News from the Archdiocese
July 17, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Since 1956, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has sent over 45 archdiocesan priests to serve the people of Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America. This year, we offer praise and thanks to our Lord, as Fr. Patrick Hayden and Fr. James Michler continue to serve in the Latin America Apostolate, each with over 25 years of missionary service to the apostolate. Their perseverance and endurance. especially in the midst of the recent crisis in Boliv ia, is an outstanding testimony to their faith and to the support and encouragement they receive through the faithful of our local archdiocese.
All of us are facing unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic. Pope Francis reminds us,
"Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpe cted, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat... are all ofus. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying 'We are perishing' (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this" (Meditation in Saint Peter's Square, 27 March 2020).
Right now, we have the opportunity to come together. We are the Body of Christ and are called to live this reality; comforting one another. One of the ways we can do this is through the support of our Latin America Apostolate. Our brothers and sisters in Bolivia are, too, suffering the effects of the pandemic. Without the prayers and sacrifices of the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, our Latin America Apostolate could not offer pastoral care, formation, catechesis, and social services to the parish community of Maria Reina. Ask God how He is calling you to participate in this mission financia l l y. Please pray for our Latin America Apostol ate, missi onaries, and all involved with this ministry. The annual collection for our Latin America Apostolate will take place in all parishes during the weekend of August Ist & 2nd.
I am asking God's blessings on you and your families, and am grateful for your support of our Latin America Apostolate.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson Apostolic Administrator Archdiocese of St. Louis
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson granted permission for public Masses to resume, at the discretion of each parish pastor, beginning Monday, May 18.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis issued guidelines for conduct and observing social distancing, and the archbishop’s general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will remain in place for all Catholics in the archdiocese until further notice. Parishes are encouraged to continue livestreaming Masses on digital platforms.
“I am filled with the joy of this Easter season to be able to once again reunite our faithful in the celebration of public Masses, centered around the Eucharist given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Carlson wrote in a statement. “I am grateful to our priests, deacons and all parish staffs for working closely with me and archdiocesan leadership to continue to guide parish communities in their faith journeys, while prudently following all protocols to keep God’s people safe and healthy.”
The decision to resume Masses, along with the accompanying guidelines, was made in consultation with the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the Missouri bishops and civil authorities. That collaboration will continue through May 18 and beyond, with decisions subject to change based on any new data provided by health officials.
Parishes that resume Masses have been asked to follow guidelines to observe social distancing and other health requirements. They include:
Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail WitteGENERAL GUIDELINES
• Parishioners who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to another with the virus should not go to church, in accordance with national, state and local health directives.
• Attendees should take their temperature at home before determining whether they should attend Mass.
• Anyone over 60 years old and those with underlying health complications are encouraged to participate in Masses via livestream only.
Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail WitteCLEANING, SANITIZING AND HYGIENE
• Appropriate cleaning of high-use areas within the church is to be completed before and after each service. A special grant from the Annual Catholic Appeal will help the Archdiocese to provide manyparishes with sanitation, hygiene and personal protective equipment supplies.
Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail WitteCAPACITY/ATTENDANCE
• The number of people permitted to attend Mass will be determined by guidelines established by local officials and health departments.Ask your pastor for details.
• The faithful are obliged to wear a mask during the celebration of Mass, except for a brief moment when receiving Communion.Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail Witte
• Ushers and other volunteers will wear masks and gloves (when gloves are not available, frequent handwashingwill be necessary) throughout the celebration of Mass.
• Specific practices are required for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. More details are included under “Holy Communion” on next page.
Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail Witte • Stationary baskets will be used for donations from the assembly and are to be monitored by the ushers until the donations are collected.
• Collection baskets should not be passed, nor will ushers take up the collection from the congregation.
• Please consider giving your offertory gift online.
SIGN OF PEACE Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail Witte
• The sign of peace has been suspended until further notice.
• Communicants are to receive the Host in the hand, in keeping with the advice of state health officials and thereby to avoid theCommunion minister’s fingers coming into contact with saliva or particles exhaled from the communicants’ mouth onto the ministers’ fingers.
• Communion ministers must wear face coverings, must sanitize their hands immediately before and after distributing Communion, and when at all possible, should utilize a disinfectant wipe or purificator dipped in a sanitizing solution (at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol) to sanitize their fingers when incidental contact is made with the communicant.
Photo Credits: Illustration by Abigail Witte • Distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice is prohibited to the assembly. For those who have celiac disease, special arrangements are to be made with the pastor.
• When approaching the Communion minister, the communicant is to pull their mask below their chin in order to prepare to receive Communion as above. The communicant immediately replaces their mask after consuming the Host.
• Ushers or other volunteers who wear masks and gloves will ensure six-foot distancing in the Communion line.
• Floor markings shall be placed six feet apart in the aisles in which the congregation approaches the sanctuary for Communion to facilitate proper social distancing.
• Maintaining a single-file line is necessary for the distribution of Holy Communion for each Communion minister and communicant to maintain social distancing. Multiple Communion ministers may be used as long as one-way traffic patterns are observed.
• Pastors have been given authority to schedule First Communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals and baptisms — unless the local authorities are restricting public worship services — in keeping with the requirements of public safety.
• Social activities, such as coffee and doughnuts after Mass, will not take place. Families and individuals are asked to leave Mass together, wear facial coverings, and observe six feet of distance from others. Priests, deacons and others will not be able to greet parishioners after Mass, and bulletins or other materials should not be distributed after Mass.
>> ACA grant
A special grant from the Annual Catholic Appeal will help the Archdiocese to provide sanitation, hygiene and personal protective equipment supplies as they resume public Masses on May 18. Parishes have been asked to complete appropriate cleaning of high-use areas within the church before and after each Mass. Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, ushers and other volunteers have been asked to wear masks and take other precautions during Mass, such as frequent handwashing or using hand sanitizer.
Please direct questions to [email protected]