Due to the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19/coronavirus in Minnesota, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced last week his decision to dispense all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass, until further notice. This is a rare dispensation and a decision he said he did not take lightly. Download copy of the Archbishop’s letter.
Despite the Sunday Mass dispensation, Archbishop Hebda provided some simple ways to stay spiritually connected to the Church and each other to increase our spiritual devotion during Lent. We are here to support your spiritual journey and continue delivering the latest updates during this challenging time.
Here’s how you can stay involved:
- Monitor our parish website and social media for prayer intentions, news and event updates.
- Watch for emails with the latest information – and if you are not currently receiving emails from us, contact the parish office.
- Participate in electronic giving to support our ongoing ministries and operations, see parish website.
Right now, the parish staff and leadership team are working together to determine the course of our large group gatherings. We are checking with vendors and local public health experts to make sure we have the best and latest information. We will prayerfully consider that information and together make prudent decisions, and communicate those decisions to you, our parish family.
We are implementing the following steps to try and stop the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus:
- Please increase your personal distance from others in church (recommended 6 feet).
- We are disinfecting pews, door handles and other often contacted surfaces
- Hymnals and other items from pews that could transmit the virus have been removed
- Choir temporarily suspended, using a solo cantor and accompanist at Mass. All choir practices suspended.
- Holy water has been drained from the holy water fonts
- No hand holding during the Our Father and no contact during the Sign of Peace
- The Blessed Blood will not be given at Mass.
- If scheduled to be a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Usher, Greeter, Sacristan or Altar Server, please email or call the parish office if you are not available for your scheduled ministry.
- Any funerals that are needed will be planned on a case-by-case basis based on the best practices that are available at that moment. However, it can be expected that for the time being there will be no visitations and no funeral luncheons.
- Faith Formation has been suspended indefinitely, beginning immediately (see Cindy’s letter).
- The remaining Friday Night Fish Fry’s have all been cancelled.
- The Quilting group has been suspended until further notice.
- CCW Lenten Day of Recollection Thursday, March 19th is cancelled.
- 5 Parish All Saints Music Festival is postponed.
We encourage any who are sick or vulnerable to illness to stay home, implement “social distance” as much as possible by keeping space between individuals or families and practicing good hygiene.
Daily Mass, Confessions, Friday Adoration, Friday Stations of the Cross (4:30 pm & 7:00 pm) and Lenten Bible Study will continue. However, know that these are subject to the continuing discernment
of the Archbishop.
The parish staff will continue to come to work, but the parish office will be closed to visitors and drop-ins. Any and all parish business should be done electronically or over the phone. The parish doors will be locked during the day, even when staff is present.
Any decisions to cancel Masses will come from the Archdiocese, and if that occurs (as has happened in over 30 dioceses in the country, to date) we will inform you immediately. In this event, Father Terry will continue to provide pastoral care and the sacraments, but only to those in danger of death. If public Mass is suspended, please also know that Fr. Terry and many priests will continue to celebrate Mass privately for all of you.
Stay up to date from the Archdiocese COVID-19 page: https://www.archspm.org/covid19/
- A link to online Catholic Masses (in addition to the local TV and radio Masses)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have been updating their websites regularly with new information and guidance. Here are their links:
We thank you for your support and faithfulness to our parish community. We are confident that together, with God’s help and guidance, we will make it through this time of uncertainty.
Father Terry Beeson, Staff and Parish Leadership