AUBURN — In accordance with Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to safely reopen the state, Bishop Robert Deeley is permitting the celebration of public Masses in the parking lots of Maine’s Catholic churches, but with strict protocols in place for the protection, safety and health of all participants. The Masses are in addition to the live-streamed Masses that are being offered at most Maine parishes since the suspension of large gatherings in the state. A list of the live-streamed Mass at Maine parishes can be found at www.portlanddiocese.org/live-streamed-masses.

Two venues will host outdoor Masses. All are welcome to attend both Masses.

Parking lot Masses will be held at Saint Dominic Academy’s Auburn campus on 121 Gracelawn Road at 10 a.m. Sundays.

“Mass will be offered on an outdoor platform to raise the sanctuary space so that it can be more visible to all cars in the parking lot,” said Fr. Seamus Griesbach, chaplain at the academy, who will celebrate the Mass. “A small number of volunteers will assist in traffic direction and parking. Those in attendance will need to follow the guidelines set by the state and the diocese, and the number of cars will be limited to 80.”

The Mass will be live-streamed on Fr. Griesbach’s YouTube channel for those who wish to view it online.

Parking lot Masses will be offered in the parking lot of Geiger, 70 Mount Hope Ave., Lewiston, at at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Sundays.

“It is our hope that the 10:30 a.m. parking lot Mass will also be live-streamed on our parish’s website and Facebook page,” said Fr. Daniel Greenleaf, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston. “In addition, we will be having daily parking lot Masses at the front of Holy Family Rectory in Lewiston at 8 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, weather permitting.”

Additional parking lot Masses across the state will be added to the updating list at www.portlanddiocese.org/ParkingLotMasses.

Protocols for the parking lot Masses, issued by the Diocese of Portland, include:

• Holy Communion will not be distributed until everyone’s safety can be assured through the adoption of appropriate protocols. For the present, parishioners are invited to participate in an Act of Spiritual Communion during these Masses.

• All parishioners will remain in their cars at all times.

• Only people who live together should be in the same vehicle.

• Churches/facilities will not be open for restroom use.

• Social distancing must be maintained by those who minister at these Masses (celebrant, cantor, lector, etc.).

• Cars must have one empty parking space between them in the parking lot.

• Offertory collections will not be held during the Mass. Instead, parishioners are encouraged to donate to their parish online through WeShare (www.portlanddiocese.org/OnlineGiving) or by mailing in donations to the parish office.

For more information, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/response-coronavirus.


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