News & Announcements

COVID-19 Update - April 19, 2021

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, St. Francis has been on the vanguard of protecting the safety and health of all worshippers, volunteers, staff and clergy on our campus through strict adherence to the guidelines of the Dallas Diocese and state and federal public health officials and then implementing the necessary protocols to the best of our ability. As we continue to listen closely to the experts it is apparent that the landscape of current thinking regarding COVID-19 safety measures is beginning to shift.
 
The landscape consists of multiple factors. Primarily, the prevalence and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines – now available in Texas to anyone over the age of 16 – continues to make for a safer and healthier community daily. Second, the relatively low positive COVID-19 cases in the Collin County/Frisco area provides optimism and indicates that residents in our area are taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and doing our part to mitigate risk. Third, the latest expert recommendations which include lowering the social distancing in schools to three feet with the hint that this recommendation may spread to other settings, and indications regarding the inability of the Coronavirus to spread on hard surfaces made of plastic, wood and metal. These factors, combined with listening to the concerns and needs of our parishioners has brought us to the decision that we can consider easing some of our restrictions while attending Mass and other liturgical services at St. Francis of Assisi.

Our goal is to continue to monitor the status of cases and other considerations in our area over the next several weeks. Assuming the rate of cases and the number of individuals vaccinated continues on similar trajectories, St. Francis plans to implement the following new protocols:

  1. No more Sign Up Genius required for Mass (this will be effective for Mass on April 24th/25th)
    Note: Sign Up Genius will still be required for Confessions.

  2. Parishioners may receive the Holy Eucharist on the tongue from a priest or deacon only. This will begin immediately.

  3. Beginning Saturday, May 1st, daily Mass will move back to the Chapel.

 
Beginning on Pentecost weekend (May 22nd/23rd):  

     4. We will resume bringing the gifts to the altar for each Sunday (and Saturday Vigil) Mass.
     5. We will resume the normal offertory collection process of ushers passing baskets throughout the pews.
     6. We will allow parishioners to remove their masks while sitting in the pews during Mass. Please note, we will continue to require masks upon entrance to the Church or Chapel, or if you get up from your pew during the service (i.e. to receive Communion, use the restroom, get a worship aid).

We know this has been a long, arduous road for all of us and many if not all of us are very weary of these continued restrictions. We also have worked very hard and will continue to pray and discern to find the right balance given the different levels of readiness of parishioner’s return to in-person worship. We ask for your patience and to please continue to follow the safety precautions we have in place out of respect and obedience to our pastor, Fr. Rudy and concern for fellow worshippers. 

Most of all, we ask for your continued prayers for our community, for those who have been most impacted by this terrible virus and that we can all return to active participation in our liturgy and ministry life very soon.