Mass: Sat. 4 pm & Sun. 10 am
    St. Peter, MN
  • 507-931-1628

Parish Updates

Update #18

May 23, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz announced expanded guidelines for religious services during a Saturday press briefing, allowing houses of worship to reopen at 25 percent occupancy.

We will start celebrating public Masses on Wednesday, May 27 following our regular Mass schedule

Beginning on May 31, we will be live streaming our Sunday Mass on the St. Peter parish Facebook page.

As we come back to Mass, we will have some new protocols:

  • Pews, door hardware and restrooms will be sanitized after every Mass. 
  • Those over age 65 are strongly encouraged not to attend worship services. They are more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, this would be for their own safety as well as the safety of those gathered. 
  • Anyone showing any symptoms of sickness, or anyone who has a household member who is sick or showing symptoms of sickness should not attend.
  • Anyone concerned about attending should still stay home. The Sunday obligation for Mass is still dispensed by the bishop.
  • Seating in church – two out of three pews will be marked off so we have less than 1/3 seating capacity. Other than immediate family, people must maintain social distancing in pew. This means we will have less than 20% of seating capacity.  
  • Holy water fonts will remain empty. 
  • Everyone is required to sanitize their hands at the main entry
  • People are strongly encouraged to bring and wear their own facemask. Facemasks should not be put on children under age 2. 
  • Parents are encouraged to speak with their children before Mass to let them know that things will be different at Mass now.
  • No hand shaking in greeting people or for the sign of peace.
  • Priests who are part of a vulnerable population should keep social distance very strictly by not processing in and out of the sanctuary through the center aisle and not distributing Holy Communion. They will NOT wear a facemask during Mass but will maintain social distancing during the whole Mass.
  • Restrooms – use ONLY the restrooms in the narthex. Maintain social distancing while there.
  • Worship Aids – Each week we will have a worship aid because we can’t use song books at the present time. Please pick up a worship aid as you come in.
  • Collection basket will be set near the baptismal font for people to put in their envelope as they come in for Mass. Children’s collection will not happen at the usual time. If parents want their children to give, talk to them about putting their contribution in the basket (without touching the basket) as you come into church.
  • Communion – One-way traffic will be marked for receiving communion. Communicants follow the arrows indicating one-way traffic and maintain 6-foot distancing as indicated by marks on floor. Communion by receiving host only and only in the hand. Deacon/EMCs will wear facemask and sanitize their hands immediately before distributing communion. Gloves are not necessary since hand hygiene is effective against the virus. When blessing children and those not receiving communion, do not touch their head. We will distribute Holy Communion at the end of Mass. After receiving communion you may leave church maintaining social distancing. Anyone preferring not to come to the front/or unable to may receive communion after Mass. After people have exited, come to the aisle and an EMC will bring you communion. 
  • After Mass maintain social distancing as you leave using ALL exits. Pick up bulletins as you leave.

Please keep in mind that these protocol may need to adjust as we move forward to maintain the best safety practices for our parishioners. 

Update #17

Notes to Parishioners # 17 – Still Waiting for Public Mass
May 16, 2020

We were hoping to begin public Masses this coming week but Governor Walz did not open up that option for churches. In his speech on Wednesday, May 14, he said some businesses would be able to start opening on May 18th as long as they have made the needed preparations. He also said something about churches being part of the group perhaps opening on June 1st. The Catholic bishops of Minnesota had done their homework and prepared the protocols we needed to have in place so that our churches would be safe places as we began to celebrate public Masses again. We are prepared in both St. Peter and Nicollet to have Mass with social distancing, sanitizing hands and the pews, and other protocols needed to receive Holy Communion.

Friday Bishop LeVoir wrote, “While easing the stay-at-home order on Wednesday, May 13, the Governor’s executive order explicitly prohibited faith-based gatherings with more than ten unrelated people. Governor Walz has called a meeting of faith leaders for Monday, May 18, to solicit feedback on a new set of public worship guidelines that his administration will be producing for churches and other houses of worship. The date of re-opening for religious gatherings of more than ten people, however, is still uncertain.”

Please pray for the bishops’ meeting with the governor on Monday. It is time to return to public Masses!

Update #16

Notes to Parishioners # 16 – Confession schedule Correction

May 5, 2020

I was not thinking clearly when I made the original schedule for St. Peter for confessions. I can’t be in 2 places at the same time.

Confessions at St. Peter

     Wednesday and Saturday at 1:00pm or

     Call parish to set a time

Confessions at St. Paul

     Wednesday and Saturday at 11:00am or

     Call parish to set a time

Once we start with Masses (After May 19 the regular times)

Confessions at St. Peter

     Thursday at 3:00pm and Saturday at 3:00pm or

     Call parish to set a time

Confessions at St. Paul

     Wednesday at 7:30am and Sunday at 7:30am or

     Call parish to set a time

Update #15

Notes to Parishioners # 15 – begin limited public Mass

May 2, 2020

At 4:37pm Friday, May 1st we received a network alert from Bishop LeVoir about preparing to move toward limited public Masses starting on Monday, May 18. This came by email a couple hours after I sent my last Notes to Parishioners.

The Catholic bishops of Minnesota are working together and with the governor to begin opening our churches. “We plan to begin now to work with our priests and parish leaders so that we can be ready to begin some limited public Masses on Monday, May 18. We are developing a gradual, multiphase approach to return to public worship. These phases will allow for the ability to re-evaluate the process as necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of the community going forward. Our plan presumes that throughout the state the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will continue until such a time that it is safe for all to return.

  1. The bishops will develop carefully defined protocols to help keep people safe.
  2. Three phases to move forward:
  3. Phase 1 – We are currently in phase 1. Churches can be open daily for prayer, and priests as they are able can provide for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Confessions can happen in spaces that are well ventilated with adequate social distance yet still assure the privacy of the sacrament. It is also permissible to have weddings and funerals with no more than 10 people.

Church of St. Peter – chapel will be open Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 3:00pm. Confessions – Wednesday and Saturday 1:00pm or call parish.

Church of St. Paul – church will be open 10:00am – 2:00pm Sunday – Saturday. Confessions – Wednesday and Saturday 11:00am.

  • Phase 2 begins on Monday, May 18 – more information later.
  • Phase 3 – unknown when this will happen yet.

As we receive information about the protocols, we will make preparations for when we can begin having public Masses again.

Update #14

May 1, 2020

Governor Walz has extended the sty at home order to May 18. He also said that they will continue to work with different organizations about guidelines for them to open. Bishop LeVoir said that he and the other bishops in Minnesota are waiting to lift the suspension of public Masses in Minnesota, as well as working on what protocols would be required when public Masses are resumed. As of April 30, nothing definite has been decided. Please continue to pray that as soon as it is deemed safe, with protocols in place, public Masses can be resumed. We will have the protocols in place so we can start ASAP.

We know how to do social distancing. We may likely need to have a mask for each person to come to Mass. As soon as we know this information, I plan to send a letter to all parishioners in both parishes.

Keeping praying that we can wisely and quickly open up more each week. 

Update #13

April 24, 2020

Bishop LeVoir is joining Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, in a prayer of reconsecration of our nation to the protection of the Blessed Mother on May 1. This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus. Bishop will lead this prayer of reconsecration at 2:00 p.m.

The Catholic bishops of Minnesota and some of leaders of other faiths are working on putting in place protocols for the resumption of worship in our church buildings. It is uncertain when Masses will resume inside and what the protocols will be for Mass inside. As soon as I get this information, I will let people know.

We continue to pray that we can soon begin having Mass in church again. I will keep all of you in my prayers daily and as I offer Mass on Sunday.

Update #12 – Priest Moves & Retreat

April 18, 2020

You may have heard by the grapevine already about priest moves on July 1st. The UPDATE email from the diocese this past Thursday included all the priest moves in the Diocese of New Ulm which will happen on July 1st this summer.

I will be moving back to Marshall and serving as a senior associate pastor. Fr. Tony Stubeda will be pastor and Fr. Andy Michels will also be assigned there as a senior associate pastor. The parishes we will be serving are Marshall, Cottonwood, Green Valley, Tracy and Milroy.

Fr. Craig Timmerman will be the new pastor for our two parishes. As I told the staff, he is a good Belgian priest like me. He will be a good pastor.

Keep all of us priests in your prayers as we prepare to move. We will also be having our priest retreat this week by using Zoom video. That will be very different. I continue to pray for all of you.

Update #11 – Divine Mercy Sunday

April 18, 2020

Each week we go without Mass and separation from people becomes more difficult especially as we celebrate the most important days and weeks of the year at home. This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday established by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity. The devotion to Divine Mercy Sunday grew rapidly after its designation by Pope John Paul II. At its core, mercy is forgiveness. The Bible speaks of God’s love for sinners, for all of us. The Bible also relates mercy to other qualities beyond love and forgiveness.

How can we celebrate Divine Mercy at home? Get out an image of Divine Mercy, an image of Jesus with 2 rays, one red and one white, flowing from his chest. It has the words “Jesus, I trust in you.” We can pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet by ourselves or with family.

The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. 
(Repeat three times) 
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

4. Hail Mary

5. The Apostles’ Creed

6. The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

7. On the 10 Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

Update #10 – Wednesday, April 15

Communicating with Parishioners.

Happy Easter! In this unusual Easter with Masses only by TV, snow on Easter Sunday, people not working but staying home for a couple of months – we need to remember the light at the end of the tunnel. Jesus is Risen, He is Truly Risen!!! After every cross there is a resurrection when things are better than before. When we are deprived of the sacraments, we realize our yearning for them, that we cannot live without them. 

With the “Stay at Home” and no public Masses until May 4th, staying in touch and knowing what is happening in our parish and area faith community is much more difficult. I and the staff are using the regular channels and also extra ways. If there are any special needs please call me at the parish in St. Peter 507-931-1628.

Hopefully we will be able to return to publicly celebrating Mass and the sacraments soon. I am working on some guidelines for this. We will need to incorporate some additional precautions to avoid possible spread of the Covid-19 virus. As we get closer to this time, we will let you know what changes are needed.

I am continuing to keep everyone in my prayers. We pray especially for those serving the sick and needy.

Update #9 – Thursday, April 9

I am saddened to inform you that on Saturday, April 4 Eugene Hager died. I was privileged to celebrate the sacrament of anointing of the sick with him. Because of the “stay at home” order of Governor Walz we will have a burial service with a small number of the family. We will plan a memorial funeral Mass when we are able to do so. Please keep Gene and his family in your prayers.

Update #8 – Thursday, April 9

No Public Masses through May 4
Bishop LeVoir’s Message to All Parishes

In consideration of today’s (April 8) extended “Stay at Home” order issued by Governor Tim Walz, I have extended the suspension of all public Masses in the diocese of New Ulm to Monday, May 4, as an effort to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus. I understand how difficult it is for everyone not to gather together for Mass during this time. However, the fundamental operating principles of the Diocese of New Ulm are the prevention or the slowing down of the spread of the coronavirus and the spiritual well-being of our parishioners, while not endangering ourselves. All Catholics in the diocese remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. I will celebrate Holy Week liturgies privately. Each liturgy will be recorded and made available on the diocesan website that same day at the following designated times: – Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Thursday, April 9). Video posted by 8:00 p.m. – Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion (Friday, April 10). Video posted by 3:00 p.m. – Easter Sunday Mass (Sunday, April 12). Video posted by 10:00 a.m. • I will celebrate privately the Sunday Masses for April 19, April 26, and May 3. The Masses will be recorded and made available on the diocesan website that same day. • The coronavirus webpage on the diocesan website contains valuable resources for you and your parishioners. Visit it often for continued updates. During this time of crisis, please be assured of my prayers for you that you remain safe and spiritually nourished.
Pray to our Blessed Mother and ask that the pandemic be at such a stage of regression that we can gather together again safely in our churches for the Eucharist during her month: May. I offer the following prayer during this time of the pandemic. Prayer During Time of Pandemic:
Heavenly Father, our shelter from everything that threatens our life. The world is facing a pandemic of great proportion that does indeed threaten the lives of many. Having confidence in your mercy to free us from this pandemic, we come to you in humble prayer. We know that we can do nothing without you. So, we pray that you look with compassion on the afflicted and bring to them hope and healing. Grant eternal rest to the dead and bring your comfort to their families and friends who mourn. Heal those who are sick with the coronavirus and stop the spread of this dreaded disease. Aid our scientists to find a cure for this disease. To those who are dying, bring them peace. Bless our healthcare professionals and their staffs. Keep them safe and give them strength. Guide our leaders to make decisions that are based on the dignity of the human person and the common good of society. Give us the love necessary to reach out to others in this time of great need. We ask this through the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Pray for us. St. Joseph, Protector of the Church: Pray for us.

Update #7 – Thursday, April 9

Perhaps now is a time for sharing in the isolation Jesus’ followers felt, and to grow in our desire to be united with Him again in the Holy Eucharist.

Holy Thursday
Wash your children’s feet. As part of the recreation of the Last Supper, parents can wash their children’s feet (it is especially powerful having the husband or head of the house wash everyone else’s feet!). Like Jesus, we are called to serve others!

Adore Jesus – Usually, after the Holy Thursday Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is taken out of the Church and is in repose in a side chapel, where He remains until the Easter Vigil. Since adoring Jesus in-person is not possible at this time, spend some time in quiet prayer in front of an image or live-stream of the Blessed Sacrament.

Good Friday
Do Penance. Abstain from meat, and fast if you’re obligated. Other ways to do “little penances” include no salt or seasoning on food, no condiments or dressings, and eating prepared food cold (as opposed to reheating something leftover). Offer every little inconvenience in reparation for sins.
Read the Gospel account of Christ’s Passion & Venerate the Cross (John 18:1 – 19:42). At 3 p.m., read the Gospel account of the Lord’s Passion. Venerate the cross, and give your children the chance to kiss the Corpus of a crucifix. Observe a time of complete silence in the home (prepare your children for this!).

Holy Saturday
This is a somber day with Mass celebrated in the evening, the Easter vigil. Let us pray that we can soon return to public Masses.

Lord, help me
Be prepared, but not anxious.
Be aware, but not desperate.
Be vigilant, but not in fear.
Be joyful, but not clueless.
Be faithful, but not careless.
Lord, be my hope and my strength. Amen.
(Posted by Fr. Goyo Hidalgo, Archdiocese of Los Angeles)

Update #6 – Thursday, April 2

Some people have asked about blessed palm. Will there be some? If so, how can we get some?

We received this note from the diocesan office of worship. “Palms should be saved by parishes in the best way possible in order that they may be blessed and distributed at a later time.” We will keep the palm we have in the cooler and if they are still good when we are able to have public Mass again, we will bless the palm and make them available.

We are certainly living in an unusual time. I see hardly any traffic on the roads. There are only two of us at the parish office. The governor’s staff home order and Bishop LeVoir’s no public Masses until April 13 changes life for everyone.

Some thoughts for remembering Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

Holy Thursday – read John 13:1-15. Then as an act of sacrificial love and service wash one another’s feet. Have a simple meal and make a spiritual communion.

Good Friday – Remember that today is a day of fast and abstinence. Take a crucifix at home, make it the focal point, read the passion narrative (John 18:1 – 19:42). Take time focusing on the crucifix thinking about Jesus dying for you.

Easter – the Lord is risen. Let us rejoice and be glad! Read Matthew 28:1-10. Watch Mass on TV. Celebrate this most important event in the history of the world.

Know that I am keeping all of you, the residents and staff of our nursing home and various senior resident buildings, and members of both parishes in my prayers. There are many resources for prayer and Mass on TV.

Lord, help me
Be prepared, but not anxious.
Be aware, but not desperate.
Be vigilant, but not in fear.
Be joyful, but not clueless.
Be faithful, but not careless.
Lord, be my hope and my strength. Amen
(posted by Fr. Goyo Hidalgo, Archdiocese of Los Angeles)

Update Monday, March 30

Stay at Home – Now What?
In light of the Stay at Home order, some people may be experiencing extra time on their hands. During this time there are so many great opportunities to grow in your faith, right in your own home. Pope Francis in a recent homily reminds all Catholics of the poison of sloth. During this time, how do we not fall into the temptation of sloth if we all of a sudden find ourselves at home. Here are some ideas to help.

Walking Rosary
I was once given some of the best life advice when it comes to times of trial, fear, confusion, etc. to “Hold onto the Rosary as much as you can.” 
That being said, I want to invite all of our parishioners starting tomorrow/this Friday to join me for a live walking Rosary on our Facebook page at 1 PM for the continuing prayers for all of those affected by the Corona virus, for the people of our parish: for good health, safety, and well being during this time, and any other intentions you may have.

We will start tomorrow and continue this out as long as needed. Looking forward to seeing you, your families, etc. during this time! God bless!
~Joslyn – Director of Youth Ministry: Middle school/High school Youth Minister

Online Class about the Eucharist
Mary Grack will be leading an online Small Group to learn more about the Eucharist. The group will meet 3 times via Zoom on Wednesday at 1pm. 

This Small Group will go through the video series, Presence. You can view the trailer here

We will be using Zoom to meet. Zoom in a very easy way to connect with others. It is a free platform that allows multiple people to see and talk to each other over the internet. To participate you will need internet access on one of the following:smartphone tablet laptop computer with a webcam and microphone. If you’re interested but aren’t sure if you can meet via Zoom, contact Mary (507-327-8621) and she can help you out.

If you’re all set to join the group, sign up here

Jeff Cavins Session
Tonight at 8 PM ET — Jeff Cavins Will Lead the 2nd Session of His Virtual Bible Study
Jeff Cavins is leading Walking Toward Eternity Special Edition, a free virtual Bible study about hope and suffering that was created in response to the coronavirus.

This 8-session study is tailored to be of assistance to you in the questions and decisions that you will face, as well as your response to loved ones and colleagues during this time.

For most of us, lasting change is not easy. Experiencing change, even modest change, is what this study is all about.

Watch the 1 Session here.

The Eucharist in Scripture
The Eucharist in Scripture with Scott Hahn In The Eucharist in Scripture, discover God’s plan as it is expressed through the Bible and the Mass. This six-lesson study, presented by Dr. Scott Hahn, will unlock the meaning of covenant, sacrifice, and sacrament as understood in the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation.

This study will only be available for free for a short time. You can sign up here

Update Saturday, March 28

Keeping Holy the Sabbath
Greetings, 
We hope you all are doing well during this time that we are not able to come together as a community. Here are a few notes in regards to the church during this time.Parish bulletins are in plastic tub outside of front doors.The church will not be open during the Stay at Home order. If you would like to go to confession, please contact Fr. Denny at 507-829-2412 to schedule a time for confession.

Ideas to Have a Prayer Service in Your HomeThere are many online resources to lead a prayer service in your home. Here are the resources that are updated for the current week. Prayer service with young childrenPrayer service for all There is no official rite for leading prayer in your own home so you can modify it to fit your needs. 

Reflections on the Sunday’s Readings Mark Hart with Life Teen (audio only) Johnette Benkovic on Formed.org (video) Bishop Robert Barron (audio only)

Where to Watch Mass Online
*On Sunday, Sunday, March 29 (the Fifth Sunday of Lent), Bishop LeVoir will celebrate Mass (no congregation) at the Cathedral in New Ulm at 9:00 a.m. The Mass will be live streamed on the Diocese of New Ulm’s Facebook page @newulmdiocese.
*Fr. Mike Schmitz will be live steaming Mass at 9am CST on YouTube live via Ascension Presents.
*Bishop Barron will be posting daily Mass at https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/
*Additional Online Masses:CatholicTV Network https://www.watchthemass.com/ (Spanish Mass available)EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) daily Mass https://video.ewtn.com/daily-mass/ Fraternity of St. Peter http://livemass.net/ (Traditional Latin Mass) [May not work in Google Chrome]TV Masses are also available on some Public-Access Television stations throughout the diocese. Please check with your local station.

Upcoming online Parish MissionThere are a lot of great free resources out there. One particular event is a Parish Mission hosted by Casting Nets Ministries. 

“In these unprecedented times, Casting Nets Ministries would like to offer you some inspiration and hope.  We would like to personally invite you to a three-night, live online parish mission. During this time of “social distancing” Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart will stream right to your phone, tablet, computer or other device free of charge March 29th, 30th and 31st at 7pm CST.”

Learn more and register here.
 Upcoming Small Group about the EucharistMary Grack will be leading an online Small Group to learn more about the Eucharist. The group will meet 3 times via Zoom on Tuesdays at 1pm. 

This Small Group will go through the video series, Presence.
You can view the trailer here

We will be using Zoom to meet. Zoom in a very easy way to connect with others. It is a free platform that allows multiple people to see and talk to each other over the internet. To participate you will need internet access on one of the following:smartphone tablet laptop computer with a webcam and microphoneIf you’re interested but aren’t sure if you can meet via Zoom, contact Mary (507-327-8621) and she can help you out.

If you’re all set to join the group, sign up here
Update Wednesday, March 25

Update Wednesday, March 25

We receive a network alert from Bishop LeVoir today. 
“After prayer, reflection, and consultation, and in consideration of the most recent guidelines issued by local, state, and federal health authorities for slowing the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), I have made the difficult decision to extend this suspension through April 13 (Easter Monday). All Catholics in the diocese remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass during this time.”

Holy Week Liturgies: 

  1. No Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday or Easter Masses/liturgies in April. 
  2. Each Holy week liturgy will be celebrated privately by the bishop and recorded and made available on the diocesan website (dnu.org) that same day at the following designated times:
  • Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (Sunday, April 5). Video posted by 9:00 a.m.
  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Thursday, April 9). Video posted by 8:00 p.m.
  • Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion (Friday, April 10). Video posted by 4:00 p.m.
  • Easter Sunday Mass (Sunday, April 12). Video posted by 10:00 a.m.

Update Saturday, March 21st at 2:00pm

How and Why to Make a Spiritual Communion

Update Friday, March 20th at 2:30 pm

I will be sending these Notes out regularly during this time when we are not able to celebrate public Masses and must keep social distancing.
Today is the feast of St. Joseph. We pray asking him to pray for us as we face fearful things as he did. He trusted God to guide and provide. Let us imitate him.
A Prayer to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic
Most merciful and Triune God,
We come to you in our weakness.
We come to you in our fear.
We come to you with trust.
For you alone are our hope.
We place before you the disease present in our world.
We turn to you in our time of need.
Bring wisdom to doctors.
Give understanding to scientists.
Endow caregivers with compassion and generosity.
Bring healing to those who are ill.
Protect those who are most at risk.
Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one.
Welcome those who have died into your eternal home.
Stabilize our communities.
Unite us in our compassion.
Remove all fear from our hearts.
Fill us with confidence in your care.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Amen.
A reminder: even though we are not having eucharistic adoration as usually scheduled we are certainly welcome, encouraged to come to the chapel/church to pray in the presence of Jesus.
Even though we can’t have public Mass, I am praying for all of you, for those suffering from COVID-19, and all medical workers.
Our Sunday Visitor is providing a special free newsletter as a resource to parishioners. There are lots of resources available on this site. You can sign up to receive this free newsletter at this link. https://reply.osv.com/covid-19 (Unless you signed up previously you will not get any future emails from OSV.)
More just for you …
• As so many public Masses are canceled, many are being offered virtually, including Bishop Robert Barron, who will be offering daily Mass beginning today from his chapel.
• OSV’s Gretchen Crowe and Michael Heinlein are offering Night Prayer and a short daily reflection every evening at 9:30 on Simply Catholic’s Facebook page.
• On Sunday, Pope Francis left the Vatican to plead “for an end to the pandemic” that has struck Italy and the world.
• Did you know? Magnificat has generously agreed to offer its content online for free, accompanying those who cannot attend Mass.

Update Thursday, March 19th at 10:30 am

COVID-19 Pandemic Plan for Churches of St. Peter & St. Paul

3-19-2020

Goal:   To keep parishioners, staff, visitors and vendors safe. To avoid further pandemic spread. To continue to offer excellent programs and the sacraments.

Measures to be taken: Upon designation of a federal or state pandemic or similar designation placing Nicollet County in the affected area, our parishes will execute the following control and mitigation steps.

A.  Regarding Liturgies (Masses, Confession, Baptisms, Funerals)

  1. Effective March 18 through March 31, Bishop LeVoir has canceled all daily and weekend Masses. He has suspended all daily and weekend Masses and dispensed from the Sunday Mass obligation.
  2. When we are able to have public Mass again, the following guidelines will be in place:
  3. When coming into church please use the hand sanitizer.
  4. No shaking/holding hands at beginning of Mass, at sign of peace, during Our Father, after Mass.
  5. EMHC should sanitize their hands at the credence table before distributing communion.
  6. Holy water fonts will remain empty.
  7. As much as possible maintain separation, 6 feet.
  8. Stations of the Cross – Through March 31 there will be no parish celebration of the stations. People can pray the stations privately.
  9. Eucharistic adoration on Thursday at St. Peter is CANCELLED through March 31.
  10. Regular confession schedule of Thursday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:00pm and Saturday from 3:00 to 4:00pm will continue.
  11. Funerals:
  12. Funeral home guidelines: After lots of questions today in our Mankato office from churches and a ruling from the Winona catholic dioceses, we are going to the 10 person indoors for any viewing/service. A larger family would all be allowed to view, just no more than 10 at a time. A graveside service, being outdoors, could include all the family. Thank you for working with us as we work toward allowing families what they need to process a death while also keeping everyone as safe as possible through this.  Blake
  13. Funeral Mass – We need to follow Bishop LeVoir’s policy of no public Masses through March 31. We would/could have a burial in the cemetery and schedule a memorial funeral Mass later.
  14. Lunch – none for now in the social hall.
  15. Bulletins – In both parishes, bulletins will be on the table near the main entrance. There will also be a plastic tub outside near the main entrance with some bulletins in it at St. Peter and in the box outside the doors at Nicollet. The bulletin is also on the parish website.
  16. Chapel (in St. Peter) – Narthex and chapel will be unlocked on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Feel free to come in to pray. Please maintain social distance of 10 feet or more.
  17. Church (in Nicollet) will be open on Sunday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Feel free to come in to pray. Please maintain social distance of 10 feet or more.

B.  Faith Formation

  1. Children’s liturgy Sunday morning is cancelled.
  2. Youth Faith Formation classes, events are cancelled as long as school is closed.

C.  Pastoral Care

  1. Home visits will cease, except in an emergency.
  2. Care facilities will be consulted regularly to ensure that they are allowing word and communion services or Mass.

D.  Maintenance and Administration

  1. Maintenance will see that cleaning of door handles, etc. are cleaned with a germicidal cleaning agent.
  2. Parish staff:
  3. Any staff member exhibiting signs of sickness/illness will go home.
  4. Some of the staff will be working from home. If you need to talk to them call the parish or email them and they will get in touch with you.
  5. We are planning to have some of the staff in the office.
  6. Communication with parishioners:
  7. We will have a regular communication with people via email, Facebook, and parish website.
  8. Parish bulletins – will be available by the main entry and in a plastic tub outside near the main entry for anyone stopping to pick it up after hours.
  9. Contributions – our regular expenses will continue.

Update Wed., March 18th at 3:30pm

LOI Raffle

Due to State Gambling Rules, the Luck of the Irish Raffle will still happen this Saturday. If you have raffle tickets at home or would like to purchase them, please contact the parish office (507-931-1628).

The LOI event is postponed and the run is cancelled.

Message from Bishop LeVoir

Regarding Suspension of all Public Masses 

NEW ULM (March 18, 2020) – I am concerned that all people be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Consequently, due to the public health recommendations from President Trump’s newly issued guideline that over the next 15 days, Americans should not gather in groups of more than ten people, I am immediately suspending all public Masses in the Diocese of New Ulm from March 18 until at least March 31. All Catholics in the diocese are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass during this time. 

The fundamental operating principles of the Diocese of New Ulm as we face this pandemic are prevention or the slowing down of the spreading of the virus, as well as the spiritual wellbeing of our parishioners, while not endangering oneself. 

Up-to-date information pertaining to the coronavirus, including diocesan announcements, prayers, links to online and television Masses, and other resources, can be found on the Diocese of New Ulm website, www.dnu.org/covid19.

Fr. Denny will be sending out an email tomorrow with more details about our parish including how this impacts adoration. Please check your emails tomorrow for the updated information. All Masses in our Area Faith Community through March 31st are cancelled.


Update Tuesday, March 17th at noon

COVID-19 Updates

Here are a few updates from our parish. 

Masses

At this time, Masses will continue as scheduled. This may change in the days to come. 

Thrift Store

The thrift store will be closing at noon today and will remain closed at least through March 31st. If you know of anyone who is in immediate need of items from the thrift store, please contact the parish (507-931-1628) and we can arrange for those in need to get supplies.

Live Stream Masses

There are many options of Masses that you can watch Mass. 
TV Times:

  • EWTN: Daily 7am, 6pm, 11pm
  • KEYC Channel 12: Sunday 7:30am
  • KAAL Channel 6: Sunday 9am
  • KEYC-DT Digital Channel 12.2/
  • Charter 19: Sunday 9:30am

Internet Sources:

  • Youtube.com – Holy Redeemer, Marshall
  • EWTN.org
  • Catholictv.org
  • Mass-online.org
  • Livemass.net

Other Resources: USCCB.org

We are exploring options at our parish but we are not planning to live stream Mass from our parish at this point.

Formed.org

If you are wondering what to do with your time at home, formed.org is a great resource of quality, Catholic content.  If you don’t already have an account, the parish has paid for a subscription so you can click on “Sign Up” and the click “I belong to a Parish or Organization”. Then search for St. Peter, MN and our Area Faith Community will come up. Some things I would recommend from this website include:

Sunday Offering

During this time, we would encourage you to continue your Sunday offering if you are able. If you regularly use envelopes, you can send those through the mail. This might be a good time to consider signing up for online giving if you have not done so yet. It is very easy to set up online giving on WeShare. Or you can call the parish office (507-931-1628) and we can help you through it. 

Emails

Are you not receiving emails from the parish and would like them. Email Mary Grack (mary.grack@churchofstpeter.org) and she can add you to the email list.


Update Monday, March 16th at 7pm

Daily Mass

At this time we will still be having Daily Mass but we will be moving Mass into the main church sanctuary to allow for more social distancing. 

Luck of the Irish Update

LOI event and race has been postponed. We will continue to send out updates as things progress.


Update Friday, March 13th at 6pm

Response to Governor Walz’s Declaration

As you probably have heard, today (March 13) Governor Tim Walz has declared a peacetime state of emergency in Minnesota. He has recommended cancelling or postponing gatherings with 250 or more people.

What does this mean for Confirmation Mass this Sunday? Bishop LeVoir responded “Parishes are receiving questions about the celebration of Confirmation. Right now (and this could change as the efforts to slow the pandemic develop), I am asking that the Confirmations be held as scheduled, while doing the best that can be done to keep the number of worshippers below 250 as advocated by Governor Walz. I know this is an inconvenience, but Governor Walz has urged us to work together to slow the spread of the virus and this will involve sacrifice, something with which Catholics are very familiar.

For this weekend’s Masses, we ask you to consider attending a Mass other than the 10am Sunday Mass if you do not have a connection to a Confirmation Candidate. If you are able, we ask you to consider attending Saturday’s 4pm Mass or Sunday’s 8am Mass in Nicollet.Thank you for your consideration of this matter.


Update Friday, March 13th at 2:30pm

A message from Bishop LeVoir can be found here regarding Mass obligation and COVID-19. 

Masses in our Area Faith Community will continue as scheduled, including Confirmation Mass this Sunday at 10am. 

Message From Fr. Denny

Please read the whole letter (link given above) from Bishop John LeVoir about his dispensing people in our diocese from the obligation to participate in Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14/15; 21/22; and 28/29

Points for our parishes (St. Peter and St. Paul):
1. If you decide not to go to Mass, take time to listen to or watch Mass on TV or radio, OR pray the rosary OR make a spiritual Communion OR pray the liturgy of the hours OR Eucharistic adoration OR other devotions.
2. No shaking of hands – in greeting at the beginning of Mass.
3. No shaking of hands for the sign of peace.
4. No holding hands while praying the Lord’s Prayer.
5. No shaking hands with Father after Mass, just a verbal greeting.
6. Only the priest will receive from the chalice. Everyone else will receive only the host.
7. Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion will wash their hands before distributing Communion.
8. If anyone is in a high risk category due to current illness, age, or suffering from a chronic health condition or compromised immune system, they are asked to remain home.
9. If you have traveled to a high risk country or on a cruise you are also excused.
10. The regular Mass and confession schedule will be maintained.
11. Eucharistic adoration will continue as scheduled.
12. Stations of the Cross will continue as scheduled.
13. Please pray for those suffering from COVID 19, those providing medical care, our government leaders, and those with compromised health.
14. More information will be sent as needed.
— 
Fr. Denny Labat