CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF OHIO

                              April 28, 2020                         

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

Yesterday, 27 April 2020, Governor Mike DeWine presented a strategy to begin a multi-phased plan, even while the executive “Stay at Home Order” remains in place. His plan begins a process for Ohioans gradually to return to work and daily activity and provides hope and evidence that our cooperation with the governor’s orders has significantly curbed the spread of the virus.  We thank you for and admire the patience, cooperation and understanding you have already shown during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We realize the frustration, sadness, and loss the faithful felt not to be able to gather personally to celebrate the Paschal Mysteries during the Sacred Triduum and each Sunday.  During this time of sacrifice and longing, we have joined our prayers and hearts to yours, trusting that God will see us through this pandemic and reunite us at the Eucharistic Feast.  Out of deep concern for the common good as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor, and to support and abide by the multi-phased approach to returning to work and eventual public gathering in large groups. 

 

To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies ending on May 29th, with the hope of publicly celebrating together the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31. Each of the bishops of Ohio, once again, dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in their territories from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time.  We ask for the cooperation and adherence of all the faithful to the governor’s directives during this period. 

 

We will be working diligently with our pastoral teams to consider reasonable, gradual and responsible initiatives for welcoming back the faithful in time to Sunday Mass, initiatives which will renew our love for the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and which will help us to restore Catholic life and invite others to share that life after the pandemic. We encourage individual dioceses and their respective pastors and parishioners to begin to work to establish plans which respect social distancing and other requirements for the safety of our people.

 

This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.  We remain grateful for your understanding and prayerful support. As your bishops we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord’s Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of radio broadcast or televised or livestreamed options and making a spiritual communion.  Keeping in mind of the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the Liturgy of the Hours, rosary, divine mercy chaplet, and Stations of the Cross, etc.

 

Together we continue to pray for all who are suffering from Covid19, for all health care workers and first responders, for all the deceased and their families, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this pandemic.  Relying on the Motherly care of Our Lady, Health of the Sick, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we trust in the glorious hope of His Resurrection.

 

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati

 

Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer

Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati

 

Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan

Bishop of Columbus

 

Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton

Bishop of Steubenville

 

Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J.

Bishop of Youngstown

 

Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak

Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland

 

Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas

Bishop of Toledo

 

Most Rev. J. Michael Botean

Romanian Eparchy of Canton

 

Most Rev. Bohdan J. Danylo

Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat

 

Most Rev. Milan Lach, SJ

Byzantine Eparchy of Parma

 

 

CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF OHIO

NO LONGER IN EFFECT

April 2, 2020   

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Extend Suspension of All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies  

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today (April 2, 2020) Governor Mike DeWine extended the executive “Stay at Home Order” to continue to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the State of Ohio. Out of deep concern for the common good, as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor’s direction.

To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies at least through and including Sunday May 3rd. The Bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time period.

This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make by being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.

Trusting in the graces flowing from the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord, we remain mindful of the hope that does not disappoint. As your bishops, we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord’s Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of televised, live-streamed, or radio broadcast options and making a spiritual communion. Keeping in mind the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours and Stations of the Cross, etc.

Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from the Coronavirus, for all health care workers and first responders, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this pandemic. Relying on the Motherly care of Our Lady, Health of the Sick, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we trust in the glorious hope of His resurrection.

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr Archbishop of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan Bishop of Columbus

Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton Bishop of Steubenville

Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J. Bishop of Youngstown

Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland

Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas Bishop of Toledo

Most Rev. J. Michael Botean Romanian Eparchy of Canton

Most Rev. Bohdan J. Danylo Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat

 Most Rev. Milan Lach, SJ Byzantine Eparchy of Parma

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Suspend All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

 

This decision is not taken lightly and, as your bishops, causes us great sadness. However, after consultation with the governor and health officials we are convinced that this is the most prudent and necessary action. Science has proven that participation in public gatherings significantly increases the risk of contagion. This poses a serious danger to those especially most vulnerable.

 

As Catholics, in every Sunday Mass we celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. In this moment, we are experiencing in a unique way the passion of our Lord as this pandemic prevents us from gathering for the Sunday Eucharist. In this very difficult time, we encourage the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer. Sunday remains a holy day, and we encourage the faithful to pray using the rich resources of our faith, including praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours, stations of the cross, etc.

We also urge you to participate in prayer by way of radio broadcast or televised or live-streamed Mass and make a spiritual communion. Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from illness or disease of any kind, for all health care workers, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this situation. Relying on the Motherly care of Our Lady, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our healing and our hope.

 

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr ,Chairman Catholic Conference of Ohio , Archbishop of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop  Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan, Bishop of Columbus

Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton, Bishop of Steubenville

Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown

Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak , Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland

Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo            

 

Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments,

25.03.2020

DECREE

In time of Covid-19 (II)

Considering the rapidly evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and taking into account observations which have come from Episcopal Conferences, this Congregation now offers an update to the general indications and suggestions already given to Bishops in the preceding decree of 19 March 2020.

Given that the date of Easter cannot be transferred, in the countries which have been struck by the disease and where restrictions around the assembly and movement of people have been imposed, Bishops and priests may celebrate the rites of Holy Week without the presence of the people and in a suitable place, avoiding concelebration and omitting the sign of peace.

The faithful should be informed of the beginning times of the celebrations so that they can prayerfully unite themselves in their homes. Means of live (not recorded) telematic broadcasts can be of help. In any event it remains important to dedicate an adequate time to prayer, giving importance above all to the Liturgia Horarum.

The Episcopal Conferences and individual dioceses will see to it that resources are provided to support family and personal prayer.

1 - Palm Sunday. The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem is to be celebrated within sacred buildings; in Cathedral churches the second form given in the Roman Missal is to be adopted; in parish churches and in other places the third form is to be used.

2 – The Chrism Mass. Evaluating the concrete situation in different countries, the Episcopal Conferences will be able to give indications about a possible transfer to another date.

3 – Holy Thursday. The washing of feet, which is already optional, is to be omitted. At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession is also omitted and the Blessed Sacrament is to be kept in the tabernacle. On this day the faculty to celebrate Mass in a suitable place, without the presence of the people, is exceptionally granted to all priests.

4 – Good Friday. In the Universal Prayer, Bishops will arrange to have a special intention prepared for those who find themselves in distress, the sick, the dead, (cf. Missale Romanum). The adoration of the Cross by kissing it shall be limited solely to the celebrant.

5 – The Easter Vigil: Is to be celebrated only in Cathedral and parish churches. For the “Baptismal Liturgy” only the “Renewal of Baptismal Promises” is maintained (cf. Missale Romanum).

Seminaries, houses of clergy, monasteries and religious communities shall follow the indications of this decree.

Expressions of popular piety and processions which enrich the days of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum can be transferred to other suitable days in the year, for example 14 and 15 September, according to the judgement of the Diocesan Bishop.

De mandato Summi Pontificis pro hoc tantum anno 2020.

From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 25 March 2020, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

Robert Card. Sarah

Prefect

✠ Arthur Roche

Archbishop Secretary

Worship and Sacraments in the Time of Public Health Concern Directives and Guidelines for the Diocese of Youngstown ~ March 2020

 

Per the decision to suspend public celebrations of all Masses/liturgies, below are specific guidelines/directives on how to best proceed with celebrating the sacraments, remaining pastorally sensitive to the faithful, and diocesan plans for upcoming Holy Week Services.  Please note the separate sections for each sacrament, as well as specific and important guidance for administering the sacraments to anyone who is a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

 

Ø  Church Building ~ Open for Personal Prayer and Devotion

Church buildings can remain open for private prayer of the faithful and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (either reserved in the tabernacle or exposed) depending on the physical arrangement of the space.  The days and time should be limited and are best determined by each pastor taking into consideration constraints on staffing and the need to perform routine maintenance.  The number of people present should be limited to 10 with physical distancing.  In addition seating should be confined to a specific area to prevent contamination of the entire nave area.  Hymnals and other worship aids should also be removed, or if used, disinfected regularly.

 

 

Ø  Celebration of the Eucharist

Priests are highly encouraged to offer Mass daily, if possible, but in a non-public way. Consider the times the church is open for private prayer of the faithful, and celebrate the Eucharist at other times, or in a private area without members of the faithful.  Canon 904 states: Remembering always that in the mystery of the Eucharistic sacrifice the work of redemption is exercised continually, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed, daily celebration is recommended earnestly since, even if the faithful cannon be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.  Priests should not binate or trinate solely for the purpose of fulfilling scheduled Mass intentions; they can be rescheduled for the future.

 

During this time Bishop Murry gives permission for the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, (#45 For the Sick and #48 In Any Need) to be used on Lenten weekdays.

 

Ø  Spiritual Communion via Live-Streamed or Televised Mass

Viewing a live-streamed, online, or televised Mass is an opportunity for the faithful to remain connected to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this difficult time.  Please share with parishioners through your parish social media platforms the times which daily and Sunday Mass can be viewed.  A complete schedule can be found on the Diocesan website: www.doy.org  under the MEDIA tab.  Another source includes: www.watchtheMass.com from the CatholicTV Network offering daily Mass in English Sunday through Friday and in Spanish every Sunday.

 

Below are recommendations that can be shared with parishioners on how to make a ‘spiritual communion’ when unable to participate in Mass.  These can be adapted based upon personal and family needs:

  • Gather with others in your household and begin a time of prayer with the sign of the cross.

  • Take time to read and reflect upon the readings from Sunday Mass.  Scripture readings can be found at www.usccb.org.  Additionally, a televised schedule of Mass is available at www.doy.org under Media tab.

  • Share prayer intentions quietly or aloud.

  • Pray the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Offer a prayer for healing, strength, or forgiveness or any prayer available during the coronavirus pandemic:

http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/usccb-president-reflection-and-prayer-during-coronavirus.cfm

o   Close with the sign of the cross.

 

 

Ø  Baptism

All parishes in the Diocese of Youngstown are asked to observe some temporary practical norms concerning the Sacrament of Baptism.  At this time, while Baptisms are still possible based solely on pastoral urgency, it is highly recommended that they be postponed, unless it is a dire circumstance, to insure the safety of all involved.  If a baptism is held there are to be no more than 10 people present.  Use only fresh water that has been blessed for the Baptism and immediately drain it to the ground after.  Family members in vulnerable populations should be encouraged to stay home.

 

 

Ø  Reconciliation/Confession

Especially during Lent, it is important that the faithful experience God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Every consideration should be given to offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation to individuals.  However, to help minimize the risk of exposure, it is recommended that the following adaptations be employed should anyone be concerned about possible transmission of the Coronavirus/COVID-19:

o   Temporarily move out of the confessional if it is a tight space and provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a larger room where a confidential conversation can still be held.

o   If possible, use a screen to block the air flow between the priest and penitent.  The penitent should always have the option of confessing anonymously.

o   Attempt to keep sufficient space between priest and penitent.

o   Use a chair without armrests or cleanse the armrests with sanitizer between each person.  Consider providing the sacrament in such a way that the penitent remains standing, ensuring proper distance, and to minimize surfaces being touched.

o   If confessions are heard from multiple penitents, ensure disinfecting wipes are available and used between each person.  Penitents waiting should practice safe distancing and number no more than 10.

o   The Sacrament of Reconciliation may NOT be celebrated virtually (i.e. video chat, facetime, via phone etc.) and General Absolution is not permitted.

 

 

Ø  Confirmation

All Confirmation ceremonies at least through April 12, 2020 are postponed.  Bishop Murry hereby grants delegation to pastors to confirm their candidates scheduled for Confirmation during this period at a time after it has been determined safe and is convenient to the parish.  Confirmation ceremonies scheduled after April 12, 2020 will be dealt with at a later date.

 

 

Ø  Weddings

If possible, weddings should be rescheduled for the time being.  Any wedding that is held must be done with no more than 10 people present and who do not exhibit any symptoms.  All precautions and sanitizing must be observed.

 

 

Ø  Funerals

Funeral Masses with a very limited number present are permitted.  Our response and action should be as pastoral as possible.  Encourage and work with local funeral directors to abide by these norms.  Public viewing/calling hours in Church vestibules, chapels or other spaces are to be avoided.  Memorial Masses can be scheduled at a later date.

 

 

Ø  Anointing of the Sick ~ Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

Ministering the Sacraments to non-COVID-19 patient

If the visit is in a hospital environment, follow the hospital directives regarding personal care and cautionary measures.

 

Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

If the visit is in a home, follow these guidelines:

o   Wash hands or use a hand sanitizer once you enter the home.

o   Avoid any physical contact with the person or family during the visit.

o   Use a hand sanitizer again before distributing Holy Communion.

o   If the communicant usually receives Holy Communion on the tongue, strongly encourage him/her for your safety as well as his/hers, to receive Holy Communion in the hand.

o   Wash or sanitize your hands after the visit.

o   Maintain physical distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.

o   Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

 

Anointing of the Sick

If the sacrament is celebrated in a health care facility, follow the protocols and protective guidelines of that facility.  If the sacrament is celebrated at a home, follow the guidelines stated above and the following:

o  Maintain physical distance with everyone in the room so as to offer comfort without making physical contact.

o  Wash or sanitize your hands once you enter the room.

o  The anointing may be done with a cotton-tipped swab or a cotton ball which is to be burned or buried after use.

o  Sanitize your hands after the visit.

Ministering the Sacraments to confirmed COVID-19 patient

Priests in the high-risk group (i.e., over the age of 60) or those with comorbidity; i.e., when two or more chronic illnesses are present (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, any form of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, COPD, heart disease) should consider asking for the help of other priests when possible.

 

These recommendations are in place following the healthcare guidelines that indicate younger, healthier individuals are at a much-diminished risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19.

 

Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

  • If this is performed in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.

  • If this is not in a hospital or healthcare facility:  If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest/deacon has an allergic sensitivity to latex.  Additionally, if available, protective eyewear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.

  • In all cases, follow the guidelines below:

o  Wash hands or use a hand sanitizer once you enter the home.

o  Avoid any physical contact with the person or family during the visit.

o  Use a hand sanitizer again before distributing Holy Communion.

o  If the communicant usually receives Holy Communion on the tongue, strongly encourage him/her, for your safety as well as his/hers to receive Holy Communion in the hand.

o  If the priest uses his gloved hand, the glove is to be burned or buried after the visit.

o  Maintain social distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.

o  Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

 

Anointing of the Sick

  • If this is performed in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.

  • If this is not in a hospital or healthcare facility:  If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest has an allergic sensitivity to latex. Additionally, if available, protective eyewear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.

  • In all cases, follow the guidelines above and the following:

o  The anointing may be done with a cotton-tipped swab or a cotton ball which is to be burned or buried after use.

 

 

Ø  Palm Sunday ~ Holy Week Services ~ RCIA Catechumens/Candidates

  • Palm Sunday

Priests will be asked to bless palms privately.  On Palm Sunday weekend palms may be distributed in the parking lot of the church at times designated by the pastor on Saturday evening and/or Sunday morning.

  • Holy Week Services

o  Chrism Mass and Oils:  Bishop Murry will celebrate a private Mass with the Deans to bless the oil and Sacred Chrism.  The Mass will be available for viewing on-line by priests and the faithful beginning on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 through the Diocesan website.  Deans will make arrangements for the distribution of oils in each deanery.

o  Holy Thursday ~ Mass of the Lord’s Supper:  Bishop Murry will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper for viewing on-line beginning on Thursday, April 9, 2020 through the Diocesan website.

o  Good Friday Service:  Bishop Murry will celebrate the Good Friday ~ Passion of the Lord Service for viewing on-line beginning on Friday, April 10, 2020 through the Diocesan website.

o  Easter Sunday Mass:  Bishop Murry will celebrate Easter Sunday Mass for viewing on-line beginning on Sunday, April 12, 2020 through the Diocesan website.

o  Easter Vigil ~ RCIA Catechumens/Candidates:  The current circumstances require that the initiation of RCIA Catechumens and reception of Candidates be postponed.  Pastors and RCIA teams should determine an appropriate time to properly celebrate the initiation of these people into the Church.  Providing it is safe, the Vigil of Pentecost, Sunday, May 31, 2020 should be considered.

 

 

These directives/guidelines currently remain in effect by order of Bishop Murry and will be revised or changed should any further directives be issued by the Governor of Ohio, the Bishops of Ohio, or Bishop Murry.

 

 

Please contact the Office of Worship with any questions or concerns:  330-744-8451 ext 282 or at Saint William Parish 330-847-8677.

© 2019 by Saint John Paul II Parish