Reopening Plans

To our faithful Parishioners,

The time has come when we can finally begin to celebrate Mass together. How much have we missed this?! We will begin this weekend with two options: Saturday, June 13 at 4 pm and Sunday, June 14 at 9:30 am (for this week, they will both be outside - see below!).

There are a few important considerations that I want you to know. First, Mass will not look like it did in the beginning of March, and may not for quite some time. Please be aware of this and prepare yourselves. The guidelines that were put together are based on what we currently have in place from the CDC, the NYS Governor’s office and the Diocese of Buffalo (please read their guidelines). In a few weeks, once we enter Phase 4, things will change again and we will adapt to whatever comes along. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing are essential components of the guidelines. Inside the Church, guidelines limit us to ¼ capacity, so we felt outside Mass would not only allow more people, but also would have much less restriction. 

Second, there is an incredible number of committed, passionate members of our Parish Family who have been studying this and helping to make this all happen. I cannot thank them enough, because this is a daunting task and it would be easy to be overwhelmed by everything. There are two guiding principles that we have embraced: Mass must be open to everyone, to the greatest extent possible and the safety of those most vulnerable is at the heart of our decisions. This requires patience and concessions on the part of everyone. It will not be easy but it will be worthwhile to again share in the sacrament which is the source and summit of our Christian life. 

The obligation to attend and receive communion is still revoked by the Bishop. This means that there are still choices for your comfort level to "attend" Mass - if you want to watch the live stream Mass from home or if you want to drive-up, but stay in your car the entire time, that is OK by the Church. Please also know that if you are attending a Mass and have any level of discomfort or reservation, just refrain from communion until you are more comfortable. Jesus is present to us in the word and in the community and in ourselves in a very real and powerful way already. 

Finally, we are rushing a bit because the directions from the state were unexpected and our committees thought we had a few more weeks to prepare for this. Our plans for live Mass may not go as smoothly as we would like at times. It is ok - because we are interested in making progress and becoming better; not in achieving perfection. We will strive to do the best we can. 

So, this week - to start - we will livestream Mass inside the Church on Saturday at 4pm, as we have been. We are inviting those who wish to come, to park the side parking lot of the Church and listen to a broadcast of the Mass on your car radio by tuning to 88.9 on the FM band. Or, you can watch it from your phone on the website or Facebook as you have been doing. Then, at communion, we will come outside and invite you forward to receive. We cannot go from car to car, nor do communion as your drive up. You must exit your car and come forward. If you are handicapped and cannot easily get out of the car, please let the usher know.

On Sunday at 9:30 am, we will have an outdoor Mass which will be broadcast on 88.9FM, but not live-streamed. There will be ushers who will invite you forward. The exact instructions are listed below. 

And on Monday, we will begin daily morning Mass at 8:30 am. Please note, with the restrictions in place until we reach Phase 4, we hope to accommodate everyone who wants to come, but when the Church is filled to a 25% capacity that will allow the appropriate social distancing, you will have to remain in the parking lot and we will bring communion out to you. I am not anticipating this will be the case, but just to let you know. And remember - this is only temporary! Once we enter Phase 4 in a few short weeks, we will be able to accommodate everyone inside. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

So, by next weekend I hope we will have the wrinkles out. The Bishop gave us the ok to start and said we could go when we are ready. So, ready or not, here we come! Please continue to support your parish in prayer and with your continued financial support - we are so grateful for both, always. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” These are the rules that are worthy of our consideration and will help us to follow the difficult ones.

Our Herald has been put on hold this week due to this exciting broadcast, but expect it to come next Tuesday with any updates on the opening process and other info - including our upcoming events, such as the Father's Day Roast Beef Dinner, Raffle and Pie Sale. One little note here - we still need 56 pies for the event - if you would be willing to make any amount of pies, please contact Pat Heslin at (716) 937-9292 or email [email protected]. Again, thanks for your understanding as we navigate the entire process together!

In the love and peace of Christ,
Debbie Brown
Pastoral Administrator


After the Governor's very recent announcement, we are overjoyed to be able to worship together in person once again, and to share in the Eucharist. We are working to open quickly, but safely within the 25% occupancy requirement. Please follow the plans below, which reflect guidelines from the CDC, NYS, and the Diocese of Buffalo. 

As guidelines change, our policies below will be updated to reflect that.
Thank you!


Vigil Mass on Saturday at 4pm (This Mass will be celebrated in Church, but Parishioners can only listen or view from homes or the parking lot - please do not come into Church for this Mass):

  • This weekend, for the 4pm Vigil Mass, we are keeping the same format for online Mass, so please do not enter the Church at any time during this Mass.
  • Parishioners are invited to come to the parking lot or side lawn by 4:00 pm where you can listen in real time by tuning in your car radio to 88.9 FM.
  • Mass will be celebrated in the Church and the regular live stream will continue, so you can also watch the livestream from your phone/device.
  • Please maintain a 6 foot minimum distance between families while on Church grounds.
  • During the Communion Rite, someone will come out to distribute Communion. Ushers will invite you to come forward in lines toward the Church to receive the Eucharist. Please follow their directions.
  • Please keep 6 feet of distance and wear a mask during the line up to Communion, receive it in your hand only, step to the side and lift your mask to consume the host, replace mask, then return to your seat/vehicle.
  • You are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer to use whenever appropriate.
  • Weekly Worship Aids are available on the St. John’s website for printing or viewing on your own devices.
  • At this time, congregational singing is discouraged (unless in your own vehicles!) However, our Music Ministry will still be present.
  • The Order of Service may be found in the Worship Aids tab (be sure to click on the correct date).

Outdoor Mass on Sunday, 9:30am (This Mass will be celebrated outdoors at the side entrance): 

  • Please do not enter the Church at any time during this Mass.
  • The full Mass will be celebrated OUTSIDE at the side entrance of the Church!
  • Parishioners are invited to watch from the parking lot and lawn.
  • Please maintain a 6 foot minimum distance between families while on Church grounds.
  • You can listen in real time by tuning in your car radio to 88.9 FM.
  • During the Communion Rite, ushers will invite you to come forward in lines toward the Church to receive the Eucharist. Please follow their directions.
  • Please keep 6 feet of distance and wear a mask during the line up to Communion, receive it in your hand only, step to the side and lift your mask to consume the host, replace mask, then return to your seat/vehicle.
  • You are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer to use whenever appropriate.
  • Weekly Worship Aids are available on the St. John’s website for printing or viewing on your own devices.
  • At this time, congregational singing is discouraged (unless in your own vehicles!). Music Ministry will still be present.
  • The Order of Service may be found in the Worship Aids tab (be sure to click on the correct date).

Daily Morning Masses resume IN the Church, Monday-Friday, 8:30am:

  • Please wear a mask when you enter the Church and for the duration of your time there.
  • You are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer to use whenever appropriate.
  • Some pews have been closed off to assist with appropriate physical distancing.
  • Ushers will seat Parishioners from front to back as they arrive.
  • During the Communion Rite, you may come forward to receive the Eucharist, lifting your mask to do so. Please follow the directions of Ushers or Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
  • Your help disinfecting the pew you sit in will be appreciated! Cleaning wipes will be available.

We are looking forward to being with you! Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to ensure the health and safety of all our parishioners.

Sincerely,
Debbie Brown, our Worship Committee & Our Pastoral Council