The Diocese continues to monitor information related to the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) through resources available from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) and other authorities. As Christians, we should also be praying for those who are ill and those who care for them. As Catholics, we have a particular duty to protect the most vulnerable among us, and we take seriously our responsibility to the broader community, including grandparents, other seniors and potentially health-challenged family members and friends.
For Parishioners and Parishes
What You Can Do
Stop the Spread and Stay Educated
Even if you are not particularly concerned about the risk to yourself or your own family, staying at home will protect others who may be more vulnerable. Many of us will carry the virus before having any symptoms (and may never develop any). Wash your hands well for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Pray two Hail Marys while handwashing for the sick and vulnerable.
Check the public health authorities' webpages for more information on the Coronavirus (resources below).
Turn to Jesus in this time of need.
Pope’s Prayer to Mary for a protection during the coronavirus pandemic
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Staying Home from Mass
The Celebration of Mass as we know it in the Diocese will change in light of the recent events and our obligation to protect the most vulnerable and promote the common good. Priests of our Diocese must continue to celebrate Mass as the intention for an announced Mass must be satisfied. It is of great comfort to those who cannot share in the Eucharist that their own intentions will continue, and that their pastors continue to pray for them.
Attendance at Mass will not be available to the general public. Our Divine law still requires us to keep holy the Lord’s Day with prayer and avoiding unnecessary work.
Even if one cannot sacramentally receive the Eucharist, everyone should be aware of the practice of making a spiritual communion. You can find more information on spiritual communion here.
Please contact your parish for more information on funerals, baptisms, receiving Holy Communion at home, or receiving the Sacrament of the Sick.
CLICK HERE to find a list of livestreamed Masses from our parishes.
As the suspension of public Masses continues, our parishes are still operating yet experiencing the sharp decrease of their weekly offertory. Please consider donating more to your parish during this time if you have the capacity to do so or signing up for your parish’s online giving service. CLICK HERE to find direct links to each parish’s online giving website though you can still mail your weekly check or donation to your parish if giving online isn’t feasible for you or your family.
Protect the Vulnerable and Continue to Support Your Parish
Consider making donations to Catholic Charities Food Bank or your local food pantry. Ensure you are checking on vulnerable neighbors or calling your parish to see what you can do for any vulnerable members of your community. While volunteering in person may be a challenge, many charitable programs will welcome monetary support or logistical support (such as delivery drivers).
Without the regular support of their parishioners, parishes will struggle to meet their regular financial obligations. Please continue to support your parish. For example, while you are watching the Mass on television you can take up a collection in the living room and arrange to later mail your gift to your parish. Additionally, most parishes have online giving. If you have not already signed up for your parish’s online offertory program, please visit your parish website.
Faith Formation in the Home Resources
CLICK HERE for a list of faith formation resources to support individuals, families, and communities during this time. The resources offer you opportunities for continuing faith formation in the home and online and it is our hope that you will find them beneficial.
For Catholic Schools and School Families
03.26.20 Schools will continue remote instruction through May 4th. Please see the most current memo from Superintendent Dave Thibault.
03.12.20 Schools were issued a memo with guidance to limiting nonessential work travel and sick time, based on the Diocesan Administration guidelines. Please see here.