IN-PERSON MASSES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Update, October 23, 2020: St. Thomas Aquinas continues to offer in-person Masses on our regular pre-pandemic schedule and to live-stream all Masses except the 4:30 PM Saturday Mass. If you enjoy working with computers and technology, marketing, or social media, please consider volunteering to learn to operate the live-stream. We will provide training. We are only able to make our worship available to people in their homes because a number of people have stepped up to share Jesus’ love through this vital ministry, and the only way we can expand our offerings to include Saturday afternoon is if several more people learn how to do it.

We welcome Fr. Jim Kuhn and Fr. Tom Gillespie as our Mass presiders this weekend, while Fr. Bart takes some time off.

Update, October 16, 2020: We continue to offer in-person Masses with live-streaming on Facebook and YouTube, subject to limits imposed by social distancing. Because the number of people attending weekend Masses has been increasing, we are starting to open space in the chapel and Social Hall for overflow seating for people who arrive after we reach capacity in the sanctuary itself. The Mass will be broadcast in the overflow areas and communion will be offered to those attending Mass, whether they are seated in the sanctuary or in one of the overflow areas. If you would like to review our safety practices at St. Thomas Aquinas, a summary is available at https://stamadison.org/covid-19-protocols-at-sta/.

On Sunday, October 18, Bishop Hying will join us to bless the new choir area, sacristy, A/V system, confessionals, and solar panels at the 10:00 AM Mass.  Because we expect more people than usual to be present, on October 18 ONLY there will be an additional Mass at 12:30 PM for anyone who prefers a smaller Mass or whom we are unable to admit at 10:00 AM.

As explained in our August 12 Update (below), please continue to contact Terri Kopplin (608-833-2606 or terri@stamadison.org) to RSVP to attend Mass. Your cooperation helps us plan so we can offer the sacraments safely to as many people as possible.

Update, September 28, 2020: Fr. Bart received the results of his Covid-19 test, and it came back negative! Fr. Bart wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for him and who sent him kind, encouraging messages.

Update, September 26, 2020: On Monday and Tuesday of this week the priests of the Diocese gathered for their annual assembly. After the gathering, one priest who works with vulnerable people and is therefore tested weekly for Covid-19, had his weekly test and it came back positive. That priest had no symptoms while at the gathering and Fr. Bart was not in close contact with him, but he was at the gathering, therefore, as recommended by Public Health Madison Dane County, he is taking extra precautions to avoid close contact with people and will not be distributing communion this weekend and will not do any face-to-face confessions. Fr. Bart feels well and plans to be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution.  A copy of the letter from the Diocese announcing this exposure is at the following link: Media Release COVID-19 Positive Person Presbyteral Assembly 200925

Update, August 12, 2020: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated this Saturday, August 15, with a bi-lingual Mass at 9:00 AM in the temporary chapel in the social hall. You may attend either in person or by live-stream on Facebook or YouTube. If you prefer to attend in person, please contact Terri Kopplin (terri@stamadison.org or 608-833-2606) to reserve a spot. Because it falls on Saturday, Assumption is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year. The readings and a booklet with the music and Mass parts for the Assumption Mass is available at OoW 2020-8-15 BVM.

Update, July 24, 2020: We continue to offer both in-person and live-streamed Masses and to abide by the terms of the Emergency Orders issued by Public Health of Madison & Dane County, including the requirement that masks be worn in all public buildings in Dane County. Currently all weekday Masses, the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass, and the 6:30 PM Spanish Mass are live-streamed from our temporary worship space in the Social Hall and the Masses on Saturday at 4:30 PM and Sunday at 10:00 AM are celebrated in the Church without a live-stream. Our capacity for Masses in the Church is about 150 and for Masses in the Social Hall is about 75. So far we have been able to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend Mass. Please continue to sign up with Terri Kopplin to attend weekend Masses. An order of worship for this weekend’s Mass is available at https://stamadison.org/live-stream-mass-this-weekend/. Please contact the parish if you have any questions or concerns.

Update, July 10, 2020: On July 7, 2020, Public Health of Madison & Dane County issued Dane County Emergency Order #8, effective 8 AM Monday, July 13, which mandates that masks be worn in all public buildings throughout Dane County (see sections 1e and 7 of the order below). This applies to all of our parish facilities: our parish offices, worship spaces, and all public spaces within the church buildings.  Please plan to wear a mask when you come for Mass, come into the building to pray, whether privately or with others, come for any on-site meetings, or visit the parish offices.

The parish continues to have a limited number of masks available. If you have your own, please use yours instead. We wear masks, not only because it is mandated, but for the benefit of our health and as a solution to the continuing pandemic. Thank you, and God bless you for all you are doing to keep St. Thomas Aquinas safe for everyone.

The full text of Emergency Order #8 is available here in English and in Spanish (en español).

We continue to welcome people to Mass up to 50% of our capacity and limited by social distancing. We ask that you notify Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass and which Mass you plan to attend so we can ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone and can notify you if there are any last minute changes. We will continue to live-stream Masses for everyone who is still not able to attend in person.

Update, July 3, 2020:  We continue to welcome people to Mass up to 50% of our capacity limited by social distancing. We ask that you notify Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass and which Mass you plan to attend so we can ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone and can notify you if there are any last minute changes. We will continue to live-stream Masses for everyone who is still not able to attend in person.

We are excited to announce that we have installed iWave Air purification units in our buildings to help make the air cleaner. For more information please visit www.iwaveair.com/ or the July 12 bulletin.

Update, June 26, 2020:  We continue to welcome people to Mass up to 50% of our capacity limited by social distancing. We ask that you notify Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass and which Mass you plan to attend so we can ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone and can notify you if there are any last minute changes. We will continue to live-stream Masses for everyone who is still not able to attend in person.

If you have not already reviewed our guidelines, please do: Return to Mass Guidelines.

Update, June 20, 2020:  We continue to welcome people to Mass up to 50% of our capacity limited by social distancing. We ask that you notify Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass and which Mass you plan to attend so we can ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone and can notify you if there are any last minute changes. We will continue to live-stream Masses for everyone who is still not able to attend in person.

If you have not already reviewed our guidelines, please do: Return to Mass Guidelines.

Update, June 12, 2020:  As of 10:30 PM yesterday, the 8:00 AM Mass on Sunday, June 14, in the Social Hall is basically full.  That Mass will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. There is still plenty of space at the 4:30 PM Mass on June 13 and the 10:00 AM Mass on June 14.

Update, June 11, 2020:  This weekend we will be welcoming people to Mass up to 25% of our capacity. Based on attendance last weekend, we do not expect to have to limit attendance, but we still ask that you notify Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass and which Mass you plan to attend so we can ensure that we are able to accommodate everyone and can notify you if there are any last minute changes. We will continue to live-stream Masses for everyone who is still not able to attend in person.

Masses will be in the following locations and times:

  • Saturday, 4:30 PM:  Church, no live-stream
  • Sunday, 8:00 AM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall
  • Sunday, 10:00 AM:  Church, no live-stream
  • Sunday, 6:30 PM in Spanish:  Church, no live-stream
  • Monday, 8:30 AM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall
  • Tuesday, 5:30 PM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall
  • Wednesday, 8:30 AM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall
  • Thursday, 7:30 AM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall
  • Friday, 8:30 AM: Live-streamed from the Social Hall

If you have not already reviewed our guidelines, please do: Return to Mass Guidelines.

Update, June 5, 2020:  This morning Public Health of Madison and Dane County raised our limit for Masses from 50 to 25% of capacity.  The parish email we just sent out this morning does not reflect this change. For this weekend, all Masses will be in the Social Hall at 25% of the capacity of that space. Because this is still a tight limit for us, please continue to email Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org if you wish to attend Mass this weekend. And if you want to receive ongoing updates from the parish by email, please contact Mary Bailey at mary@stamadison.org or stamadison.org/contact/ and ask to receive parish emails.

Update, June 3, 2020:  Currently we are limited to no more than 50 people at each Mass, including the priest. This is less than the number of people who want to attend our Masses, so a reservation will be required to attend any weekend (Saturday afternoon or Sunday) Mass. To get on the rotation of people attending Mass in person, please email Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org or call the parish office (608-833-2600) and leave your name, email address, and the number of people from your household who want to attend Mass.  Terri will contact people just before the weekend to let them know whether they will be able to attend Mass that weekend. Bishop Hying as lifted the Sunday Mass obligation until further notice, and we will live-stream Mass at 8:00AM Sunday on Facebook and YouTube as well as our Masses Monday through Friday.

Weekday Masses are not as full, so at this time there is no reservation needed to attend Mass Monday through Friday, but we would still like you to email Terri or call the parish office so we have an idea of how many people to expect. If this changes, and reservations for daily Masses become necessary, we will notify all the people who have sent us their information. Also, if you are able to attend daily Mass and would be willing to NOT attend a weekend Mass to free up an opening for someone who cannot attend during the week, please let us know. Several people have already made this sacrifice, and we are deeply grateful.

We have returned to our regular schedule of Masses, confession, adoration, and devotions, except that the Friday morning Rosary has moved on-line for now.

When you do return to Mass in person, you will notice a number of differences intended to help keep everyone worshiping here safe, comfortable, and healthy.  You can read Return to Mass Guidelines to get an idea of what to expect.

Update, May 29, 2020:  If you want to attend a weekend Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas, please email Terri Kopplin (terri@stamadison.org) to get your name on the list to sign up for an opening at one of the Masses.

On Friday, May 22, the Diocese of Madison announced that public celebrations of the Mass, open to a limited number of people, will resume with the vigil Mass for Pentecost, Saturday afternoon/evening, May 30.  Because of continued risk from the coronavirus, live-stream Masses will still be offered.  The Diocese strongly encourages people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus due to age or underlying health conditions to continue to stay home from Mass and avail themselves of the live-stream.  In addition, anyone who has COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 should self-quarantine and stay home until cleared by medical professionals.  Bishop Hying has lifted the Sunday Mass obligation at least through the month of June.

St. Thomas Aquinas will resume its regular Mass and confession schedule with confession at 3:15 PM and the 4:30 PM Mass on Saturday, May 30.  Attendance will be severely limited.  Because of construction, we are only able to live-stream Masses from the Social Hall, not the church, but the capacity in the church is greater than the capacity in the Social Hall.  Therefore, some Masses will be in the Social Hall, and others will be in the Church.

To help us ensure that we do not exceed our attendance limit and still make the Eucharist available to as many different households as possible, please email Terri Kopplin at terri@stamadison.org or telephone the parish office to let us know if you want to attend Mass at the parish on May 30 or 31.

We are implementing a stepped-up schedule of cleaning and sanitizing between Masses, and the Masses themselves will look different.  Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance, and we urge everyone to use it when they arrive and depart. All staff and ministers will wear face masks. We encourage worshipers to wear masks as well in order to help keep those around you safer and more comfortable.  We will have some masks at the parish to give out in case you forget yours.  There will be no congregational singing, and some Masses will have no music at all.  There will be no physical contact between people at Mass; therefore, we will not pass the peace and offertory baskets will not be passed.  We will have stationary baskets where people can leave their offerings as they arrive or depart. Our ministers of hospitality will guide us as we arrive, leave, and go to Communion to ensure we remain 6 feet apart.  Only the Precious Body will be offered to the people at Communion.  After Mass people will be encouraged not to linger and socialize inside the building after Mass. More information about other changes will be shared as we work out the details.

Starting Saturday, May 30, we will have the following schedule of Mass and confession”

Saturday:
Confession at 3:15 PM in the Lower Conference Room
Mass at 4:30 PM in the church–no music, no live-stream

Sunday:
Mass at 8:00 AM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube; some music
Confession at 9:00 AM in the Lower Conference Room
Mass at 10:00 AM in the church–no music, no live-stream
Mass in Spanish at 6:30 PM in the church–no music, no live-stream

Monday:
Mass at 8:30 AM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube

Tuesday:
Mass at 5:30 PM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube

Wednesday:
Mass at 8:30 AM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube

Thursday:
Mass at 7:30 AM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube

Friday:
Mass at 8:30 AM in the social hall–live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube