St. Gabriel and St. Bridget COVID-19 UPDATE – Sacramental Emergencies

Friday, April 10, 2020

12:00 PM


During these days when attendance at Mass has been curtailed and the ordinary reception of the Sacraments of Confession and Anointing are being deferred, I thought a note in order. I, and other priests/pastors have been instructed to refrain from providing the Sacraments under “ordinary circumstances” (I think everyone is painfully aware of this). Ordinary circumstances are for those persons who are physically healthy but are needing/desiring spiritual assistance by Sacramental Graces. While I would love to attend to that, I’ve been asked to defer it to a later time.
However, if your situation is serious or grave, please reach out to me, so I can determine what I can do. What do I mean by serious? You are of an extreme age and your general condition is deteriorating rapidly. You are going in for surgery (since all non-essential surgeries have been cancelled, if you are still receiving surgery, the medical professionals think it is serious). If you are receiving treatment for life threatening illnesses such as cancer, etc, it is serious. I am able to and will happily come see you.  If someone has been diagnosed with COVID and they have preexisting conditions, the Archdiocese is permitting only a certain group of priests to attend to them.  The priests in our deanery are Fr. James Brockmeier and Fr. Sengole.  In any of the serious circumstances mentioned above, please remember that we priests will have more leeway if we can visit in the home, but that must not stop someone from getting to the hospital as soon as possible – especially in emergencies.  However, most nursing homes and hospitals are locked down, and no one is able to visit patients/residents.  This means that it is likely that I or any COVID-designated-priest will not be permitted to give someone the Last Rites if it requires the priest to enter the hospital/nursing home.  While I don’t want a flood of phone calls, I do want those calls that are serious and need Sacramental attention. Please don’t wait until the last hours or minutes.  If such an extraordinary and grave case arises, please call our parishes emergency line: 765-825-8578 ext. 4.