Mass Guidelines & Miscellaneous Information

This page was last updated, Thursday, February 25, 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.

All four Missouri Bishops have dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday until further notice.  The COVID-19 pandemic presents a serious threat to physical health.

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski mandates masks for the entirety of all public Masses with the exception of Holy Communion.

Lent is here!  There are parish fish frys with many of them being carry-out or drive thru only.  The St. Louis Review website hosts a listing of parishes and their specific directions for fish fries this year. 

If you had not heard, both St. Joseph (Farmington) and Knights of Columbus (Bonne Terre) have had to cancel the scheduled Fish Frys for Friday, February 19, 2021 due to the winter weather delivery issues that prevented them from receiving the necessary supplies to provide the scheduled dinners.  Both plan to be open Friday, February 26, 2021.  Drive-thru only at Farmington and Carryout only at Bonne Terre.

Lenten Regulations.  Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent (with the exception of March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph) and Good Friday are days of abstinence for all Catholic from age 14 onwards.  On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fast as well as abstinence is also obligatory for those from the ages of 18-59.  Abstinence means refraining from meat,.  Fast means one full meal a day, with two smaller meals and nothing between meals (liquids are permitted).  No Catholic will lightly excuse himself or herself from this obligation.  We should strive to make all days of Lent a time of prayer and penance. 

Under Canon 1251:  Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday.  Abstinence and fasting are to observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

This year, the Solemnity of St. Joseph falls on a Friday during Lent.  Therefore, per the guidelines of this Canon, one would not be obliged to abstain from meat on Friday, March 19, 2021 of this year.

A virtual retreat is being offered by Fr. James Mason as a Lenten study.  Following Jesus in Freedom and Love.  The virtual platform is designed to be used by groups at parishes, family groups or groups of friends in your home or by individuals.  To register and for more information visit

 As regards an Associated Press article released recently calling into question monies received nationally by the Catholic Church for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an article disputing the AP report will be printed in the St. Louis Review.  The article is a national article prepared by the Catholic News Service.  Additionally, a statement has been prepared by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and reads as follows:

The Archdiocese of St. Louis Statement Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.

St. Louis--the parishes, schools and ministries of the Archdiocese of St.  Louis serve tens-of-thousands of people in need annually, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.  The novel coronavirus  only intensified the needs of the people we serve and the demand for our ministries.  In order to continue to function in a time of national emergency, various ministries within the geographical boundaries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis--including parishes as well as agencies such as Catholic Charities of St. Louis--participated in the Paycheck Protection Program.  Those entities that received PPP loans have used the proceeds to preserve jobs and services that support our local economy, as well as the many social services that help people of all faiths who are in need.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, a separately incorporated 501(c)(3), did not apply for nor receive coronavirus relief funding through the Paycheck Protection Program.

To echo the words of Archbishop  Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, who chairs the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's Committee of Domestic Justice and Human Development, the Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental supplier of social services in the United States.

(The message continued with multiple links for work done by archdiocesan parishes and ministries supporting those impacted by COVID-19.)
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! Currently there are no reported cases at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.  A few parishes and schools have been affected by COVID-19.  Most recently Ascension Parish in Chesterfield had to suspend all Masses for a short period.

The Year of St. Joseph, began December 8, 2020.  As this was declared by Pope Francis and the Universal Church, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will not also declare a year of St. Joseph, but will follow the lead of Pope Francis in celebrations.

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:

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

In order to keep our parish communities safe, if anyone in your parish community is diagnosed with COVID-19, please report.

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.

All guidelines from the Archdiocese of St. Louis for the offering of public Mass during the pandemic can be found at:

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

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.  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.

It should be well known that the Catholic Church does not support or condemn political candidates or parties.  That policy is followed by Fr. Ebert and Deacon Mike when speaking publicly.  Having said this, there are definitely political issues for which practicing Catholics may voice their opinions and Catholic teachings which lead us to support certain platforms or portions of a political platform without publicly condemning individual candidates or a particular political party.  The Catholic church is neither Republican nor Democrat, but supports and condemns various issues of all parties.  We encourage everyone to educate yourselves about candidates, political parties and issues and to have a good knowledge of Catholic teachings!

2020/2021 Parish School of Religion began in September.  Most of our classes will be learning from home until the COVID19 outbreaks subside.  Only the sacramental year classes will be meeting in-person each Wednesday night.  Our Second Grade (First Penance and First Eucharist) class will meet in person with  Mrs. Rachel Martin  teaching the Second Grade this year.  Students in the second grade PSR class are prepared for both Penance and Eucharist.  First Penance was received by our 4 second grade PSR students on Saturday,  December 20, 2020.  First Eucharist is scheduled for Sunday, April 18, 2021.  Mrs. Deborah Mount decided not to return to the classroom for the 2020-2021 year.  We thank her for her many years of service to the Parish School of Religion program and wish her well.  Deacon Michael Burch will continue to teach the 7th-8th Grade class.  This is a Confirmation year and students enrolled in the 7th-8th grade will be eligible to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of 2021.   Confirmation at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica for our students has been scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

It has been announced that there will be restrictions placed  on those attending the Confirmations scheduled at the Basilica of St. Louis  in spring 2021and additional dates are being added to the calendar.  At this time the April 25, 2021 date continues to be the date the Confirmands from Immaculate Conception will attend.  Five Confirmands  from Immaculate Conception have been registered to attend.  These five students are currently enrolled in our 7th-8th Grade Confirmation class and have been actively involved, either attending PSR regularly or studying supplied materials from home.  Additional Confirmands will not be allowed to register for the Confirmation Class at this time and would not be admitted to the Basilica because we are not allowed to increase the number of Confirmands we currently have registered to attend Confirmation at the Basilica.

As announced in our January 31, 2021 Sunday Bulletin, after much discussion and prayer, we have decided to continue our limited face to face Parish School of Religion classes for our sacramental year classes, Grade 2 (First Communion) and Grades 7 & 8 (Confirmation).  All other classes will continue with online learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Recommended safety guidelines are being followed for in-person classes.

PSR registration is available online.    In-person registration is available at the Rectory Office--please call first.  Please visit our online PSR page to print documents for PSR registration and media authorization. Fees are $50 per household for families with students enrolling in the sacramental year classes.  Fees are $25 per student, not to exceed $50 per family, for all other grades K-12.  Fees will not be pro-rated for anyone enrolling in less than the full year because these fees cover the cost of text books/materials needed for the class.

Books will be provided to students in all  K-6 grades who register.  Online resources will be provided to aid parents with their children's instruction.  High School, grades 9-12, do not follow a textbook; however, Mrs. Hoppe will be returning as catechist and will provide at-home lessons and activities for high school students who wish to participate.    Please pray for our PSR students and staff.

2021 Time, Talent and Treasure Directory has been submitted to Guide Book Publishing.  The proof has been approved and no additional changes can be made at this point.  Directories will be mailed to all registered households once they have been printed.  Any business that would like to have an advertisement placed in this directory should contact the Rectory Office for contact information.  Our directory is free to all registered households due to the the generosity of our advertisers.

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.

Stations of the Cross-Stations will be provided at both St. John the Apostle (Thursdays of Lent at 6 p.m.) and Immaculate Conception (Fridays of Lent at 6 p.m. and Good Friday at noon).  The usual format and access to the Stations of the Cross booklets will be modified.

Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday-Regular Holy Week and Easter Mass Schedule will be followed at both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle parishes.  Please be aware that capacity restrictions remain in place and this should be considered in deciding which Masses to attend.

Palm Sunday-Regularly scheduled Sunday Masses with Palm Sunday Processions at both parishes
Holy Thursday-Mass of the Lord's Supper at Immaculate Conception, 7:00 p.m. 1 Hour of Eucharistic Adoration to follow Mass.
Good Friday-Stations at Noon and Veneration of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. at Immaculate Conception
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil-Mass at 8:00 p.m.

Note:  Palm's will be provided for Palm Sunday but will not be distributed by greeters or ushers.  Please pick up your own palm.  Wear masks and maintain social distancing during processions.  Blessed palms will be available to be picked up from Immaculate Conception following the Palm Sunday Mass, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for those who do not attend the Mass.

Candles will be provided for the Easter Vigil, but may not be distributed by greeters or ushers.  Candles must be returned to a marked receptacle following Mass.

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%.  Neither Immaculate Conception nor St. John the Apostle have had to turn people away and there has always been plenty of room in our pews even at the 50% cap on capacity.

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.

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 a fever,  or if you have other symptoms associated with COVID-19, please stay home! 
For a list of symptoms visit the CDC website.  The link is provided below. 

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.  There will be no gatherings in the parish hall for coffee and donuts for the time being.  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.  

A 100th Birthday Celebration has been planned for Leamay LaPlant.  Friends and family are invited to attend and help to make this a special day for Leamay.  The celebration will take place on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 in the Immaculate Conception Parish Hall.  All who attend must wear masks and maintain the required 6 feet of social distancing from other guests.  Family units may disregard the social distancing requirement.  All who wish to attend are welcome; however, should the hall reach maximum capacity, additional guests will have to wait until other guests have exited.

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 restricted, but please keep us informed and we will do what we can when we can.

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

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. 

There are "stationary" collection baskets in place at weekend Masses.   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 .  For information about the virus visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control at .

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


Weekly bulletins are sponsored by:

Bauman Oil Distributors, Inc.
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Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc.
C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Homes
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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)
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Time, Talent, Treasure Directory 2020 sponsored by:

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First State Community Bank
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