Guidelines for Re-opening

05-22-2020Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

On this past Monday we all greeted with joy the announcement of the Governor that our churches may now re-open. Because we all kept the principle of concern for others and then ourselves, our observance of quarantine and use of masks have allowed him to declare that we now begin re-opening by careful, cautious and deliberate steps which keep everyone safe and well. The Covid-19 virus has not gone away, but instead it has been curbed by everyone’s cooperation. We need to continue all these steps and procedures as we re-open our churches. We must begin by carefully preparing and then cooperating to keep everyone safe. Indeed the vulnerable and the elderly still need “to stay safer at home.” Cardinal Sean continues the dispensation for everyone who is older or has health conditions to miss Mass.

As the Scholastic principle says “grace builds on nature”, we must observe good health practices. Some of the new requirements for now will not be what you may like or prefer, but caring for the common good as we begin again must come first. We must care for nature if we want to obtain grace!

There are required standards and procedures that the State Directives to Re-open require of every parish (worship site). They are most serious matters and must be observed. Our Archdiocese is also requiring certain additional standards to be met. The advice given by the principal Webinar to Pastors, Staff and Pastoral and Financial Councils is to go slow, take the time and make sure you are prepared to welcome people and keep them safe. I have formed a Committee for Re-opening which has been meeting and will continue to meet to assist in making sure that we re-open correctly. I will be asking every parishioner to exercise patience, cooperation and a good dab of kindness. I also expect any parishioner who is elderly or has health issues, especially if respiratory issues or ongoing treatment are involved to stay home and “stay safer”. Our wonderful and spiritual gift of Catholic TV ( is available to you to be able to attend beautiful Masses and Services on Sunday and other days. Our Saint Vincent’s charitable work continues quietly each day in Franklin. They updated their Resource Reference Sheet last week for anyone in need or if you know of someone in need. Your kindness in bringing supplies to the side church wooden door at the top of the driveway or sending financial donations is truly impressive. I am most grateful to the many Parishioners who thoughtfully and graciously contribute financially to our Parish each week via on-line giving (found at or by mailing or dropping envelopes in the side door of the Rectory. Your faithful support keeps our parish together in these days until we all can return.

Next week I will be able to tell you much more about the practical matters of re-opening. We hope to re-open Saturday, Sunday May 30-31, the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of the “Birthday” (Beginning) of our Church. This is indeed a poignant and graced Feast for us to begin again. We will have a very limited weekend Mass schedule. Daily Mass will not begin until after our first weekend of re-opening. There will be state and church required rules for attending. Best to wait until next week’s letter to get into “the weeds” of all that!

We are blessed to be a parish dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. Our parish legacy of having Saint Rocco as our special Patron is another blessing to all of us at this time. Through Mary’s intercession and the assistance of Saint Rocco, may you, your loved ones and all those who are ill or care for them directly and indirectly be safe and well. WE also lift up in prayer those remember with devotion this Memorial Day. May God keep them close to His loving heart. We must also honor in prayer our Franklin High School Graduates as they they mark in new ways their graduation and new beginnings.

God bless,
Father Brian

PS: Graduating Seniors are most welcome to post their Senior Picture on our Parish’s FaceBook Page.