St. John Paul II Newman Center will resume Mass on May 4 in accordance with the current COVID-19 restrictions, according to an email released on April 30.
The Archdiocese of Omaha published guidelines and safety measures that follow Gov. Ricketts’ decision to allow churches to resume services on May 4. The governor’s decision states that places of worship can meet as long as they ensure six feet of separation between household units.
At this time, no visitors are permitted to attend Mass at the JPII Newman Center. According to the JPII Newman email, services will only be offered for students, JPII Newman staff, FOCUS missionaries and UNO faculty and staff members. The Archdiocese of Omaha also requests that anyone who is at risk, lives with someone at risk, shows symptoms or has been exposed to COVID-19 stay at home.
“We believe that because our parish is small, we have the ability to regulate the parameters necessary to keep everyone safe while also being together again at JPII Newman liturgies,” stated the email.
JPII Newman will continue to live-stream the services on its Facebook page. The people who want to attend Mass in-person will need to sign-up via a Google Forms sheet to comply with the occupancy safety guidelines.
Before and after services, people are asked to sanitize their hands. The oratory doors will remain open to reduce touching of common surfaces.
Holy Communion will be provided during service, without the use of a Communion rail, recipients must keep six feet of distance while waiting in line. The email suggests that worshippers take Holy Communion by hand, but if they wish to receive it by tongue they are asked to wait at the end of the line.
There will be tape markers placed on the pews in order to maintain the CDC recommended six feet distancing. Extra chairs will be provided in the back to increase social distancing. After each Mass, the seating will be sanitized.
“I am grateful that soon we will be able to welcome parishioners back to our churches for Mass,” said Archbishop Lucas from the Archdiocese of Omaha in a statement on the governor’s decision to ease Nebraska’s COVID-19 restrictions. “We will work within the necessary restrictions for everyone’s safety. We continue to pray for those who lead our local and state governments, those who shape our public health policies, all suffering from COVID-19 and those who care for them.”