Changes are being implemented to school Mass to ensure the safety of students and staff and follow state and archdiocesan guidelines.
“The biggest thing is that we can center ourselves and be in a place where we can engage with the Gospel,” said Miss Ashley Hill, who serves as the school’s mission integration director. “There will be Mass, but we want to make sure that (all of those involved) get to stay safe,”
Hill said, “We have a safety task force on our campus. (Members) are determining the number of people that are allowed to gather in which area. We’re taking everything a week at a time with COVID.”
As for the traditional aspects of Mass, Hill said, “Choir is a huge part of Mass. Singing will never stop. We definitely are going to find a way to incorporate (our choirs).” Communion is also being taken into consideration. “(Eucharistic ministers) will be wearing masks and they will be using hand sanitizer,” she said.
The past several years school offered a mandatory day of service during which students would leave campus with their towns and help organizations throughout the metro area. Hill said, “As of right now there’s not a change for next year’s service requirements. We don’t have to be in physical contact with people. Even just playing Words with Friends with the elderly that are living in an elderly care facilities. There are all sorts of ways with social distancing that we could still serve.”
An important part of school is being able to attend retreats. “We’re going forward with plans for Lughnasa, which is the first wave of freshman retreats right at the beginning of school,” Hill said. “The way in which we do retreats will have to shift and change a little bit. We’re waiting on protocols from some of the places we have our retreats. But in our plan, we’re going ahead and we will be having retreats.”
And while retreats and the Day of Service are vital events, none may be more important to the school’s Catholic identify than having all students, faculty and staff gather for Mass. “Our normal plan of action for Mass where we all get to celebrate together is our goal,” Hill said. “We’re excited to be able to be on campus together and to celebrate our faith together and get back to learning with one another again in person.”