4300 King Springs Rd SE Smyrna GA 30082 770-432-8579

From your pastor, Father Brian

You can watch Fr. Brian’s video statement here

May 21, 2020

Sisters and Brothers, as we continue to find our way through the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, know that I MISS YOU!  Now that that our newly installed Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer has provided directives for the reopening of parishes, we are hard at work to implement plans to keep everyone safe.  I strongly suggest that you read his directives, which can be found at https://archatl.com/2020renewal/2020/05/instructions-on-resumption-of-in-parish-worship-and-access-to-parish-facilities/

At this time, I cannot give you the precise date when public masses will resume at St. Thomas the Apostle.  Our parish has some relatively unique attributes – not the least of which are population density and, thankfully, enthusiasm for attending Mass – which make our safe opening especially difficult.  Our dedicated staff and volunteers are working as quickly as possible to put cleaning procedures, new training for hospitality ministers, video orientations and other important details in place.  We will notify you of our start date as soon as possible.

When we are able to reopen,
a few important things to keep in mind:
  • In the words of Archbishop Hartmayer:  “The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect for all in the Archdiocese through Sunday, June 28. Because of this, those wishing to participate in Mass and receive Holy Communion can do so by attending any Mass any day of the week.”  Hence, every day will be as if it is your Sunday Mass.
  • We will continue to offer video of the Mass via live stream.  Everyone is encouraged to continue their spiritual communion through this resource.  Staying home is still the safest option.
  • To make our reopening possible, we request donations of the following items:
    • Face masks
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Cleaning products that disinfect without bleach. Bleach will damage the pews.

    Please contact the office at 770-432-8579 or stthomasga@stthomastheapostle.org if you are able to supply any of these important items.

Volunteers Needed

We will need many volunteers in place to serve as hospitality ministers and to help clean between Masses every day of the week.  If you are willing to serve once, twice, or more days per week, please contact the parish office.  We will offer training before we begin a public Mass schedule.  I am thinking at this moment that 10 volunteers for each Mass will be necessary.

Get text notifications

Be sure to receive text notifications from the parish by signing up for the REMIND service.

Of course, the return will be very slow and the entry into the Church will be very different.  It will be as if one is attending a theater event with guidance.  Let us pray for a safe return. 

We are excited and happy to be on the path to reopening.  Please be patient as we work to GET IT RIGHT.  We will be in touch very soon with more details.

God bless you.

–Father Brian

Categories: Info

1 Comment

Janet Jenkins · May 26, 2020 at 4:21 pm

Establishing a system of “contact tracing” would be highly beneficial for our parish as we make reopening plans. I would like to offer a suggestion: all parishioners could keep a log recording the dates and times of all the Masses they attend. If a parishioner becomes infected with Covid-19, they can contact the Church informing of which Masses they attended prior to their diagnosis. Then St. Thomas can notify parishioners so that they can be aware of the possible exposure based the Masses they attended. This is just a thought. Keeping a log or sign-in book at Mass would be risky due to being a high touch point item.

Another helpful thing, there should be an announcement of all locations in the surrounding area where parishioners can receive Covid-19 testing.

I’m sure we will get many great ideas and inspiration of ways we can make reopening safe with God’s help!

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