Welcome to St. Alphonsus Church!
An update from the Diocese of Biloxi concerning COVID-19:
To the Clergy, Religious, and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Biloxi:
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. By our in-person participation in the Mass, we fulfill Christ’s commandment to “Do this in memory of me.” At Mass, we not only gather around the table of the Last Supper, we also mysteriously join in the heavenly supper of the Lamb. Participation in Holy Mass is central and indispensable to the believer, and reception of Holy Eucharist is our “medicine of immortality.” While online streaming of Mass has been immeasurably helpful over the course of the pandemic, it can never replace the assembly of the faithful.
On March 17 of last year, with the advice of medical professionals, I responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a number of directives and a dispensation for the faithful from the Church’s Mass participation obligation. After the initial 30 days of the dispensation, it was renewed until further notice.
Having consulted the Presbyteral Council on February 11, 2021, it seems opportune that the general dispensation from Mass participation be allowed to expire, although in a phased manner.
Therefore, beginning with the Saturday Vigil for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, March 27, 2021, the general dispensation from the obligation of in-person participation in the celebration of Holy Mass will expire.
That said, I hereby extend a particular dispensation from the obligation to personally participate in the celebration of Mass for the following:
–those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to an underlying health condition and who have not yet been vaccinated, and
–those 60 years and older who have not yet been vaccinated.
On a case-by-case basis, parishioners who are particularly concerned about their own or a family member’s vulnerability may approach Pastors for a one-month dispensation, renewable as the Pastor determines appropriate.
I encourage all the faithful to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as the opportunity becomes available.
Masks, handwashing, and social distancing are still to be practiced in parishes.
Please be assured of my prayers and a remembrance in my daily private Masses. Let us remember in prayer those who have died, those who are sick and all who are anxious and hurting at this time.
Given at the Pastoral Center of the Diocese of Biloxi on February 19, A.D. 2021.
Most Reverend Louis F. Kihneman Bishop of Biloxi
Weekday Masses (Monday – Friday) are celebrated at 6:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Saturday 8:15 a.m.
Weekend Masses are celebrated at 4:00 p.m. for the Saturday Vigil; Sunday Masses are celebrated at 7:30 a.m.; 9:00 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; and 5:30 p.m. A Spanish Mass is celebrated at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Due to the limited space, we may not be able to seat all parishioners in the Church. If needed, we will stream the Mass live in the Parish Hall for the overflow. All Masses will also be streamed live on Facebook for those individuals that are not able to join us in the church building.
We are asking all parishioners to enter through the front doors unless you are handicapped. The handicapped entrance door is on the south side of the building. All other doors will be locked. We encourage you to keep the appropriate 6 feet distance between each other as we enter the church building and return to our vehicles. There should be no groups gathering before or after Mass, and refrain from shaking hands or hugging other parishioners. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been provided near each entrance of the church for your convenience.
We will continue to keep every other pew closed off as non-sitting areas. We ask that all single or double parties please go to the middle of the pew so that we will be able to sit one or two more on each side. For larger families, we ask that you please stay to one side so that we may possibly be able to use the other side for seating also. Please keep in mind when sitting in the pew with other parishioners, keep your mask on and maintain reasonable spacing between non-family members. If you are in need of a mask, please see an usher. The first few pews will be reserved for the handicapped. To help prevent double contamination, once you are seated, Do Not move to another pew.
A basket will be placed at each entrance for you to place your offertory collections on your way into the Church. The ushers will not take up a collection during Mass. You may also use the online giving and direct payments. Forms, for direct debit through our bank Hancock-Whitney, are available under Forms & Applications. If you need assistance with online payments, please call the church office.
The Eucharist will be brought to you by the priest and deacon. An extraordinary minister will be used when the deacon is not present or for the overflow areas. You will be directed to move your mask down below your chin before consuming the host and return the mask over your mouth and nose directly after consumption. If you are in need of a blessing you will not have to remove your mask.
The Church will be sanitized after each Mass. We are in need of additional individuals and/or families to help sanitize the Church. If you are able to help, please see an usher after Mass.
We will print a limited amount of bulletins at this time. You will continue to be able to view the bulletin on the parish app or website. If you need assistance, call the church office during regular business hours.
Remember, if you have had the virus, you should go 14 days without symptoms or 2 negative tests before you return to Mass.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we journey through the celebration of being reunited with our church family.
Our Parish App is one great way to help make the liturgical season more present in your daily life. Helpful reflections will aid you in reflecting on the Mass readings each day. Also – under FORMED, you will be able to stream hundreds of hours of inspiring movies and video series, read bestselling Catholic eBooks, and listen to audio presentations from the Church’s most compelling speakers and is available from virtually any device…anytime, anywhere. Don’t have the App or FORMED yet? If you have either an iPhone or Android smart phone you can download the App by texting App to phone number 88202, or by visiting myparishapp.com. To gain access to FORMED – go to the website at www.formed.org and enter our Parish Code f1f5a9 (case sensitive) on the homepage, create an account with your user name/email and password.
St. Alphonsus Parish is a Catholic community, called to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and we welcome all to join us. We fulfill this Call by our worship of God, our witness to one another and to the world, and by our service to all those in need. Our goal is to affirm the individual gifts in people of all ages so that they may continue to grow in their faith and be ministers of the Gospel…One with God and one another.