Safety Guidelines

Fr. Pat Walks Thru What to Expect



Safety Guidelines

Below are the guidelines implementing the diocesan directives. We list them for everyone’s awareness and ask for your cooperation to keep everything safe, orderly and reverent as we transition back into Church. Thank you in advance! 

Capacity & Seating Arrangements: 

For now, Masses will be limited to 1/3 capacity across the diocese. That means a maximum of 200 people at St. Catharine; however, keeping 6 feet space means we can safely seat 150 in both the Church and overflow in Fr. Scheg for Livestreamed Mass. 

  • Every other pew will be sectioned off.
  • You may be sharing a pew with another household, but social distance is required between the households (6 ft).   
  • Ushers will be available to help seat your household.   
  • Facemasks are required. 

Because it is impossible to accommodate all our parishioners for Sunday Masses, we are asking parishioners to be flexible in considering attendance on a different day of the week. 

Remember, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains suspended in the Diocese of Trenton. 

We are offering weekday Masses to give more people the opportunity to receive Holy Communion. 

Those who are hesitant or fearful because of COVID 19 concerns as well as those with a COVID 19 diagnosis or symptoms, those who may be asymptomatic carriers, those not feeling well, those with underlying health conditions or those in a high risk category should stay home and avoid any public gathering. 

Before You Arrive:  

  • Wash your hands.  
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer that can be used before receiving Holy Communion.  
  • Do Not bring items that contain bleach into the Church as this will damage the pews. 

Mass Arrival Procedures: 

  • Please park in the large parking lot in the back and come to the Gathering Space entrance by the bell tower. 
  • Face Masks should be worn as soon as you exit your vehicle.   
  • Arrive early to allow time to be seated.   

Mass Procedures: 

  • Please keep your face mask on for the duration of Mass.   
  • At the Sign of Peace, please just wave.  
  • There will be no collection taken. Receptacles will be available at the doors as you exit. Online giving is encouraged. Please support our parish by giving online HERE. You may also mail your donation. 

Communion Procedures: 

  • Receiving in the hand is strongly preferred.  
  • The precious blood will not be offered to the congregation.   
  • Use of personal hand sanitizer before communion is strongly encouraged.   
  • There will be a single communion line in the center of each main aisle as well as each side aisle. Ushers will assist in ushering each section.   
  • Masks should be worn in the communion line. After the priest places the communion in your hand, please step to the side, lower your mask, consume the Eucharist, and then re-mask as you head back to your pew.   

Mass Departure Procedures:  

  • After the final blessing, pews will be dismissed in an orderly fashion starting in the rear of the church and then moving forward.  
  • Please exit your pew when prompted. Private prayer is not available after Sunday Masses to allow the church to be cleaned and sanitized before the next Mass.   
  • All exits of the church will be utilized during departure.   
  • Unfortunately, Clergy will not be able to shake hands in the gathering space.   
  • Please do not congregate outside but head directly to your vehicle to allow the next Mass to start on time.   

 Confession Procedures: 

  • Confessions will be heard in the Chapel.   
  • The priest will either be standing or sitting. The penitent is to remain standing at least 6 feet social distance from the priest. This will reduce cleaning in between Confessions.   
  • Masks must be worn by all going to the Sacrament of Confession. 
  • If someone is going to Confession, other penitents will stand outside the Chapel near the cones. When you see the penitent leave the Chapel the next penitent can enter.  
  • This will be in place until at least September 7, 2020, when the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is lifted, unless otherwise noted.