St. Martin Catholic Church
58 S. Church St.
Chrisney, IN 47611
St Martin Catholic Church in Chrisney, Indiana

Letter to St. Bernard Parishioners

Dear St. Bernard Parishioners,

After not being able to hold Mass since the weekend of March 15, we are able to celebrate Mass again starting this week. Our first Mass will be Tuesday evening at 6:00 at St. Bernard. Our normal weekend Mass schedule will resume this next weekend on May 23rd/24th. Being able to celebrate Mass again does not mean all is back to normal. We are wanting to give you an idea of what you will experience when entering St. Bernard’s and how Mass will be conducted. As you read, please remember that we are required to follow the guidance that the diocese has given us. We are excited to be able to offer Mass to you and your family, but in doing so we have certain changes that needed to take place for this to happen. We must show respect to others by exhibiting social distancing as much as possible. Parts of the Mass will be changed in order to safeguard everyone participating in the celebration. The following is what you will experience moving forward for the foreseeable future:

1. We will try to have two ushers at every Mass, one will be at the back
of Church who will greet you with hand sanitizer and direct you up to
the other usher that will seat you.
2. Face masks are not required but are strongly encouraged. Face masks
will be made available to use and take home and reuse for future
Masses, but you are encouraged to bring your own.
3. To maintain social distancing every other pew will be closed off. Those
that you come in with will be the only ones that will be seated within
six feet of you in the same pew. If you are a family of two, there
will be a six-foot gap between you and the next family that will sit in
your pew. We do not know who lives in your household, so who ever you
walk into church with is how you will be seated if room allows. You
will not be able to save seats for another family member that may be
coming.
4. We will be seating everyone starting in the front of church and then
working back. Exceptions to this will be allowed on a case by case
basis (elderly needing to sit towards the back) but might not always be
available.
5. The actual Mass itself will relatively be the same with a few minor
adjustments.
a. All missalettes have been removed from the pews as it would be
impossible to be able to disinfect them.
b. We will do collection like normal but there will not be any offertory.
c. Communion will be distributed in the pews. Father will go into further
details how this will work at Mass.
d. Exiting church after Mass will be done starting with the back of church
and working towards the front.
6. We ask that when Mass is completed, exit in an orderly manner
maintaining your 6 feet of distance between yourself and the person in
front of you. We strongly encourage you to exit directly to your
vehicle and keep socializing outside of church to a minimum. For the
immediate future, scrip will not be sold before or after Mass.

We will plan on following these steps for at least the first weekend. We will evaluate afterwards or what worked, what needs improved and how can we better accommodate our parishioners. There will be a good possibility that we will be full and there will be some who will be turned away. If that happens to you, you have our sincerest apologies, but we need to follow the guidelines that have been set before us and to keep everyone as safe as possible. Please remember, this is a major step in the right direction. It is far from perfect and a long way away from where we want to be but last week, we could not celebrate Mass together and this next week we can. With God’s guidance, and patience by everyone of us, we will persevere and overcome these obstacles to become a stronger and more vibrant community of faith. Please, if you have any questions, call the Parish Office or you can call Ben Duttlinger @ 812-457-8927.

Thank you.

St. Martin Catholic Church • 58 S. Church St. • Chrisney, IN 47611 • 812-649-4811
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