Click HERE to go to the Sign-Up Genius website to sign-up for Mass the weekend of May 30-31, 2020.
(Note: this link will be active at 9:00am on Tuesday, May 26.)
Update as of May 22, 2020
As we head toward Pentecost Sunday weekend and reopen our public Mass celebrations, there are a number of directives from the Archdiocese to be aware of prior to attending. In addition to the Archdiocese directives, we are recommending several additional practices for your safety and those around you. Our goal is to do what we are able, to accommodate the most people and achieve the best environment for our parishioners. If you are uncomfortable attending Mass for whatever reason, remember that the obligation to attend Mass is dispensed thru July 5th. We will live stream Mass from St. Thomas every Saturday evening at 4:30pm and make the recording available immediately following the service. Public Masses will be celebrated as follows:
- Saturday evening 4:00pm at St. Clare and 4:30pm at St. Thomas
- Sunday morning at 8:00am and 11:15am (new Mass time) at St. Thomas and 9:30am at St. Clare
- As previously communicated by Fr. Ed, moving to the new Mass time schedule allows him to preside at all Sunday Masses as help-out priests continue to be very difficult to locate. Fr. Al has committed to preside at a Saturday evening Mass each weekend, allowing us to continue to offer two Mass options on Saturday evening.
- Because we are limited to 25% of our maximum occupancy, our absolute number of attendees will be 125 at St Clare and 175 at St Thomas.
- Because of the limited seating, we will be utilizing the Sign-Up Genius app on the website to sign up for Mass; however it will not be activated until Tuesday May 26th. If you cannot use the app we strongly encourage you to solicit assistance from family members or friends to use the Sign Up Genius app. If you call either parish office(STA 262-534-2255 or SC 262-895-2729) to select a Mass time, you could have difficulty due to call volumes and blocking. The office scheduling will begin starting Tuesday May 26th. The link for the sign-up genius will be found on our parish websites and on our Facebook pages beginning May 26.
- Beginning May 26th you can sign up any time using Sign Up Genius. If you call the office, you can only call between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm Tuesday thru Friday. As an example, for the weekend of May 30th - 31st, you must use Sign-up Genius or call the parish office before 3:00pm on Friday, May 29 in order to register for Mass.
- We will be limiting sign up to the current available weekend so that people will not block out multiple weekends in advance.
- Seating will be limited and there is the potential for a high demand, so you may not get the specific Mass time you would like and we would ask your understanding and flexibility as things unfold.
- If you cannot obtain the Mass you desire, it is suggested you look to register at the other Masses that are available each weekend per the schedule above.
- PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WE MUST ADHERE TO OUR 25% CAPACITY LIMIT PER MASS. If you register for a Mass and are turned away at the door because we have reached the capacity limit, we hope you will understand. We will be counting people as they walk in and will turn people away after we reach our limit. We will not be checking to see if those entering registered in advance and ask everyone to respect their fellow parishioners by registering in advance so no one is turned away at the doors.
- Only the doors at the main entrance of church will be available for entry. Side doors can be used to exit after Mass but not entry before Mass.
- As in everything, we will be enforcing 6 feet social distancing in all aspects of attendance with the exception of those living in the same household. This includes entering the church, seating in the pews, going up to receive communion and exiting after Mass. We will be describing certain aspects of these items at the Mass.
- To adhere to the distancing guidelines, we will be blocking off every other pew for seating.
- When you enter the pew, please move to the center if it is open. Do not block the end of the pew, requiring people to step over to reach the center. Seating will be limited so please use all available space efficiently, while leaving 6 feet between families.
- When receiving communion, it will only be permissible to receive in the hand.
- There will be no physical contact during the Sign of Peace outside a family unit.
- Everyone is encouraged to wear masks and we would ask you to bring your own mask to church. Although they are not required, they are strongly encouraged and there will be a small number of masks in the back of church if you wish to take one. Please take it home with you and do not return it.
- There will be X’s on the floor as you go to communion. Please use these marks on the floor to ensure you remain 6 feet apart at all times. Ushers will release pews one at a time. If you do not wish to receive communion, we ask that you process up with your pew anyway. This eliminates the need for people to step around you.
- Offertory collection baskets will be at the entry of the church. You are asked to place your offering into the basket when you enter or exit.
- There will be no hymnals in the pews. At St. Clare, we will be passing out a worship aid as you enter the Mass. If you take a worship aid, take it home. Do not leave it behind. It will not be reused.
- There will be no bulletins in church. Parishioners are encouraged to view the current bulletin on the PARISHONLINE.COM website to view the current and past bulletins.
- Dismissal from Mass will be in an orderly fashion and directed by the ushers. Please do not visit or remain in the gathering space. Others are unable to exit until those in the lead exit the building so please exit expeditiously.
- We have cleaning crews scheduled after each Mass, so rest assured that pews, bathrooms, door knobs, etc. will all be wiped down after each service.
We ask for your prayers and your patience as we work through this time of change and reopening.
Fr. Ed Tlucek OFM
Update as of May 20, 2020 - Memorial Day
We will not be holding our usual Memorial Day Service at St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery due to current Archdiocesan restrictions on gatherings. We ask you to please honor those brave men and women who have fallen in the service of our armed forces by keeping them in your prayers.
Update as of May 13, 2020
Our phone system is not working and we currently have two temporary working phone lines into the rectory office. During normal business hours, dialing 262-534-2255 will allow you to reach someone in the office. After hours, it is likely you will not be able to leave messages at this time or reach anyone.
Please be patient as we work through this replacement which will take some time. If you are unable to reach us by phone, we are monitoring email at email@example.com.
If you have an emergency and need to reach someone after normal business hours, you can dial 219-689-5742 to reach Fr. Ed or 262-598-6515 to reach Blaise Beaulier. Please use for emergencies only.
Update as of May 4, 2020 - Catholic Comeback Directives from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
CLICK THE IMAGE to read The Catholic Comeback from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Update as of March 31, 2020
Our Food pantry is in need! Last Friday, we had a number of people in need who came to our food pantry. Please consider dropping off a few items if you are able. Items in need include:
*Please drop off items outside the rectory door and someone will pick them up.
Thank you in advance for your extra support!
Our Pantry is open the 2nd & 4th Friday from 1-3pm
Update as of March 30, 2020 - First Communion update
Dear St Thomas and St Clare Families with First Communicants,
With the “safer-at-home” measures being taken in our state, the indefinite closures of our schools and the announcement from our own Archbishop Listecki that there will be no in-person masses for Holy Week or Easter Sunday, Father Ed has made the decision that the First Communion celebrations for our St Clare and St Thomas Faith Community will indeed be postponed.
Father Ed, along with the faith formation directors, have decided to move our First Communion celebration to September 20 at St Clare and September 27 at St Thomas. We will contact you in early summer to determine what date your family would like to attend. We will also take our professional pictures at that time. Fortunately, our students in both parishes have already had their interviews with Father Ed, their First Reconciliation has already taken place, they have attended their First Communion retreat and they have their First Communion homework at home already. All of this means that your child is mostly likely ready to receive their first communion. If you as a family choose to, when masses are open to the public again, and your child does not want to wait all summer to receive Jesus in the Eucharist then they may do so earlier. If you take that option, please let us know the date ahead of time (and the parish - St Thomas or St Clare) so that we can let Father know ahead of time. He is encouraging the children to still wear their first communion outfits, invite their families and bring their banner.
You are welcome to wait until September (and encouraged to join in that celebration even if you opt to receive early) we simply didn’t want children who were eager and ready to receive Christ to have to wait any longer than they have to. We know that this is not how any of us imagined that this special event would happen but as Christians we must continue to trust in Jesus and simply let God take the lead of our lives. We continue to pray and to trust in His plan because that’s all we can do. The important thing is that we all do what we can to keep ourselves and others healthy during this time. Please know that you can email Heather ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Trista (email@example.com) with any questions.
Trista Minezes , Director of Elem. Faith Formation - St Clare
Heather Whitten, Director of Elem. Faith Formation -St Thomas
Update as of 3/25/2020
Due to recent directives from the Government and Health Services, the church will no longer be open for public prayer/reflection during the day. We must all do our part and pray from home rather than venturing out.
Additionally, the parish office is now closed to the public. Although staff may come and go during the day to keep things in order, the rectory doors will be locked.
The Archbishop also announced yesterday that Palm Sunday and Easter services will not be open to the public. Video recordings of the masses will be available with more information to follow.
Update as of 3/24/2020
CHANGE!!!!! Confessions have been canceled. Due to stricter guidelines by the Governor and the Archbishop, in-person confessions will not be available at this time.
Wednesday, March 25 confession at St. Clare has been canceled
Saturday, March 28 confession at St. Thomas has been canceled
Additional news below
Events that have unfolded over the past few weeks are unprecedented and remind us more than ever to keep faith with God. The aggressive steps taken by our government and our Archbishop are not only necessary but critical for us to take seriously, in an effort to keep our families and others as safe and healthy as possible. This is a time when we must all come together and support each other. Here at St. Thomas, we implemented a number of changes as directed by the Archbishop and include the following:
Our weekday and weekend masses will not be open to the public for the next few weeks. This decision will be re-evaluated April 2 with further actions at that time. I will continue to celebrate mass each day even though parishioners cannot attend. We are planning to record the weekend mass and make it available on our website and through other channels if you wish to view it. More information will follow as we further develop this delivery method.
Our Lenten evening services have been canceled in order to eliminate gatherings greater than 10 people.
Our Confirmation students worked very hard to prepare for the Sacrament but the celebration has been postponed until a later date.
Although weddings, funerals and baptisms can be scheduled, they are subject to the same limit of not more than 10 people. It is suggested that these events be scheduled at a later date, if possible.
Our Lenten fish fries have been canceled. We initially thought a drive through option would be feasible but decided the risk to our loyal volunteers was too great.
The Senior program and the You & Me program have been suspended.
Parish leadership meetings are being held virtually or through email communication only.
Our face-to-face Faith Formation classes have been canceled. Some work is being provided to our students electronically.
Although our parish office remains open, we have reduced the number of people present each day and will closely monitor this decision.
We continue to publish our bulletin online each week with a few printed copies in the back of church. The church will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm each day if you wish to stop in for reflection and quiet prayer. I ask that you ensure there are never more than 10 people in attendance at any one time.
Do you or someone you know need assistance????
Events that have unfolded over the past few weeks are unprecedented and remind us more than ever to keep our faith with God. During this unusual time, St. Thomas Aquinas would like to help.
If you or someone you know needs assistance over the next few weeks, please contact our parish office at 262-534-2255. Whether it be grocery shopping, walking your dog or just talking to someone on the phone, please call our parish office and we will put you in touch with one of our volunteers. We know there may be elderly people or people at higher risk who cannot leave their homes or are unable to find the supplies they desperately need. Please reach out and we will be there!
Also, for those willing to help with this outreach ministry, please call the parish office and offer your time/talent. We will get through this with our faith and our love for each other.