March 17, 2020
As you are aware, federal, state, and diocesan restrictions related to the spread of the coronavirus are changing on a day-to-day basis. Bishop Knestout released a letter yesterday that provided operating guidelines for the parishes and suspended all public Masses until further notice. His letter may be found at the following link: https://richmonddiocese.org/bishop-knestout-writes-letter-to-the-faithful-in-regard-to-covid-19/ . Additionally, the Governor of Virginia today reduced the allowable size of public gatherings in the state to ten attendees. Based on this latest combined guidance, the following changes are being implemented in our parish, effective immediately:
- All public Masses, including daily, Sunday and Holy day Masses are suspended indefinitely. To allow time for personal prayer and confession, controlled access to the church (with no more than ten parishioners permitted in the church at one time) will be available on the following schedule:
- Saturday: 4:30PM – 6:00PM (confessions and personal prayer)
- Sunday: 8:00AM – 9:00AM and 11:00AM – 12:00PM (personal prayer)
- All Religious Education programs are cancelled.
- Friday Stations of the Cross services are cancelled.
- Funeral services will continue to be held, but attendance will be restricted to immediate family.
- All routine meetings are cancelled. Emergency meetings may be approved by the pastor on a case-by-case basis if the number of planned attendees is less than ten.
- Soup Kitchen operations will be modified to “grab and go” bag or box lunch distribution outside of church facilities.
- Viaticum will be administered to those who are dying at home or in any facility where access is granted to the priest.
- I will offer private Mass daily for the intentions of the parish.
These changes will be in effect until further notice. We will make further changes to parish procedures as warranted. All parishioners age 65 or older, and all who have compromised respiratory or immune systems, or who are not feeling well are highly encouraged to remain at home. If you have any questions, please contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask me directly at email@example.com.
Fr. Paul Muyimbwa