Poland, OH 44514

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From Your Pastor-December 6, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to wish all of you a blessed Advent Season full of God's Love, Peace and Hope as in Faith we are preparing to celebrate the upcoming Christmas Season.  As I am writing this letter on December 1st I am not sure what is going to happen in a few days or weeks before us.  Nevertheless, after a proper discussion and consultation with our Parish Pastoral Council, we have created a plan for masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I know that this is not going to be an ideal solution, and many of you will not be happy about it, but we are trying to do what we can while keeping everyone safe and protected.

There is limited seating capacity due to social distancing, therefore we are adding an extra mass as well as an overflow space. Upon the recommendation by the council members, there will be no preregistration or reservations online. The seating capacity of the church is now around 205 people. We are creating another worship site at the Parish Center with additional 190 seats. With these seating limitations we have created a schedule for our parish as of December 1st, 2020.

On December 24th we will have two 4 pm masses at the same time, one in the church and one at the Parish Center, the school gym will be an overflow location for 4 pm Mass. Then we will have 8 am and 10 am Mass in the Church and the Parish Center will be an overflow location. On Christmas Day we will have 8 am and 10 am Mass in the Church and the Parish Center will be an overflow location. On Saturday evening and Sunday morning (the feast of the Holy Family) we will have our regular weekend schedule. Every mass of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be streamed live and available online as well as at overflow locations. Maybe you wonder, what would be the benefit of watching mass in our gym or the parish center if you can do that at home. The only difference would be that we will distribute Holy Communion to those who are going to watch mass at these locations.

As I am writing this letter, I feel like an innkeeper in Bethlehem, who was telling Mary and Joseph that there was no room in the inn. Today, I am telling you that there is a possibility that there would be no room for you at your preferable mass time, but please use your right judgment and prudence when making your plans. If you can avoid Christmas Eve Mass or if you find out that the mass is already full, please try to understand our present situation. Thank you for your understanding.

Have a blessed day,

Fr. Martin

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