Not Feeling Well??

The Diocesan Office of Worship offers these guidelines during the flu season which might be helpful in containing its spread. The most important preventative measures include vaccination, sneeze and cough hygiene (covering appropriately) and thorough hand washing.

Pastors should remind their parishioners to stay home if they are ill. It is NOT a mortal sin to miss Mass if one is sick or taking care of someone who is ill. If someone presenting symptoms does come to Mass, they should refrain from shaking hands or sharing in the chalice. Those who are prone to infections (for example, those who are older or are taking medications that suppress the immune system, or are pregnant) should also refrain from shaking hands or sharing the chalice.

The Sign of Peace does not require the shaking of hands – parishioners may acknowledge each other with a smile or bow.

Attention should be paid to cleaning surfaces, such as pews and doorknobs/ handles. There is nothing here that should not be part of good practice anyway. Having hand sanitizer and tissues available is encouraged.

While not forbidding handshaking and the use of the chalice at this point, awareness and mindfulness can help keep everyone safe. If the influenza season worsens, consideration will be given to other aspects of protection and prevention.

Blessings, Father Dooley