In light of yesterday’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Archbishop Kurtz is calling upon all priests to suspend the public celebration of the Eucharist, effective immediately and until further notice.
In his message to priests, Archbishop noted his conversations with pastors over the weekend. Pastors communicated to him both the concern of those parishioners who attended Mass as well as the great consolation that the Eucharist provides for so many.
Archbishop asked pastors to communicate to the faithful options to assist them during these difficult days, such as Mass of the Air and the recitation of the Holy Rosary and to find creative ways to keep churches accessible for prayer, provided there are clear safeguards in place that honor the need for social distancing. The Office of Worship will be surveying parishes about ideas and resources to be shared with all parishes.
The guidance of the Center for Disease Control that people not participate in gatherings of more than 50 people also applies to parish events and meetings. Many parishes have already begun to address large gatherings, such as Lenten fish fries, through cancellations or offering only take-out service.
Further guidance will be issued shortly on other issues related to this directive, such as questions about funerals, weddings, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and social service outreach to parishioners in need. Information about the archdiocesan response to the COVID-19 pandemic is at www.archlou.org/covid-19.
Archdiocese of Louisville
March 16, 2020