Welcome to the Nativity Update Center, a dedicated space on our website designed to keep parents, staff, and the entire Nativity community informed about the effect of the Coronavirus on our community.
This Update Center serves as an ongoing reliable resource for the entire Nativity community, demonstrating proactive and transparent access to critical information. We will continue to update this with news and information as it becomes available. It is our mission to keep you informed on how we are preparing to cope with Coronavirus and any other potential health-related or time-critical topics. We hope you’ll find it useful.
This Weeks Readings
Reading 1 – EX 34:4B-6, 8-9
Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai
as the LORD had commanded him,
taking along the two stone tablets.
Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there
and proclaimed his name, “LORD.”
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
“The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.”
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own.”
Reading 2 – 2 COR 13:11-13
Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the holy ones greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Gospel – JN 3:16-18
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Dear Nativity Parishioners,
These have been trying times for all. There has been, and will continue to be, much illness, suffering and death due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. May no such suffering be in vain. As citizens, and conscientious members of society – taking seriously our call to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world – we have been asked to disrupt our lives, alter our routines, and make sacrifices. May it also be true that our sacrifices have been offered – and continue to be offered – in union with the One Sacrifice of Christ, for the healing of the nations.
As we all know, in the Guidelines for the Resumption of Public Worship, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/ministries-offices/worship/resumption-of-public-worship-covid-19/, permission to resume public Masses, as early as Monday, May 25th has been given. Simultaneous with the possibility of resumption of public Masses, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass has been extended UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This, I believe, is recognition that the present health crisis will continue for some time, and that there is insufficient objective medical and scientific data to suggest we are returning to normal in the near future.
“All who are vulnerable to infection (due to age or underlying medical condition) as well as those who may be agents of transmission of coronavirus, should exercise all reasonable precaution with any public gathering and avail themselves of the dispensation.” If the home is in truth the “Domestic Church,” stay at home and be Church. Keep Sunday holy in your homes.
For our Parish, I take our cue from the approach adopted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, https://www.archchicago.org/coronavirus/reopening. “We must be honest,” Blaise Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, writes. “We expect this situation to continue for some weeks, and any plan for reopening our churches for public worship must include every precaution to ensure public gatherings do not create a second wave of contagion, thus squandering the gains made through our sacrifice in these days.”
I am asking the same of you. Plans for reopening church MUST include every reasonable precaution. In the past few weeks, we have been blessed with the generosity of several parishioners who have come together as a COVID-19 Response Team, and have assisted me in determining what to do. The team includes Dr. Jeanne Corwin, Dr. Ted Gossard, Julie Kulhanek – Nurse, Kathy Michel – Nurse, Dr. Darcey Thornton. They bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and common sense from their areas of expertise in the medical and corporate worlds; a wealth without which I would have no real ability to make an informed decision. I wish to thank them all and I hope you are grateful for their service of us, as well. They are examples of what Church is called to be.
This team will continue to monitor the situation, convene regularly, and review and update our next steps as our community moves through phases of reopening during the next several weeks and months. I think this is something worth emphasizing. The response is not a matter of a one-time “fix,” but an ongoing, intelligent and responsible, phase-by-phase resumption of public worship for us. Again, our Response Team and I are referring to, and developing our response, following the logic and guidance provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as holding ourselves to the same standards of responsibility. We need time to do this as responsibly as possible. We know you understand and will cooperate with our plan, and prayerfully support it.
Together, let us live our Eucharistic faith, by seeking to protect and uphold the dignity of all human life, from first moment of conception through natural death, by moving forward responsibly and carefully. May Christ, the Physician of our Souls, assure our spiritual health that we may always know and do what is right for all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Paul F. DeLuca, Pastor
NATIVITY PARISH PLAN FOR PHASED REOPENING
Phase One – Church open for personal prayer, Currently Available
- Please check Parish Social Media for days and times
- All current standards of social distancing and sanitation must be followed
- No groups or gatherings
Phase Two – Access to Sacraments, Currently Available
- By Appointment with the Pastor
- Controlled Gatherings: Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Baptism, Marriage, Funeral
- All current standards of social distancing and sanitation
- Maximum gatherings determined by social distancing standard of six feet
Phase Three – Streaming Live Mass, Beginning Pentecost, as early as May 30th-31st
- Limited to Ministers/Technicians of the Liturgy
- Sunday Masses & Special Church Feasts
Phase Three.1 – Bread In The Wilderness (BIW) – Evangelization and Formation Offerings
(To be developed at this time, but continuing as ongoing parish efforts.)
Possible offerings include:
- Live Video Feed of Sanctuary 24/7
- Messages from The Pastor
- Curator’s Clips: The Art of Church
- Scripture Study
- Parishioner Faith-Sharing Forums
- Story Time for Kids
Phase Four – Resumption of Public Masses, TO BE DETERMINED
- Satisfy all standards of safety, sanitation, social distancing
- Development of Worship Protocol to be followed by participants
- Ability to Implement, Maintain, and Evaluate Protocols
- “Trained” non-at-risk volunteers to implement, at each public liturgy
- Start with Sunday (Weekend); expand to Weekdays
- Response Team meets every two weeks to evaluate & adjust plan
PLEASE NOTE: PHASE FOUR REQUIRES ADDITIONAL WORK TO BE READY TO RESUME PUBLIC WORSHIP; THAT WORK CONTINUES WITH THE HIGHEST PRIORITY. PHASE FOUR ALSO REQUIRES REGULAR AND FREQUENT EVALUATION OF A VERY QUICKLY CHANGING PANDEMIC REALITY; THE PARISH RESPONSE TEAM IS COMMITTED TO THIS REQUIREMENT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Resumption of Mass at Nativity
Who is on the response team and how were they selected?
Fr. Paul reached out to members of the parish with medical backgrounds to work with parish staff to look at the recommendations issued by the Archbishop and implement guidelines to safely resume Mass at Nativity. The members of the response team are: Fr. Paul DeLuca, Sr. Janet Schneider, Rudy Gruenke, Dr. Jeanne Corwin, Dr. Ted Gossard, Julie Kulhanek – Nurse, Kathy Michel – Nurse and Dr. Darcy Thornton.
What is the delay in resuming Mass? Other parishes are having Mass on May 25. Didn’t the Archbishop require churches to start having Mass on May 25th?
The Archbishop released a statement that public Mass could begin on Monday May 25th. The statement provided 5 pages of guidelines for parishes to individualize to their church space to resume Mass in the safest way. This requires the work of many and takes time. Additionally, the science and data on Covid-19 transmission changes almost daily. We appreciate your patience because we know people are very much looking forward to worshiping together. Also, the bathrooms are not functional right now as the long-awaited remodeling to make them handicapped accessible is almost finished. Hopefully that will stay on schedule and be completed by June 8th. To view the recommendations:
Why couldn’t we use St. Sebastian Hall until the renovations to the bathrooms are completed?
This is something we considered. The setup requires a lot of physical work by staff in close proximity to each other, putting them at risk and safety precautions need to be implemented in any space for worship. The gym floors, however, are scheduled for the yearly refinishing the 2nd week of June, right about when the bathrooms will be finished in the church. It makes more sense to wait until then.
Could Mass at Nativity be live streamed?
We have not had the equipment necessary to live stream Mass. We are working to secure all of the equipment and should be able to start that soon. Even when Mass is resumed, people at high risk and others may not feel safe coming and would be able to use this service.
What about First Communion, Confirmation, and the RCIA Elect?
First consideration will be given these groups. We feel extra caution should be taken in any Mass where children would be attending in large numbers based on new data regarding Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome being seen in children. This is going to take compromises for the participants as getting the entire group of First Communicants or Confirmation Candidates together seems unwise.
Why is Nativity being so cautious?
The Catholic Church has a moral theology to preserve life, thus a moral mandate to preserve our own health and the health of others. No one wants parishioners getting sick from attending Mass and taking the virus to others. The Mass you attend in the weeks ahead will look and feel quick differently from the Mass you remember from two months ago. It is imperative for all of us to work together during these times. The pandemic is not over, and safety precautions must be followed to promote the continued health and safety of our community.
Who can we contact if we have additional questions?
Please email any questions to Rudy Gruenke, Director of Systems & Special Projects at email@example.com.
Thank you all for your eager participation. The day you have been waiting for is finally here. We are excited to see everyone’s Nativity School Spirit tomorrow at the 2020 Nativity Virtual Spirit Day!!
Pre Team Meeting Videos
On Friday, May 8, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati issued a press release announcing the possible resumption of public Masses to begin as early as May 25, 2020. At that time the Archdiocese issued guidelines for the resumption of public worship. In response to this announcement and these guidelines, a parish response team has been convened. This response team consists of physicians, nurses, and other parishioners and staff, working with Fr. Paul to formulate a parish approach to reopening.
It is impossible to know how long it will be until we return to normal. With that in mind, our working group is in agreement that significant and sustainable modifications will be required in order to celebrate Mass in a manner that does not jeopardize the health of anyone in our Nativity Community. All protocols implemented will be made erring on the side of the protection of life and the health of our community.
Things to be considered before we restart public Mass:
- Maintain effective social distancing (6 feet spacing) before, during and after Mass
- Proper use of face masks
- Vulnerable populations due to age, underlying medical conditions, family members with underlying conditions, or the inability to wear a face mask for the duration of Mass (including small children) should be considered by all.
- The proper and reverent distribution of Holy Communion
- The Music Ministry and concerns regarding the aerosolization and dispersion of viral particles via singing and all musical instrumentation
- Cleaning protocols as well as disinfectant, and hand sanitizer availability
- The need for many parishioners to assist in this implementation
- Calculating the capacity for seating to accommodate social distancing
- Seating in the gym would be even more limited than it is in church and the “cloth gray chairs” create an added issue of cleaning
A more comprehensive communication regarding next steps will be mailed out next week. Please note that an earlier communication on Facebook and the website states that we for sure will not have Mass at Nativity until the bathroom project is complete, possibly in mid-June.
We thank you for your patience as we work through this multifaceted task and look forward to the time when we can once again celebrate together.
COVID-19 Response Team: Dr. Jeanne Corwin, Dr. Ted Gossard, Julie Kulhanek – Nurse, Kathy Michel – Nurse, Dr. Susan Stegman, Dr. Darcey Thornton; Pastoral Staff: Fr. Paul DeLuca, Rudy Gruenke, Sr. Janet Schneider
If you have any questions please contact Rudy Gruenke, Director of Systems & Special Projects at (513) 531-3164 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the renovation of the restrooms in church we will not be reopening church until construction is complete. This is tentatively set for early June. This project has been delayed due to issues getting supplies as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. When finished both the men’s and women’s restrooms will have hot water, and tile floors making it easier to clean and sanitize these restrooms. We will also have a universal ADA bathroom finally in church. If you have any questions please contact Rudy Gruenke, Director of Systems & Special Projects at (513) 531-3164 or email@example.com
As the angelus rings at 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm, please pray the following prayer
Prayer for a Time of Public Health Concerns
Since the moments of our life unfold, O God,
according to your good pleasure,
receive the prayers and sacrificial offerings
by which we implore your mercy
for our brothers and sisters who are ill,
that, having been anxious for them in their danger,
we may rejoice at their recovery of health.
For scientists, health professionals, public officials,
and all who are serving the common good in this
difficult and uncertain time, may they be
filled with wisdom and understanding.
Pray: Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory Be
We have reserved Friday, May 29 as the day families can return textbooks, Chromebooks, and other school items to school, and pick up their personal belongings left behind, as well as awards or other items they may have earned.
Here are the details:
- Parents will be asked to come to school on May 29 according to the time schedule below. The schedule is set to prevent our process from blocking traffic on the street, as well as to help our staff process the materials being returned in an orderly fashion. It is important to know who has returned what so we can follow up if items are not returned, especially the high priced items like textbooks and Chromebooks.
- Vehicles should follow the normal car line entering from Woodford and leaving on Pandora.
- Parents are asked to stay in their vehicles. Bringing an older student who can hand things out the window would be helpful.
- There will be two stations for dropping items off: One for Chromebooks (and chargers) that were borrowed, and a second one for other items. See the list below for things that should be brought to school.
- There will be a third station where all of your children’s belongings will be brought to the vehicle. These will include things like personal items left in desks or lockers, artwork, awards and certificates, portfolios.
8:00 – 8:30
Acklin-Byrd – Byerly
8:30 – 9:00
Caldwell – Dwyer
9:00 – 9:30
Elliott – Friend
9:30 – 10:00
Gable – Guyer
10:00 – 10:30
Harris – Jones
10:30 – 11:00
Kaeppner – Long
11:00 – 11:30
Madaris – Mysock
11:30 – 12:00
Naberhaus – Putnam
12:30 – 1:00
Raleigh – Singer
1:00 – 1:30
Singh – Trotta
1:30 – 2:00
Uihlein – Washington
2:00 – 2:30
Webb – Zubelik
Items to bring back to school:
- Chromebooks & chargers
- Kindergarten Readers
- Library Books
- School novels (Number the Stars, Bud, Not Buddy, Goodnight Mr. Tom, etc.)
If you have questions about items that should be returned, please contact your teacher.
If you have any other questions, please contact me. I’ll send a text message reminder the day before this event, because we all need reminders!
Concern or question?
Safety is one of our top priorities at Nativity. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please contact Rudy Gruenke IV, Director of Systems & Special Projects at (513) 513-3164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Catholic Bishops of Ohio Suspend All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies [PDF]
- A Therapist's 5 Tips for Prioritizing Your Family's Mental Health During the COVID-19 Quarantine
- Cincinnati Community Resource Guide For COVID-19 [PDF]
- Catholic Bishops of Ohio Extend Suspension of All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies [PDF]
- Catholic Bishops of Ohio Suspend All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies [PDF]
- Archbishop Schneer Letter [PDF]
- FAQ for the Faithful [PDF]
- Worship in a Time of Public Health Concern (revised) [PDF]
- Prayer for a Time of Public Health Concern [PDF]