Tuesday, March 17, 2020
RE: ST. GABRIEL AND ST. BRIDGET PARISHES COVID-19 UDATE
I pray this letter finds you well. Let’s continue to keep each other and all people who suffer throughout these days in prayer. I am writing to update you of the continued and burdensome changes concerning our parishes of St. Gabriel and St. Bridget. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has announced today that, effective Wednesday, March 18, all public worship is suspended until further notice. Today’s announcement includes the cancellation of all Daily and Sunday Masses, public Confessions, Funeral Masses, Adoration, and Prayer gatherings.
As of tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, no activity – prayer or otherwise – is permitted to take place on either of our parishes’ campuses.
For the sake of minimizing the spread of COVID-19, this is to be strictly observed by all parishioners. No one is permitted to enter our parish facilities unless they have the permission of the Pastor, Principal or our Parishes’ Business Manager. As such, the churches will be officially closed and locked until further notice. The Parish Office will continue to be closed, but staff members will be checking email and voicemail messages often (M-F). Should anyone require a priest for Anointing of the Sick or Last Rites, call the Sacramental Emergency Line at (765) 825-8578 ext 4.
Resources for Prayer and Mass during this time:
- Arrangements are being made by the Archdiocese for the Catholic faithful to join in Masses via the internet. More information will be available at archindy.org
- EWTN’s weekly Mass schedule:
- Daily Mass (Mon-Sat): 8:00am, Noon, 7:00pm
- Sunday Mass: 8:00am, Noon
- Link to EWTN Weekly schedule: https://www.ewtn.com/tv/schedule/united-states/2020-03-23
- Link to EWTN Live Stream: https://www.ewtn.com/tv/watch-live
- Reflections by Fr. Dustin will be posted regularly to our parishes’ YouTube channel and shared on FaceBook. To access the parishes’ YouTube channel please follow this link, access from our website: org, or google the following phrase: St Gabriel Connersville YouTube.
What to make of all of this? It is safe to say, that almost none of us in our parishes have ever been forced to live without our churches open to us, opportunities for communal prayer, the freedom to exercise ministry, and endure a fast from receiving the Eucharist. However, there are those whom we count as our wiser brothers and sisters in Christ who live exactly what we now must endure. Each one of our nursing home residents and homebound parishioners have all given us and continue to give us an example worthy of imitation. Following their example, we will pick up, embrace, and carry this cross forward – offering it for the most vulnerable among us. And as ever, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Thanks be to God for our Faith and all God’s Grace that has prepared us for this moment and will see us through.
Know of my prayers for all during these Lenten days,
Fr. Dustin Boehm
Temporary Policies Guiding Parishes’ Activities
St. Gabriel & St. Bridget
Updated: Tuesday, March 17
All dates listing the expiration of suspension are subject to extension, which will be evaluated based on Archdiocesan, local health department, and school corporation recommendations.
St. Bridget and St. Gabriel Sacraments/Liturgies:
- All public/scheduled Masses: Cancelled until further notice
- The obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be lifted by the Archbishop
- All public/scheduled Confessions: Cancelled until further notice.
- Dustin remains available for confession by appointment
- Holy Week Masses: No concrete decision has been made, but the Archdiocese will issue directives in the coming weeks.
- Baptisms of Children: Cancelled until further notice
- Weddings: Cancelled until further notice
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Cancelled until further notice.
- All Funeral Masses are to be postponed until further notice. However, very small funeral services outside of Mass are permitted.
- Clarification from the Archdiocese: “If a funeral needs to be offered, then it should be celebrated outside of Mass and in the presence of only immediate family who practice the prescribed precautions for hygiene and social distancing. A Mass for the intention and the repose of the soul of the deceased may be offered privately by the priest.”
- As was addressed in the 3/13/2020 letter, all bereavement meals are suspended now until further notice.
St. Bridget and St. Gabriel Ministry/Committee:
- Nursing Home & Compassionate Visitors: Masses and all visits (for any reason) are suspended until further notice. In cases of emergency, please utilize the emergency line or contact Fr. Dustin directly.
- Communion to the sick and homebound: Suspended until further notice
- CCD, Confirmation, Youth Group, and Sacramental Preparation: Suspended until further notice
- RCIA Classes, Adult Faith Formation, Bible Studies, Consoling the Heart of Jesus: Suspended until further notice
- All Committees & Friends of St. B.: Suspended until further notice
- Bridget Fish Fry: Cancelled
- Choir: Suspended until further notice
- Bereavement Committee/Meals: Suspended until further notice
- Knights of Columbus: All Fish Fries are canceled, and the club is closed until further notice
- Bridget Thursday Morning Prayer Group: canceled until further notice
- Church Cleaning Teams: cancelled until further notice
St. Gabriel and St. Bridget Campus Buildings:
- All St. Gabriel School Buildings (1926, 1957, and 2001 buildings): No one, unless authorized by the Pastor or Principal, is permitted to enter the building until further notice. All groups scheduled to use these buildings (including the gym) are unable to do so until further notice.
- Parishes’ Office: Closed until further notice. (Staff will work from home as best as they are able and will remotely check voicemails/emails daily)
- Anthony Center/Parish Rectory: Closed further notice.
- Current rentals will be contacted to reschedule and there will be a suspension of new rentals until further notice
Mass Practices until Monday, May 25, 2020
These practices will resume once Mass resumes.
- Suspension of The Sign of Peace, hand holding during the Our Father, distribution of the Precious Blood (Chalices).
- If you are currently scheduled to distribute Communion from the Chalice, you will not need to come forward as you normally would.
- Ministers of the Bowl/Paten should bring their paten to the main altar and hand it to the priest-celebrant. They can return to their seats at that time, as the priest will purify the paten and the altar servers will place them on the table.
- While the option remains to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, please reconsider for the time being. You can certainly continue to kneel, but can and should receive on the hand.
- The Holy Water fonts will remain empty.