Parish Policies

Parish Closure Policy

In case of inclement weather, the following is our parish closure policy.  When the news reports that Bethel–Tate schools are closed, all activities at St. Mary’s are canceled for that day. When New Richmond Schools are closed, all activities at St. Peter’s are canceled for that day. When it is a delay, parish times run as scheduled.

PREP and youth ministry activities, which usually occur on weekends, are cancelled by the CRE.  Participants may be notified by text, phone call, or the app.  To contact the CRE about a possible closure, please call your parish office or send an e-mail to

Sunday Masses usually are never cancelled.  If it is, a message will appear on the home page of our website.

Mass Intentions Policy

St. Mary Parish, Bethel, and St. Peter Parish, New Richmond

In order to accommodate the requests from all parishioners to offer Mass intentions for their loved ones, we will implement the following policy for all new Mass intention requests, effective October 1, 2018.

  • Each donor will be limited to 15 Masses for the same intention, within one calendar year from date of first intention.Each donor will be limited to 30 Masses for the same intention within five years from the date of the first intention.
  • If more intentions are desired, parish staff will do what they reasonably can to assist in finding opportunities, such as mission priests, who may be able to offer the additional intentions.
  • Mass intentions will not generally be taken more than one year in advance.
  • We will announce the date when the Mass intentions for the next year will be opened. The parish secretary will be able to tell you the earliest date possible to reserve intentions.
    For example, for the parish year running from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, we might not begin taking Mass intentions until March 1, 2019.
  • Mass intentions will be taken on a “first come, first served” basis.
  • Please note that we are in the process of determining a regional Mass schedule for the 2019-20 parish year. It is likely that St. Mary’s will continue to have 2 Sunday Masses at or near the current Mass times while St. Peter’s will reduce from three to two Sunday Masses at times to be determined.

Child Protection Policy

Our child protection policy complies with that of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  The basis of all child protection policies in the Archdiocese are found in the Decree on Child Protection.

Working With Children In Our Youth Programs

In order to work with children in our PREP and youth ministry programs, an adult must contact our CRE first.  No volunteer has any right to participate in any program, or to continue participating in a program.  Volunteers are chosen on the basis of their personal gifts and talents, and suitability to the position for which they want to volunteer.

Volunteers are required to complete the VIRTUS Safe Environment Training program, which includes an online background check through  Fingerprints are now only required of parish employees, as consistently runs background checks on employees and volunteers for a one-time fee during registration for the VIRTUS training.

Once the VIRTUS training is complete, volunteers must read monthly bulletins regarding child abuse as continuing education on this topic.  Volunteers, employees, and clerics who do not read these bulletins in a timely manner are not allowed to work with children.

Working With Children Outside Our Youth Programs

Sometimes, children and teenagers under 18 want to participate or volunteer in parish functions, such as fish fries and fundraisers.  If such a minor is accompanied by their parent or guardian during the event, the parents or guardians are solely responsible for their children.

If such a minor is not accompanied by their parent, at least two VIRTUS trained adults must supervise the minor(s) at all times during the event.  If at least two VIRTUS trained adults are not able to supervise the minor(s) for the duration of the minor’s participation, the minor(s) may not participate in the event.

Covid-19 Facilities Usage Policy

Due to the health risks of contagion from the recent outbreak of Covid-19, the SCCR parishes
will adapt the following policy for parish meetings, effective 1 July 2020, in accordance with
health and safety recommendations of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and laws of the State of

Parish groups may meet indoors in parish facilities providing all of the following
conditions are met:

  • The group may not be more than 12 people
  • No meeting may occur, indoors or out, without first being scheduled by the parish office manager.
  • The group leader must sign a form acknowledging responsibility to maintain social distancing at all times when his or her group is on parish grounds.
  • Specifically, individuals in the group must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times, with no exceptions, until leaving parish grounds.
  • In practice, this means that meeting procedures will have to be adjusted significantly. For example, handouts must be distributed in advance at members’ seats so that people do not “bunch up” to retrieve them. Socializing before and after meetings must be done at a distance of 6 feet or more. While coming in to be seated, people may have to wait for others to take their seats before they approach, and so on.
  • The group leaders must sign a form acknowledging that they will do what is reasonably possible to help in sanitizing the facility after use since our maintenance staff is limited.
  • Those meeting are encouraged to wear a mask, in accordance with current recommendations of the governmental health agencies. However, masks will not be required.
  • The parish staff will ensure that the tables and chairs are set up properly in advance to maintain distancing.
  • As of this writing, we are very close to having speakerphones available to plug into meeting rooms so that those choosing to participate by phone may do so conveniently.
  • Those participating by phone are free to use the parish’s rented conference line to allow multiple participants by phone. Please contact your group leader for instructions on how to dial into this line.
  • Whenever callers are joining the meeting via phone conference, as a courtesy, all group members are encouraged to identify themselves whenever they begin speaking.
  • This policy remains in effect until canceled by the pastor. Timing will depend on the progress of the disease.
  • Meetings held in outdoor facilities will follow the same policy as those itemized above (no difference in policy between indoor and outdoor facilities).
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