Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,

Due to the substantial increase in cases of COVID in our area, Montgomery County has issued an order requiring the use of face coverings for gatherings taking place indoors. This order applies to those who are already vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated. The order went into effect on Saturday, August 7. For more details on this county-wide order, please visit the county’s web page, https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/face-coverings.html.

Going forward, face coverings are required at all Masses and other liturgies taking place in the church, as well as any other event in the parish hall, pantry, adoration chapel or school. Note that the county has not added any further restrictions, such as social distancing, or limitations on numbers at Mass or at other gatherings.

I am thrilled to have the adoration chapel reopened for daily prayer from 7:00am-9:00pm. We have added an air purifier to the chapel, because it is a small enclosed space. If you would like to sign up for a weekly hour of adoration, please contact either Marion Strishock or Isolda Rivera Lainez. Their contact information can be found on flyers at each of the church exits or on the adoration chapel door. Currently, we have restricted the space to four persons at a time, and the busiest hours are in the evenings. Please be considerate if you have not signed up for a weekly adoration hour to give preference for those who have signed up when there are more than four people in the chapel. As a reminder, the church is open every day for prayer as well, between the hours of 6:00am-8:00pm (when no other liturgies are scheduled).

Over the past couple of months, we have partnered with local health organizations to offer free COVID testing and free COVID vaccinations of the Pfizer vaccine on Fr. Meyer Field. That will continue this Sunday, August 8, from 9am-4pm. I encourage those who have not been vaccinated, and who are eligible to do so, to be vaccinated. Of course, if you have any concerns regarding your health and possible reactions to the vaccine, please consult your doctor beforehand. While the Church strongly opposes any mandate for vaccinations, it also urges people to consider being vaccinated based on the duty to protect one’s own health and on the

duty to pursue the common good.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Dave

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