Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
The archdiocese released a new statement today that “Effective Tuesday, March 17, we will suspend all public Masses for the next three weeks including the weekends of March 21-22; March 28-29; and April 4-5.” The full statement may be read here.
I know this was a decision that was made with great prudence and discernment; nonetheless, I know it brings us all great sadness that we have gotten to this point. The rationale for this decision is to reduce large group gatherings and to encourage “social distancing” so as to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus as much as is reasonably possible. Although the faithful will not be able to attend Mass, please be aware of the following:
Fr. Valery and I will be live streaming our private Masses on Sundays (and possibly more frequently) on our parish Facebook page. More details regarding the times for this are forthcoming.
The church will remain open during the day for private prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (please maintain the generally accepted social distancing practice of staying at least 6 feet away from other people while in the church). More details regarding the times the church will be open are forthcoming.
Confessions will continue as regularly scheduled (Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am and 3:00-4:00pm). However, we will move the confessionals into the corners of the main church so that people waiting in line can have ample room to spread out and maintain the proper social distancing.
All other parish ministries and events have been suspended through April 6; however, I will be working with my staff to try to continue providing faith formation classes online using various resources, and we will try to live stream as many events as possible including our upcoming consecration to St. Joseph this coming Thursday, March 19.
I will be sending out another email tomorrow with more information. In the meantime, let us renew our trust in the Lord and pray fervently that He will bring this pandemic to a swift end. And may Our Lady, Help of the Sick, bring healing and comfort to all those who are suffering with this terrible virus, and watch over all who care for them.