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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

Friday, September 18, 2020

“The last will be first, and the first will be last.”
- Matthew 20:16
Parish News and Prayer Opportunities
Welcome to Phase 2 of the Catholic Comeback Matrix!  With Archbishop Listecki deciding to end the Mass dispensation this past Monday, the decision was also made for the Archdiocese to enter Phase 2 of the Comeback plan.  The updated matrix is available here, with the matrix changes for Phase 2 highlighted in red. If this weekend will be your first time back to Mass at Divine Mercy - Welcome Home!  We’ve missed you and are eager to share the Eucharistic Feast with you once more!  We know that many are still apprehensive about returning to Mass; after all, COVID-19 has not disappeared.  We do want to assure you that we take your health and well-being (spiritual and physical) very seriously.  We have been strictly and vigilantly adhering to an abundance of the best, recommended practices to ensure your health and safety while at Mass.  Through cleaning and sanitization occurs between each Mass.  All attending our Masses are required to wear masks unless they have a special circumstance.  Hand sanitizer is required upon entering the church, as is adherence to social distancing from those outside your family while in the pews and for communion; there are tape marks in each pew and on the floor to aid with this.  We ask if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid, that you stay home.  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.
We invite all who are able to return to Mass.  Our church capacity of 25% of our occupancy (250 persons per Mass) with an overflow capacity in the Gathering Area for an additional 35 people, has not yet been reached.  Our 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. Masses tend to have more room.   When attendance does increase, we will offer additional Masses to accommodate all who wish to attend.  If it happens that we reach capacity at a Mass and we must close the doors, we ask that you consider attending one of our other Mass offerings.  We will keep you up-to-date when we add more Masses.  With all that being said - we are delighted to have you back with us and praise God that we can share in the joy of the Mass and gifts of Eucharist together!  We look forward to worshipping with you!
We will 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
While the dispensation has been lifted, there are still exceptions for those exempt from the obligation to attend Mass.  Under normal circumstances, Catholics are already dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for grave reasons, such as illness, care for sick or infants. Today, being in the high-risk category for contracting COVID-19 is considered a grave reason. Archbishop Listecki reminds the faithful that fear is not a grave reason to miss Mass, and he urges everyone to carefully examine their consciences about a decision not to attend Mass. “Remember, a well-formed conscience is upright and truthful,” Archbishop Listecki writes.  
This weekend, we are celebrating Catechetical Sunday.  We pray in a special way for all those in our Christian Formation Program and Day School, who help pass on the faith to our children.  May God our Father, the Father of Love, fill you with confidence and joy as you proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.  
Save the dates! The Divine Mercy Dynamic Men’s Group is beginning its 2nd year starting Tuesday, October 13th. This fall’s program will focus on Bishop Robert Barron’s study series, “The Mass.” Click here for details and a sample of what we’ll be doing.  We will meet for seven Tuesdays (Oct 13/20/27, Nov 10/17/24, Dec 8) from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in the Marquette Avenue Gathering Space following proper protective protocols. Please contact Gary Branger  at  to sign-up or for more information.
You’re invited to join in the peaceful vigil of 40 Days for Life and pray for an end to abortion.  The next campaign will take place from September 23 - November 1 with our local prayer vigil location being Affiliated Medical Service at 1428 N. Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee.  “Prayer is the best weapon we possess.  It is the key that opens the heart of God.” - St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Saturday Confessions have returned!  Each Saturday at 3:00 p.m., both Fr. Joe and Fr. Harry will be available to hear confessions at Marquette Avenue.  In order to provide safe distance and still maintain confidentiality, they will be utilizing the classrooms just off our Gathering Area.  The waiting area will be in the large room of the gathering space.  Please note there is a capacity of 35 people in the gathering space.
Procedures for Reconciliation at Divine Mercy
  • Enter through the narthex door, and hand sanitize upon entering.  Masks are required. 
  • Please wait at a safe distance of 6 feet between each person in the large room.  Seats WILL NOT be available at this time, as we are unable to sanitize properly.  
  • Once the priest is ready, proceed down the hallway and enter the room.  Do not wait in the hallway.  As people exit, the next person can enter.
  • Confessions will be heard behind a screen.  Penitents will need to stand, as we must limit  physical contact with items, and there isn’t enough time to sanitize between confessions.
  • Shut the door behind you, and leave your mask on during confession (for both the priest’s and your protection).
  • Use a cleaning wipe to open the door as you leave and throw your used wipe away in the provided trash can in the hallway.
  • If staying for Mass, please enter the church through the narthex in order for the ushers to maintain an accurate count for capacity.  
  • If choosing not to stay for Mass, please exit out of the building through the front doors on YOUR LEFT.  A sign will direct you.
We are so glad to be able to offer this Sacrament of Healing once again.  Thank you for following our procedures.  Your cooperation is what allows everyone to remain healthy and safe, and for us to keep the doors open so people can encounter Christ, be formed in Christ, and proclaim Christ. May the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you!
Please remember in prayer the family, friends, and souls of all the recently deceased of our parish, especially Frances Magestro and Janet Sweet. May they 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 them, O Lord.  And let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 
Thank you to Karin and Joe Szarzynski for your donation of a Keurig coffee maker to the Office!  COVID restrictions have made shared niceties, like our communal coffee, off-limits.  Both our Parish and School staff have been enjoying a personal version of hot beverages thanks to your thoughtfulness.  We appreciate your generosity!  
Just a reminder that the parish and school have Wish List items (like the sacramental chalices, plates and thuribles that were recently blessed at Mass)  that can be donated toward in memoriam of a loved one or out of generosity, like Karin, Joe, and other parishioners.  Please contact the parish office (414-762-6810) if you’d like to donate.  Thank you!
 School News
Save October 17th for the Annual Soles for Education Walk (Virtual) this year!   We need YOUR support to make Catholic Education the best it can be.  100% of your donations go right to our school.  Details on how to help and participate are coming soon.  We hope you’ll walk with us on our journey toward a great, Catholic education!  
SCRIP is back on a smaller scale, but is more important than ever to support our day 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! 
~Kristin Menzia
8th grade parent & parish organist
Cub Scout Pack 235 is having their Wreath and Popcorn Sale!  
Divine Mercy Pack 235 has been offering scouting adventures to our parish youth since 1967, and is one of the oldest Packs in the Milwaukee area.  Cub Scout Pack 235 is again selling popcorn products and Christmas wreaths this year to raise money to support our scouting programs.  If interested, please see the order forms in the links and return to the parish office or contact James Gates with your order by Monday, October 19th.  Products will be delivered before Thanksgiving, and no money is due until delivery.  Thank you for your support of scouting in our Parish!
-Cubmaster - James Gates  (414) 301-9121

Anticipated & Previous Divine Daily & Weekly Updates



Catholic Comeback

Dear Parishioners,
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad!  Psalm 118:24
Praise be to God!  We can finally return to the altar as a community.  This has definitely been a challenging time for our Church, yet we have been strong and faithful.  Thank you for your patience, your prayers, and your support through these last 2 months.  It’s through those prayers that we have been able to stay strong and connected.

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 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Per Canon Law, Father Joe is only allowed to say 3 masses.  We are without a help out priest at this time.
Occupancy per mass= 250 people 

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.
Criteria to Enter and Exit Church
  • 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.
Who knew we would have to learn how to come back to mass?!  While these guidelines seem a bit much, it is necessary that we all follow them in order to respect the need for everyone’s safety.  The only way this works is if everyone cooperates.   The more we follow these guidelines, the quicker we can all return safely to mass.

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
**Why are the Church doors locked once Mass begins?
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!

Dear Friends, 
Join us for September 13th's "Sunday Reflection" from Auxiliary Bishop Jeffrey Haines, presented by Catholic Financial Life.
We hope that you will join us by watching these Weekly reflections and sharing them with your community. May God bless you!