Mass Guidelines & Miscellaneous Information


This page was last updated, Friday, May 7, 2021.

In order to keep our parish communities safe, if you or a loved one is diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), please do not enter your parish grounds and contact your pastor immediately.  Pastors have been directed to follow protocols set forth by their local health departments and the CDC upon receiving this information.

Those who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another with the virus within 14 days are not permitted to enter the church or any parish facility, in accordance with national, state and local health directives.  All attendees are asked to check their temperature at home before coming to church.

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has announced that a date has not yet been set for the lifting of the dispensation for the obligation to attend Mass.  It is expected that the dispensation will be lifted in the not-too-distant future.  Parish families are reminded of the importance of returning to in-person Mass.  All mandates and directives regarding COVID-19 safety protocols and regulations are still in effect.

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski mandates masks for the entirety of all public Masses with the exception of Holy Communion.
 
The Year of St. Joseph
Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint's proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.  He intends that the Church use this year so that "every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God's will."

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is offering prayers, pilgrimage opportunities, and plenary indulgence opportunities for its faithful to draw them closer to St. Joseph.  Find more information at www.archstl.org.
 
Regarding the parish planning of summer picnics and festivals, the Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages our parishes to do the following:
  • Continue to follow the guidance of health officials in the county your parish resides in.
  • If possible, move picnics or festival events to the later part of the summer (August/September) to offer time for more vaccinations and with the hope that health officials will continue to loosen restrictions.
  • All plans for picnics/festivals should be tentative, subject to cancellation, and should include the potential for the need to enforce PPE and social distancing requirements should your county still have them in place at the time of the event.
The Mission Office has announced that the Latin America Apostolate is to close.  Ministry will be withdrawn from Bolivia with Mary Queen of Peace Parish in La Paz being turned over to the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of La Paz.   Future collections will be provided through the Missionary Cooperation Plan.

Rural Parish Clinic (RPC) is opening a third mobile medical clinic site in the Archdiocese of St. Louis on April 5, 2021.  The new site will be in Bonne Terre, MO at Sonrise Baptist Church (454 Berry Rd).  The clinic will be open to patients on the first Monday of each month, starting April 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  There are plans to add a dental clinic soon.

Annual Catholic Appeal is on schedule to launch this spring.  Pledge cards will be available at parishes throughout the Archdiocese April 17-18, April 24-25 and May 1-2.

The annual Archbishop's Gala is coming up.  Anyone may register for FREE to view the Virtual Archbishop's Gala in support of faith-based education and make your Fund a Need gift at ttef-stl.org/archbishops-gala.

There have been cases of Covid-19 among the priests of the archdiocese and these cases continue to pop up, but vaccinations are now accessible for our priests and deacons.  Please pray for our priests! 

The Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has received complaints from people that guidelines have not been followed at some Masses within the archdiocese.  For the latest and most up-to-date guidelines provided for parishes of the St. Louis Archdiocese, please visit:  https://www.archstl.org/coronavirus

The Dispensation for public Mass remains in effect in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  This Dispensation is extended to Holy Days of Obligation.

Sprinkling rites are to be discontinued until further notice.

Holy Communion will be offered in the hand or on the tongue by the Mass celebrant only.  Holy Communion distributed by extraordinary ministers will be administered in the hand only.  The suspension of the distribution of Holy Communion via the chalice continues.

Parish choirs and/or bands are not permitted until further notice.  Music and hymns may be led by a single cantor during Mass.  The cantor must follow all guidelines in place at the parish and in the county where the parish resides.  Congregational singing is permitted at the discretion of the pastor.

Missals/hymnals are not permitted to be used in the pews at this time.  Parishioners/congregants are encouraged to bring their own liturgical materials.  Use of music for live-streams, digital screens and single-use handouts is only permitted with proper musical licensure.

It has been announced that an immediate suspension of all music composed by David Haas is being imposed in Archdiocese of St. Louis parishes.  Mr. Haas has been accused of multiple instances of sexual abuse by adult women.  All David Haas music is being suspended pending the results of an investigation.

The Missouri Catholic Conference still supports the expansion of Medicaid and support efforts to fund the program, stating "we offer our support for this effort because of the unmet healthcare needs of the working poor and to ensure the continued delivery of care to those who need it most through the Missouri healthcare system."

All guidelines from the Archdiocese of St. Louis for the offering of public Mass during the pandemic can be found at:  https://www.archstl.org/coronavirus-covid-19.

Respect Life Apostolate announces the archdiocesan parish launch of the national Walking with Moms in Need campaign.  More information can be found at www.walkingwithmoms.com.
       

What does this mean for Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle parishes? 

There have been no breakouts of COVID-19 associated with our parishes.  We shall continue to follow guidance provided and ask that all who enter our Churches please wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and maintain a social distance of 6 feet from all other individuals not of their household.

Fr. Mark Ebert and Deacon Michael Burch, as well as all of the staff and volunteers here at Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle continue to enjoy good health and our return to public Masses is going well.  Every week we see a few more familiar faces at Mass.  There is still room for more.  To those who have not yet returned, please know that we miss you.

If anyone in our parish community is diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact the Rectory office to let us know.   We are hearing about more cases of parishioners testing positive for Covid-19.  As far as we know none of these cases have been traced to Mass attendance.

Regarding the guidance provided by the Archdiocese concerning parish events, we will have to wait and see what our local health authorities recommend.  It is highly unlikely that we will be having any major events this summer.  This would include our annual spring fling.  If restrictions lift, or at least lighten, we may still host an event this fall that would be similar to our Spring Fling.  As far as the annual Chicken and Dumpling Dinner hosted by our Martha & Mary Ladies Sodality in the fall we still hold out hope.

Regarding the closing of the Latin America Apostolate mission.  Future financial support will continue through the Missionary Cooperation Plan.  As it happens, our scheduled speaker for this summer's Missionary Cooperation Plan weekend will be speaking to us about the Latin America Apostolate.  We look forward to learning more about these developing events on that weekend.

The new Rural Parish Clinic (RPC) opens soon!  Qualifying residents of St. Francois county will be able to use this clinic.  A search committee visited both Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph, Bonne Terre, but the Sonrise Church location in Bonne Terre proved to be the best set-up.  It's location with visibility from highway 67, it's parking area and it's impressive electrical hook-ups/supply made it the best choice.

2020/2021 Parish School of Religion began in September.  In-person classes ended mid-April.  Most of our classes will be learning from home until the COVID19 outbreaks subside and work may be turned in online until the end of May.  The end of year PSR picnic will not be held this year.  Our Second Grade class met in person with  Mrs. Rachel Martin and celebrated First Penance December 20 and First Eucharist April 18.    Deacon Michael Burch taught the 7th-8th Grade class.  This was a Confirmation year and students enrolled in the 7th-8th grade received the sacrament of Confirmation at the Basilica of St.  Louis April 25.   

2021/2022 Parish School of Religion will begin enrollment in August and at this time all classes are expected to return to in-person classes with PSR catechists teaching every grade each week on our Wednesday 6:00 p.m. schedule.

2021 Time, Talent and Treasure Directory has been printed by Guide Book publishing and mailed to every registered household for both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle.  Upon receipt of your directory, please verify that the contact information, including the listed phone number, is correct for your household.  Corrections are requested.  Please contact Brenda at the Rectory Office to provide updated information.  If you did not receive your directory copy in the mail, please also contact Brenda.  Directories are free to registered households.  Cost to print our directories are paid for by the advertisers listed within the pages of the directory.  We are extremely grateful to our generous advertisers.  We hope that you thank them and patronize their businesses.

Please continue to pray for the parish, staff and all of our shut-ins and nursing home residents.

Both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle have returned to the Mass schedules in effect before the pandemic began.  Weekday Masses at Immaculate Conception, Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m., Saturday Mass at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday Mass at 10:30 a.m.  St. John the Apostle has returned to Sunday Mass at 8:00 a.m.  Confession  is available at both parishes before weekend Masses or by appointment.

St. Louis County parishes have enacted capacity restrictions for all parish churches celebrating public Mass in St. Louis County of 25%.  St. Louis City and parishes outside of the St. Louis County remain at 50%.  We have taken the precaution of roping off every other pew at both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle.  More people have been returning to Masses, but there is still plenty of room for more should attendance continue to pick up.

Both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle continue to follow safety guidelines as outlined by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and recommended by the St. Francois County Health Department.  We ask that all people entering our church buildings please maintain social distancing of 6 feet between themselves and others not of their household and please wear a mask.    If you have a temperature or do not feel well, please stay home.  Hand sanitizer is available throughout the church and visitors are encouraged to use it.
For a list of COVID-19 symptoms visit the CDC website.  The link is provided below. 

The general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation remains.  Anyone who has concerns for  their own health and welfare or for their families, may continue to live-stream or watch Mass on television or electronically even though physical attendance at Masses is  allowed.  Attendance is allowed, it is not required at this time.  Parishes that have been live-streaming are being encouraged to continue doing so for the time being.   We do encourage you to either attend Mass at your home church or to continue watching the Mass from your home either on television or live-streamed on an electronic device.

If you are 60+ years of age or have an underlying health condition, we do encourage you to remain home at this time.  If you have received your vaccination and feel safe returning we certainly welcome you.

We have returned to our 3rd Wednesday of the month Eucharistic Adoration.  Please join us on the third Wednesday of the month.  Adoration begins at the close of the morning Mass around 8:30 and ends with Benediction at 11:30 a.m.  Social distancing practices remain in effect.  The scheduled date for the February Eucharistic Adoration falls on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. 

Groups may now have organizational meetings at the discretion of Fr. Ebert.   Social distancing practices remain in effect.

No receptions or social gatherings are yet allowed after Mass.  This means that Fr. Ebert and Deacon Mike will not be allowed to greet you at the conclusion of Mass.   Any public gatherings must follow the guidelines provided by the SFC Health officials.

Baptisms, weddings and funerals are allowed, but no gatherings associated with these events
(i.e. funeral dinners) are allowed until further notice.

We will let you know about any other events as they draw closer.  Please refer back to this page and to upcoming bulletins.  

Confession at Immaculate Conception on Saturdays is 4:15-4:45 p.m., Sundays 10:00-10:15 a.m.  Confession at St. John the Apostle is Sundays 7:30-7:45 a.m.  Please maintain 6 ft. of distance between yourself and the next nearest person in line.  All Confessions are behind the screen with no face-face Confession permitted at this time.

There will be no receiving of the Sacrament of Communion from the cup until permission has been granted by the Archbishop.  The Holy Body of Christ will be available during Mass.  Please respect the 6 ft of social distancing guidelines.  Markings can be found on the floor.  Since the cup will not be used, our regular Eucharistic Ministers will not be scheduled.

Holy Communion for the home-bound has resumed with safety measures in place including the use of masks, sanitizer and adhering to social distancing.  Visits to nursing homes, hospitals and the prison system are still restricted, but restrictions are easing.  Please keep us informed and we will do what we can when we can to provide communion calls, anointing of the sick and visits when possible.

Anointing of the Sick by a priest is still possible for those who are seriously ill or in danger of death.  Please contact Fr. Ebert to schedule a home visit.  If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, or have a fever, or have tested positive for COVID-19,  please inform Fr. Ebert before scheduling the visit. 

If you are on our regular list to serve as lector at either parish, and if you have reservations about serving at this time, please let Brenda know so that she can schedule accordingly.  There will be no greeters before Mass and no special ministers scheduled for Communion.  The number of altar servers requested for each Mass has been reduced to 2.  There will be no Children's Liturgy of the Word during Mass.

The Eucharistic Ministers must wear a mask at all times.

Communicants should continue to wear masks, with the exception of the moment of receiving Holy Communion.

Volunteers to help with the new guidelines/procedures would be welcome.  Please speak with Fr. Ebert or Deacon Mike. 

Rosary will begin 1/2 hour before weekend Masses on the first weekend of each month. The Rosary leader may wish to remain in the pews rather than leading from the pulpit.  A patriotic rosary is being held in the parish hall at Immaculate Conception every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.  All are welcome.

Hand sanitizer and extra masks will continue to be made available and easily accessible as long as the supply lasts.

Social distancing should be adhered to in all cases outside of distributing Holy Communion.

We would like to remind you that the parish grounds are always open.

The parish bulletin has been published every single week including during the period of Mass suspensions.  Extra copies of weeks which you may have missed are still available upon request, although we are running out of  storage space and will need to begin discarding some of them soon.   Paper copies of the most recent weekly bulletins  will continue to be made available outside in the water-proof boxes that have been installed at both Immaculate Conception and St.  John the Apostle.  The box at Immaculate Conception is located at the front of the church on the memorial pavers patio fencing, and the box at St. John the Apostle is  on the handrail at the front steps.  The bulletin is also available every week on this website (see menu at left Church Bulletins), or if you so choose, you may arrange to receive an e-bulletin to your personal inbox.  To subscribe for e-bulletins visit https://ebulletin.jspaluch.com.

Mass Intention requests may continue to be dropped off at the office or mailed to Immaculate Conception at PO Box 66, Park Hills, MO  63601.  Likewise, if you would like a candle lit in the alcove, please let us know.

More information and links about online and televised Masses continues to be made available here on our website.  Visit our Links page for more information about accessing online and televised Masses.

We ask that you please keep the needs of your parish and other individuals in mind.  Lots of prayer is needed at this time.  There will be many who will be uncomfortable with returning to a public Mass at this time because of age or health issues.   Keep in touch with your family members and neighbors and make sure they have what they need. Keep in mind that people who tend to suffer from depression and anxiety  may be finding this period of social isolation especially difficult, so don't hesitate to call and just let them know that you are thinking about them and praying for them.   Fr. Ebert, Deacon Burch and Brenda Carrow   are only a phone call or email away.  Please keep in touch and let us know what we can do for you.

Remember our food pantries and other charitable organizations.  Consider supporting St. Vincent De Paul, Catholic Charities of St. Louis and the Annual Catholic Appeal as there is  a greater demand placed on all of these organizations right now.    THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION FOOD PANTRY  CONTINUES TO BE OPEN ON FRIDAYS 7:30-9:30 A.M.!  Safety precautions and Social distancing procedures have been put in place. 


Ushers may now be allowed to collect contributions through the use of long-handled baskets.  Immaculate Conception has dispensed with the use of the stationary baskets at the front of church.   Online giving remains an option and can be accessed through our online giving webpage which can be found on the menu at left listed as Give (Online Giving).  Online giving can be provided directly through your bank or by credit card.  Tithes/donations can always be dropped off or mailed to Immaculate Conception.  To mail your contribution or any other communications, please send to Immaculate Conception, P.O. Box 66, Park Hills, MO. 
Thank you once again to those who find ways to provide donations to us throughout the period of Mass suspension and to those who continue to provide their donations even when they themselves may not be able to attend in-person. 


For more information or for a prayer from the USCCB, visit archstl.org/coronavirus .  For information about the virus visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html .

Live Streaming of Masses Daily from the Cathedral Basilica, St. Louis!
Daily Masses 10:00 a.m.


A BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF OUR ADVERTISERS!

Weekly bulletins are sponsored by:

Bauman Oil Distributors, Inc.
Catholic Cruises & Tours
Catholic Match Missouri
Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc.
C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Homes
Earth Mother Health Foods
First State Community Bank
Grand True Value Rental (Farmington)
Jeff Swinarski, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Karsch Family Dental (Farmington)
Knights of Columbus 11882, Park Hills
Koppeis Heating & Cooling (Farmington)
LeafGuard
Master Shield Gutter Protection
McDonalds of Desloge
The Pasta Hous Co. (Farmington)
Save-A-Lot
Westmount Dental Arts (Farmington)


Time, Talent, Treasure Directory 2020 sponsored by:

C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Homes
Domino's
Edward Jones, Brandon Penberthy, Financial Advisor (Desloge)
First State Community Bank
Hearing Care Partners, Audiology & Hearing Center
Interstate All Battery Center
Karsch Family Dental
Koppeis Heating & Cooling (Farmington)
ReFresh Retail Store
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