ENTERING THE YELLOW PHASE

Dear Parish Member,

As residents of Luzerne County, we have long awaited Governor Wolfe’s announcement of a date to begin to reopen this area after the Coronavirus pandemic.  May 29, 2020 is the date when this County will enter the yellow level of re-opening.  At the same time Bishop Bambera has given detailed Liturgical Norms for Yellow Phase with Gradual Re-Opening.  June 1, 2020 will be the date when public masses will be open to our parish members.  These dates bring hope and expectation, but a realistic appraisal tells us that at least in the short term the best description for what is coming might be seen as the “new normal.”

          Please find below information which our Deanery Priests and I have discussed.  We share a large part of that conversation with you outlining the “new normal”.  Expressed in another way, and with the health and safety of our parish members as the main consideration, let us keep in mind that no one should expect that they are safer in church than in any other public place.

          People attending Mass will need to call the Rectory or email the rectory and make reservations.  Pa Health Dept. regulation say that assembly of people should not exceed 25% of capacity, 75 people.

Items to remember before attending Mass

  • Stay home if you feel vulnerable, experience any symptoms or if you are consider high risk.   Take your temperature before leaving home. 
  • The obligation to attend Mass is still suspended
  • No one should expect that they will be safer at church than in any other public place.
  • Social distancing will be maintained.
  • Masks will be necessary and usage will be monitored

Attending Church

  • Daily Mass will be offered Monday thru Saturday at 9 am.
  • Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, will be our opening masses.  Sunday Mass will continue to be live streamed at 10 AM Sunday Morning for all those who are unable to attend.
  • Mass will be limited to 75 people including servers, lectors, the deacon and myself.
  • Enter and exit by ramp door only.  Doors will be propped open.
  • Everyone must wear a mask.  Seating will be limited due to social distancing.  Pews will be labeled with 6 feet space in between.
  • Areas will be sanitized after each
  • Signage:  Congregants must sign-in per Pa Health Dept. regulations.  The purpose of this is contact tracing so if someone subsequently becomes ill we know who to contact.
  • There will be no holy water in the fonts.
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer will be available and necessary as you enter the church.
  • No hymnals or missalettes will be available.  They will be removed from the occupied pews.
  • No offertory collection.  Standing offertory baskets will be visible for you to give your offering.
  • No offertory procession, hand shake of peace or collection at this time
  • Distribution of Holy Communion will take place at the end of Communicants will leave their pews and make their way to the Ramp Door exiting Church and keeping a 6 foot distance.  It will be marked.  After you receive Communion you will exit the Church.  Do not return to your pews.  Priests will wear face masks to distribute Holy Communion.
  • There will be no socializing or gathering in Church or outside of Church. 
  • Communion in the hand is most recommended.  The Communion Cup is not an option.
  • Bulletins will be available at the Ramp Door with the offertory basket. 
  • Restrooms will be closed.
  • Keep in mind that people who have offered a mass for their loved ones will be the first considered on the reservation list.

God bless you,

 Sincerely,

 Rev. Phillip J. Sladicka, Pastor

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Welcome!

Queen of the Apostles Parish  established November 6, 2011 Avoca, PA. 

Staff

Office Hours

Office Hours
Mon - Fri, 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Guidelines for Returning to Mass

GUIDELINES FOR SAFELY RETURNING TO MASS

ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

We are pleased to announce that Eucharistic Adoration will resume on Tuesday, June 2, following the 9 a.m. Mass until 8 p.m. If you will not be observing your hour which you were previously scheduled, please contact the parish office at 570-457-3412 or Ann Jake at 570-457-3521.

We request that all adorers practice social distancing and sanitary practices. Please be aware that the restroom will not be available at this time. If you would like to schedule an hour of adoration please contact Ann Jake.

 
 

FROM THE PASTOR'S DESK THE PASTOR'S DESK

Dear Parish Family,

      Comprehension of speech is pretty much dependent on two people, the speaker and the listener. Even if the two speak a common language, the listener may have difficulty understanding if the speaker has a heavy accent. This dynamic comes into play in Luke’s account of Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to speak in different tongues. This attracted people from over a dozen regions, each one able to hear them “speaking in their own tongues of the mighty acts of God”. In order to comprehend what they were hearing, they must have overcome the difficulty of understanding someone speaking in their own language with a foreign accent. After all, even with the disciples inside a house the crowd recognized their voices as Galilean, which we know was a distinctive accent because it had given Peter away when he denied knowing Jesus. Yet they were still able to comprehend the meaning of their words.

      Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians lists some examples of the different gifts the Holy Spirit brings, including both “varieties of tongues” and “interpretation of tongues”. Speaker and listener are each blessed by the Spirit. May the Holy Spirit bring us insight and comprehension as we listen to the word of God. How does the Holy Spirit help us to hear, understand and express God’s word? Hallelujah!!

      Luzerne County turns Yellow this week-end. To begin returning to church for mass or any type of group of activity, we will need to limit group size to the directive of no more than 75 people until we reach Green. This is a fluid situation, being monitored closely by state officials. The Diocese of Scranton will abide by the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and will update with each new notification according to Bishop Bambera.  The safety of our members and our whole community, along with our opportunity to move through each phase to green, depends on our diligent efforts to arrange for 6 feet physical distancing, to provide adequate protective equipment (Masks), to tend to sanitization procedures, to restrict people with symptoms, and to monitor when people have potentially been exposed to the virus.

      Our parish staff are talking about plans for safety measures, distancing, protecting the vulnerable, handling known cases/exposure, contact tracing, etc. as we look forward to the Yellow Phase moving to full opening. We will continue to keep our Masses on line on our Facebook page till the crisis passes. We will begin with daily masses first and then move to celebrate weekend liturgies. Please continue to remember to drop off or send in your weekly contributions to the parish office during this time of special need. The parish bulletins will be on line for any of you to view. We are all in this together. Leave no one behind. Care for your family and neighbors in need. Offer to go for groceries or to the pharmacy for those in need. Check on them. Let them know your love for them. It’s important.

      Thank you for all you are and all you do. God bless you and perhaps I will see you in Church soon.

Happy Pentecost,

Fr. Phi

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DAILY INSPIRATION

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Mass 5-31-2020

Mass Times

Please remember that as of this time the Church is limited to 75 people per Mass including Father, Deacon, lectors and servers

Monday - Friday - 9 a.m. daily
Saturday - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday - 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Remember to call or email for reservations

All parish and church events cancelled due to quarantine

June

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There are no upcoming scheduled events.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

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CONGREGTIONAL MUSIC AND RECEIVING COMMUNION ON THE TONGUE

Following Bishop Bambera’s Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2020, a number of questions have been raised regarding congregational singing and distributing Holy Communion on the tongue.  These clarifications and recommendations are offered to parishes to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus: 

Congregational Singing at Mass

Congregational singing at Mass is discouraged at this time so as to minimize the spread of breath droplets.  Since music is still integral to the liturgy and enhances the experience of livestream Masses, the following directives are offered to parishes:

  • Parishes may still utilize a cantor and organist for Mass as long as they are at least 10 feet away from each other, the assembly, and any ministers in the sanctuary.
  • Cantors should serve more as soloists rather than encouraging congregational singing.
  • Advise the assembly that singing is not recommended at this point, even with a mask.
  • Choirs are not permitted at this point since vigorous singing in close proximity with others increases the risk of viral spread.

Specific Recommendations for Parish Music Ministry Directors:

  • Hymns and acclamations sung by the cantor at Mass should be brief so as not to prolong the liturgy: decreased Mass time equals a decreased risk of contamination.
  • Consider having the cantor only sing the antiphon, a refrain, or one verse of a hymn for the Entrance, Preparation of the Gifts, and Communion.
  • Acclamations sung by the cantor should have very few, if any, repeated phrases (example—using a gospel acclamation setting with three ‘Alleluias’ as opposed to one that has five or six).
  • Try having the cantor introduce some hymns or acclamations that the assembly is not familiar with to minimize any congregational singing.
  • Instrumental selections are also encouraged at this time, especially at the Preparation of Gifts and the Reception of Holy Communion after Mass.

Holy Communion on the Tongue

Although it is strongly discouraged, anyone who still wishes to receive Holy Communion on the tongue can be instructed to wait until the end of the Communion distribution after everyone else has received.  This will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others, as well as allow time for the priest to sanitize his hands properly after each person who receives on the tongu

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Faith Formation

Religious Education - Sundays - 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Deborah Yuschovitz - Director of Religious Education

Lori Ostrowski - Director of Youth Ministry

Volunteers are always welcome - Pennsylvania clearances required

All Faith formation classes are cancelled until further notice due to Covid-19 Stay At Home Order.  We will reorganize as per the directions of Governor Wolfe and Bishop Bambera when the order is lifted.

First Communion and Confirmation will be scheduled at a later date when all candidates are fully prepared and again when order is lifted