Divine Mercy Related CoVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
As soon as announcements regarding parish changes are made, they will be posted here. Please continue to check Here, Facebook, and your emails for any updates or changes.
Divine Weekly Update
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way...
-1 Corinthians 1:4
Parish News and Prayer Opportunities
As we near the holiday season, we wanted to make you aware of the following Mass dates and times, so you and your family can bring the Lord into your hearts and homes.
** Seating is limited. Please stay tuned for more information regarding seating accommodations.
A note about Advent Reconciliation Services. We are unable to have an Advent reconciliation service this year due to coronavirus. Everyone is encouraged to attend Saturday confessions or to make an individual appointment for reconciliation. Peace in your heart makes more room for God this Advent. What a wonderful way to prepare for His coming!
Our Annual Stewardship Pledge Drive will begin this weekend. Please consider your giving to the Lord - of your time, talents, and financial resources, as you journey in faith. You may have noticed in the bulletin that our contributions are declining. Your contributions are very important in the continuation of our operations and ministries. Please consider increasing your donation if you are able. Commitment Sunday will take place this weekend, November 28th & 29th. How are you building a Family of Faith?
If you’ve been at either of our locations, on College Avenue or Marquette Avenue, you’ve probably seen a special banner. This banner is dedicated to all Divine Mercy Parishioners and supporters of Catholic education in gratitude by our School children. Congratulations to Charlie Nameth (K5), Sebastian Gates (5th), and Maya Torgerson (7th) for having their artwork chosen to say “Thank you” to the parish! All students from K4 through 8th submitted a gratitude and thanks themed poster to the Parish Communications Committee. From these posters, three were chosen. The artwork can be seen on three special banners, two located at College Avenue and one located outside of the parish church on Marquette Avenue.
The Mass Intention Book and Sanctuary Lamp Openings for 2021 will be available beginning Monday, December 7th from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at 800 Marquette Avenue in the Gathering Space to allow for proper distancing that first day. After this date, intentions will be taken at the Parish Office.
The FunFest Meeting for Tuesday, December 1st, has been canceled. We hope to be able to meet in January. Please watch for upcoming news and announcements.
2021 Calendar Raffles are here! Looking for a wonderful gift that has the potential to give all year long? Divine Mercy Calendar Raffles will be available with a chance to win each day of the 2021 year! Sales and distribution will be a bit different this year due to COVID. To avoid lingering and lines, calendar raffle tickets will be available after Masses this weekend and at the Parish and School Offices. We encourage you to take your raffle home to fill out and then return it, along with your $20 payment, in the collection basket, by mail, using the drop slot at the parish office, or dropping it off at either the school or parish offices. With limited numbers being sold, your chances of winning are great! Be sure to get yours soon!
Divine Mercy Christian Women are holding a diaper drive during the month of November. The collection will be donated to South Milwaukee Human Concerns and the Pregnancy Help Center. All sizes are needed. Donations can be dropped off in the Gathering Area. Thank you for your support in this final weekend.
Remember the Giving Tree this Black Friday weekend while you are shopping! Things are a bit different this year - no tags - but there are still many families in our community in need of help, this year especially. We are asking for gift cards and monetary donations which will be given to South Milwaukee Human Concerns, our Divine Mercy St. Vincent de Paul Society and Eras Senior Network. Gift cards in any denomination ($5, $10, $25, $50 or more) to the following stores are greatly appreciated: Pick 'n Save, Woodman's, Wal-Mart, Amazon, McDonalds, Game Stop, Target, Kohl's, Walgreens, Meijer. Please place the gift card/s or monetary gift in an envelope marked "Giving Tree" and place it in the collection basket. If possible, please also include the receipt for the gift card so the recipient knows the value of the card. Please do not leave your gift cards at the tree or unattended in the Gathering Area. All gift cards and monetary donations are due by Sunday, Dec. 13.
Thank you for making the holidays brighter in this difficult time of Covid. A Blessed Christmas to you and your family.
The Phillip and Loreen Farmer Family Memorial Scholarship Fund is having a Berres Brothers Coffee Fundraiser. Order from the very popular Berres Brothers Coffee (Wisconsin made) and the company will give you 15% off and a 15% donation to the Scholarship Fund for a student at Divine Mercy. Opt to pay for shipping, or pick up in Watertown to save a little more money. Berres Brothers has excellent flavored coffees as well as other options. Just visit www.berresbrothers.com/discount/FFSF and use code FFSF (which should automatically come up on your order). Thank you for your support!
The Divine Mercy Buildings and Grounds Committee continues to seek two people with knowledge and expertise in the areas of electricity or electrical systems and HVAC-R to join our team and help keep Divine Mercy running smoothly. If you are interested in assisting or learning more about these opportunities, contact Patty Bollis, Director of Administrative Services, 414-762-6810 or firstname.lastname@example.org, at the parish office.
Just a reminder that our Celebration of the Mass is only possible to the extent that everyone is doing their part to protect themselves and each other by following the health and safety guidelines. Thank you for wearing a mask and for keeping it on for the duration of the Mass to ensure a healthy worshipping environment for all.
We continue to stream our 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass for our homebound brothers and sisters. You are still an important part of our parish and we continue to pray with and for you. Masses are available for viewing anytime after they are streamed live on our Divine Mercy Facebook and YouTube channel.
Please remember in prayer the family, friends, and souls of all the recently deceased of our parish, especially Patricia Wood. May she enjoy the fullness of life in the company of the risen Christ, and may those who mourn receive the gift of God’s peace in their time of grief. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Don’t forget to drive thru and pick them up your pie order TODAY, Wednesday, November 25th from 2 - 5 pm at our College Avenue site. **Remember to enter from Badger Avenue. The College Avenue driveway is permanently EXIT ONLY.** Thank you for your order; it was very sweet of you!
Shop with SCRIP and support our school! Simply fill out your contact information on the form, indicate your order, and place it in the collection basket, return it to the parish office, or email it to Kristin Menzia. Kristin will contact you when and where to pick up your order. Payment can be included with your order or at the time of pickup. We're hoping this procedure is only temporary, so please be patient. God bless and thank you for supporting Divine Mercy School!
With that being said, returning to mass is going to be different. We understand that this will be quite a transition, and in all honesty, this is a challenge for all of us on the parish leadership. We want to accommodate the best way possible, but at the same time, maintain a safe, clean, and comfortable environment for all. In order for us to return safely, we need the cooperation and positive support from everyone. This is not the time to criticize, complain, or find fault. Through the efforts of our parish leadership, the Prayer and Worship Committee, and the staff from the Archdiocese, we have put together a plan that will achieve our number one goal: That EVERYONE stays safe! In order for us to keep things moving orderly and safely, it is imperative that everyone cooperate.
Mass Accommodations **THE ALPHABET SUGGESTIONS ARE NO LONGER APPLICABLE;
Mass Times: Saturday, 4pm= A-H Sunday, 7:30am= I-O Sunday, 11:00am= P-Z
In order to spread our congregation out as evenly as possible, we are suggesting you come according to your last name in the alphabet. This isn’t a requirement, just a suggestion. We won’t be checking your photo ID’s! However, if you are able and don’t mind making a slight change in your mass schedule for the time being, it would really help keep the numbers evened out to accommodate everyone.
As you notice, we have omitted, for the time being, the 9:30 Sunday mass. This is NOT PERMANENT- we will resume with 4 once our associate pastor arrives in August. There are 2 reasons for this:
- This is to allow enough time for our maintenance crew to do a thorough sanitization and cleaning of the church, bathrooms, and gathering space in between masses.
- Per Canon Law, Father Joe is only allowed to say 3 masses. We are without a help out priest at this time.
This the 25% of our current seating capacity, which is all we can have at this time. Also, this capacity is for Sunday masses ONLY. Per the Archdiocese, we must continue to limit the occupancy for funerals and weddings until further notice.
- There will be ONLY ONE ENTRANCE/EXIT, which is in the narthex area only. This is to ensure that we can keep an accurate count of who enters, and also minimizes contact with other areas to clean/sanitize.
- Ushers will open doors for parishioners, and all interior doors will be left open.
- EVERYONE is required to sanitize hands before they enter the church, even if you’re wearing gloves. There will be 2 ushers/greeters to give that to everyone as they enter church.
- Once you enter the building, parishioners must immediately go to their seats. Therefore, if someone wants to sit with a friend or family member who hasn’t arrived, they will need to wait in their cars until their group arrives and enter together.
- Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn by parishioners. All of our volunteers will be required to wear masks and gloves.
- Ushers will seat parishioners EVERY OTHER ROW, at a safe distance. Members of the same family may sit close, but at least 6 feet distance between others. Ushers will start at the front, and work their way back in order to keep an eye on capacity. Please respect and do as the ushers ask of you.
- Once we have met capacity, we will not be able to accommodate extra people. Those will be asked to either come at a later time or watch masses online. This will be enforced.
- Please stay home if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms of Corona, Flu, fevers, nausea, or other illness. If you come in sneezing or coughing, we will ask you not to enter the church and to go home.
- It is strongly recommended that if you are in the “at risk” category, have underlying medical conditions, or experience extreme anxiety with being around others at this time, to stay home and watch our livestream.
- The Archbishop has granted dispensation, or permission, from attending mass in person until August 2. You are, however, strongly encouraged to participate in spiritual communion if you feel the need to stay home at this time.
- Doors will be open when we are ready to open them. This is to allow time for proper cleaning and sanitizing before and after each mass. Please wait in your car until the “all clear” has been given.**
- Please, if at all possible, take care of all bathroom business before you come to church. Our bathrooms will be available, but we want to avoid any gathering of people as much as possible.
- We will not have any hymnbooks or orders of worship at this time. All song lyrics will be presented on the screens, or you can download them from our Daily Update every Friday.
- We are also pleased to say we can hand out bulletins. If you would like one, please ask an usher who will be prepared to hand you one with zero contact. You may also access it on our parish website.
- All holy water fonts have been emptied until further notice, so holy water is not available.
- For the time being, vigil candles will not be available to light.
- During the Sign of Peace, we ask that there is no physical contact during this time. Just wish your neighbor the Lord’s Peace.
- Under the directives of the Archdiocese, communion for the sick and homebound will NOT be available until further notice. Only those present in church can receive communion.
- Eucharist is to only be received in the hand at this time. No Blood of Christ will be offered until further notice.
- Only Father Joe will be distributing the Eucharist. We have an organized way of getting people through the communion line. If for some reason you cannot come forward, please let an usher know so we can have Father Joe come to you.
- Please remember- mass ends when Father Joe gives the final blessing! We ask that you not leave early, in order for us to dismiss in an organized manner. Also, we exit the way we came in.
- When mass has ended, we will be dismissing people row by row, starting from the balcony, then the back to the front. This is a great time for parishioners to take time to pray as they wait. This is a form of reverence and respect for our Eucharistic Lord, and also provides a prayerful atmosphere as we dismiss.
- For the time being, the Presentation of the Gifts has been eliminated from the liturgy, per the Archdiocese. We will be taking collections after mass has ended, and we ask that all parishioners drop their collection in a basket on the way out of church.
- Ushers will have hand sanitizer available on your way out to use before leaving. We encourage everyone to wash hands once they arrive home.
- There will not be any time for social gathering in the gathering space or parking lot. As you are dismissed, please go immediately to your car. This is to allow for enough time for the cleaning crew to sanitize.
- Once you arrive home, it is strongly recommended that you wash your hands, and wash your clothes immediately.
- At this time, confessions will be heard by appointment only. We cannot use the confessional room due to the social distancing rules, and we have no place available before masses to protect your privacy. Please contact Father Joe at the parish office to set up your appointment.
Most of all, please pray for our community and for an end to this disease. Pray for Father Joe, and for all priests, as they navigate this new way of attending mass. Pray for our parish leadership and staff as we work to implement and make this transition as seamless as possible. Pray for our parishioners, especially those who may not be ready to join us, that they will be back with us very soon to worship.
We can’t wait to see you soon! God Bless You!
Father Joe and the Divine Mercy Administrative Team
This is something being asked by people who have been surprised upon late arrival that they are unable to get in. As mentioned in previous Divine Daily Updates, it is our policy to lock the doors once Mass begins for safety and to control the number of attendees. As a reminder, here is that policy:
We will be opening the doors for Mass 30 minutes prior to the start time. Doors will be closed and locked once the Mass begins, or when we meet our capacity, in order for us to keep tabs on the number of people in the building.
We understand our return to Mass has been a strange transition for all, us included! However, for everyone’s safety it is important we maintain these protocols. For the reasons explained above those arriving late will not be able to enter. This applies to daily and weekend Masses. Please be sure to arrive within that thirty minute window! Thank you!