  • The Reader and Eucharistic Ministers will remain in their pews during the procession.
  • Music ministers will lead music, but there will be no congregational singing. The other parts of the Mass will be recited.
  • Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is only allowed with members of your household. A physical Sign of Peace should only be offered to members of your household. A gesture such as a nod or bow can be shared with others.
  • Procession of the Gifts will be suspended at this time.
  • Those distributing Holy Communion will include the Celebrant, Deacon and two Extraordinary Ministers.
  • Eucharistic ministers will come to the altar during the Sign of Peace and use hand sanitizer.
  • After receiving the ciborium from the priest, ministers proceed to side sections of pews for distribution of Communion.
  • Holy Communion will be distributed by the Celebrant, the Deacon and two Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. There will be no distribution of the Precious Blood.
  • Ministers will bring Communion to members of the congregations by moving through the empty pews.
  • For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with the priest or deacon prior to Mass.
  • Communicants will receive the Host on the hand. For those who wish to receive the Host on the tongue, special arrangements are to be made with the priest prior to Mass.
  • Should the priest, deacon or Eucharistic minister come in contact with the hand of a communicant, the minister will stop and sanitize their hands before continuing.
  • The faithful will wear facial covering. They will lower the covering just prior to the reception of the Eucharist.
  • At the conclusion of the distribution of Holy Communion, ministers return the remaining hosts to the tabernacle and then perform hand hygiene with hand sanitizer.

Dismissal

All the Church doors will be open to facilitate parishioners quick exit from the Church building. This is necessary so that our cleaning process can commence. Please feel free to visit in the parking lot while maintaining 6ft. social distancing.
We would like to reiterate the following for the health and safety of our parishioners and community. All those who are elderly or who have pre-existing health conditions are encouraged to stay home. We are all in this together and through God’s grace will be blessed with patience and perseverance as we continue to navigate these challenging times.

The Cross I Carry

On my morning walk between the churches of St. Charles and St. Matthias I carry two crosses. One is the cross given to me by my father (more on that later), the other a small comfort cross carried on my pilgrimages. This cross was made by Phil, a parishioner. During pilgrimage hikes this cross is normally in my pocket although it is made and its purpose is to cradle in one’s hand. This is because hiking poles are often in use. But on these morning walks poles are not needed and I can carry the cross.

By accident I discovered a wonderful gift with the cross in my hand. I carry it in my right hand as it seems to nestle there quite nicely. When I meet someone my natural instinct is to reach out to greet them but the cross reminds me of the need presently for social distancing. When someone drives by and recognizes me, usually tooting the horn, I once again instinctively raise my hand in a wave. Such a small object made with care and love cradled in my hand being raised as if imparting a blessing. The presence of our Lord is ever with us, but especially in these trying times.

I have been asked when the churches are open and I am trying to keep to a schedule of opening St. Charles by 7:00 a.m. and then start the walk through the neighborhoods to open St. Matthias before 8:00 a.m. They stay open until at least 4:00 p.m. as it is a little harder to plan late afternoon. Hand sanitizer is right inside the door to use, so please keep safe. I and some brave souls continue to try and put the daily mass online but no promises as we work through some issues.

If you see me walking by give out a shout so I may raise my hand in prayer and blessing.

In faith, hope, and love, your Wandering Padre.

Fr. Dave

P.S. Attempts are being made to livestream daily Mass tonight at 5:00 pm via St. Charles Parish Facebook page.