Dear Parishioners of IHM and St. Mary’s in North Little Rock,
Bishop Taylor has announced that public Masses in the parishes of our diocese of Little Rock can resume on the weekend of May 16/17 or earlier if ready. After prayerful consideration, I decided that all Masses in both parishes, Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Mary, will resume on Saturday, May 16th. The reason for this is that we are not ready to implement all restrictions and guidelines. Our staff is getting ready and preparing our church with volunteers to keep everyone safe. Starting on May 16, all our weekend Masses will resume the regular schedule:
Immaculate Heart of Mary
5:00 pm Saturday Vigil Mass (English)
8:00 am Sunday Mass (English)
10:30 am Sunday Mass (English)
4:00 pm Saturday Vigil Mass (English)
10:00 am Sunday Mass (English)
12:30 pm Sunday Mass (Spanish)
Live-streaming Masses will continue for those who choose not to join us. We are going to live-stream the Vigil Mass at 5 pm and it will be available on our Facebook page for those who would like to watch Mass later on.
Remember that the dispensation of the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday remains in place. This dispensation applies to everyone, including those at high risk, those taking care of the elderly and sick, and those who are not able to attend because of the limited number allowed in our church building due to the restrictions.
There are a few requirements and restrictions to attend Mass at the church:
- -Our parishes can hold only 25% of our total capacity, keeping the distance recommended between families.
- -All people older than 10 years of age attending Masses MUST wear a mask covering mouth and nose. You cannot participate in the Mass without a mask. Church cannot provide masks.
- -Ushers are going to accommodate all people attending Masses in designated pews. Please, follow their instructions.
- -Restrooms (in church and Parish Life Center) are closed to the public.
- -We discourage you bringing children under 7 years old. (No access to restrooms)
- -Your donation will be collected by baskets with long poles. Please drop your envelope and do not touch the basket.
- -Stay in your pews for Holy Communion, the Eucharistic Minister will come to you.
- -Bulletins will be distributed and handled by ushers only.
I would like to remind you that many of the restrictions are still in place. I encourage you to pray and follow your conscience to make a prayerful decision. Fr. Joseph and I will continue providing the celebration of the sacraments for those who are coming to Church or following through internet.
Same restrictions apply to confessions, funerals, baptisms and weddings until further notice. ALL parish groups meetings are cancelled.
Starting Wednesday, May 20th, a priest will be available for confessions at the Youth House. (Drive through confessions – please remain inside your car)
It has been over 40 days since our last public Mass. We are happy that we can gradually come back to Church. I am aware that this time has been a very difficult one for our parishioners. I believe that our longing for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Lord is sincere and real. Let’s celebrate our Eucharist at the banquet that the Lord prepares for us, for those who are physically present and those who cannot come.
Our concern for each other must translate in a charitable presence for those who are vulnerable. We celebrate this good news but we keep caring for each other.
I continue praying for you!
Fr. Ruben Quinteros