Reopening Plan FOR St Callistus PARISH, El Sobrante


Dear parishioners,


With restrictions and limitations, in compliance with the orders of Governor Newsom and of the Contra Costa County Health Officials, as well as in accordance with the directives and guidelines of Bishop Michael C. Barber S.J.,  St. Callistus Church in El Sobrante will be reopening for weekday Masses on  Monday, July 13, 2020,  Saturday Vigil Masses on July 11,  2020 and Sunday Masses on July 12, 2020 .


During the weekdays there will be only one Mass and that will be at 8:30 am. On Sundays there will be two Masses (in place of the three before the Covid 19 broke out) and they will be at 8:30 am and 11:00 am. The 11: 00 am Mass will still be live streamed and Holy Communion will be distributed after that Mass till 12: 45 pm for those who cannot participate in the Mass in the Church. The Saturday vigil Mass will be at 5:30 pm.


To ensure six feet safe distance between all participants, both horizontally AND vertically,   two pews between every two pews where people will be seated will be blocked off.


With the elimination of several pews, our seating capacity will be 42 + the priest, and one altar server, (if any of them wishes to serve, and gives me written parental consent letter). There will be no singing or chanting during the Mass.


Because of the Corona virus situation, kindly read carefully and comply with all them. I know the following are so many; but these are for the safety of all. So, please bear with them and strictly follow them.


Before Mass

Reserve Your Attendance EACH week in advance

To ensure that we do not exceed the 42-person capacity in the church, and that no one is turned away at the door, each person attending the Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses will need to call and Reserve your spot. 


Call Guia Gorospe at 510-734-9289 Monday through Friday from 9: 00 am to 12: 00 noon (starting Wednesday, July 8 onwards) for Saturday 5:30, Sunday 8:30 and Sunday 11:00 Masses. No need to reserve attendance for weekday Masses.  Thank you, Guia for your kindness and readiness to accept this demanding responsibility.


No one will be able to attend the weekend Masses without prior reservation, and reservations will be first come first served basis and it is free of charge. When you call Ms. Gorospe give her your name and how many people will be with you (Because members of the same family sit together in the same pew), and you will be given a seating number. When you come for Mass your seating number will be asked and that is how you will be admitted; so remember your seating number/s.



No Worship Aids in the Church

Those who want to follow along with the prayers and readings at Mass, would need to bring their own worship aids such as Magnificat.  There will not be missalettes or hymnals available in the church. But I suggest that people just listen to the word proclaimed, rather than being busy with reading from books or leaflets.


Wear a Face Covering

Guided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those over age 3 must wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth. No one will be allowed to enter the church without a face covering.  Keep wearing the mask the whole time, except when receiving Holy Communion.

Arriving at Church


Arrive Early


Please arrive 20 - 30 minutes prior to the time of the Mass to allow time enough to park and check in. 


To ensure social distancing, please be mindful of your parking: park one car distance from other cars.


Keep Moving


Please promptly go to and from the church, as we must not gather before or after Mass.


Entrance and Exit

The main doors are where people enter. The side doors are where they exit. 

Once Mass starts the doors will be locked.  So make sure that you are in time for Mass.

Temperature Check


Before entering the church, all must stop for a temperature check.  Anyone with fever will not be let in.

In the vestibule, all must sanitize their hands before entering the nave of the church.  Sanitizer is provided

by the parish.

Inside the Church


No Holy Water

Holy water fonts will be empty for safety concerns. There will be no access to the statues, cross, etc. as well.


Directed to Seats


To ensure proper social distancing, ushers will direct parishioners to seats.  Members of the same household may sit together in one pew. Kindly follow the directions of the ushers strictly.


6-Foot Distance


While seated, standing and walking, people who are not of the same household must remain 6 feet apart from each other. Seats are all marked out.

I regret that, for safety reasons, the restrooms will not be available at this time, except for emergencies. 

All Masses will be over within 40 minutes to ensure people spend the minimum length of time in the Church. Hopefully that will also minimize the need for people in general to use a restroom.




So that the maximum number of parishioners can celebrate the Sunday Mass, all Masses during the weekdays also will be the Sunday liturgy whenever permitted/meaningful (There are obligatory feasts and memorials).

There will be no entrance procession, no presentation of the gifts, no exchange of peace, no recessional, etc. Collections will be taken as you enter the Church, not at the usual time.


The priest, the ministers (including altar server, if any) will also keep 6 feet distance from each other.



Holy Communion

Communion will take place in front of the altar immediately   AFTER the Mass for those in attendance.  An usher will call out pew by pew alternating from both sides so that communicants will keep the six feet distance.

For those who are watching live-stream Mass, communion will be given after the 11:00 Mass on Sundays, as said earlier, till 12: 45 pm.

The Precious Blood (Cup) will not be given.

The faithful are strongly encouraged to receive Communion in the hand.  Please keep your hands open enough so that the priest/minister does not happen to touch your hands, again for safety reasons.


Approach the sanctuary wearing the face covering.  Upon reaching the Priest or the Eucharistic Minister, remove the mask, place one hand under the other while keeping fingers together and receive the host. After consuming the host put on the mask again.


After receiving communion, those on the choir side will exit by the door on that side, and those on the ambo side will exit by the door there. There will be no socializing outside the church or inside. All are encouraged to spend a few minutes in their cars in prayer and then drive off.


Cleaning After Mass

The high touch areas of the church, including the pews will be sanitized after each Mass.  As said earlier, restrooms will be available only in emergencies; but they too will be sanitized after each use.


Starting on Saturday, July 11 confessions will be heard at the usual time, 4 to 4: 45 pm. It will be in the parish hall. People are to stay inside the hall following social distancing guidelines. The priest will be in the St. Cecilia's room and the door of the room left open; those waiting in line will be asked to keep a safe distance from the room so that those making confessions will have enough privacy.   The priest and the penitent also will keep six feet distance from each other.

If anyone wishes to make confession outside of the usual time, kindly call the parish office (510 223 1153) and one of the priests will be available to hear confession. You may also call Fr. Dante (510 325 0858).     


Those at Risk

Those who are sick, the elderly, the immune-compromised or otherwise at risk for COVID-19 should not come for Mass. They can continue to participate in the live-streamed Mass.


Until further notice, Bishop Barber continues to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days.


For Holy Communion to the Sick and those at Risk or for the Sacrament of the Anointing, please call the parish office number 510-223-1153 or Fr. Dante 510-325-0858.



Mass Schedule


Monday – Saturday * 8:30 am * Mass in English * No Attendance registration required


Saturday Vigil  - 5: 30 pm * Mass in English * Attendance Registration REQUIRED


Sunday  - 8:30 am * Mass in English * Attendance Registration REQUIRED


Sunday - 11:00 am * Mass in English * Attendance Registration REQUIRED


Fr. Jimmy Thottapally