Indiana’s Catholic Bishops Suspend Public Sunday and Weekday Masses
In light of new information and recommendations from health officials concerning the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgency to stem the spread of the virus, the five Catholic bishops of Indiana have suspended effective March 18 and until further notice all public Sunday and weekday Masses throughout the Province of Indiana, which is comprised of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Dioceses of Gary, Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, and Lafayette.
Okay. So, what are the things that will happen and won’t happen because of the prohibition of public Masses for the foreseeable future?
- There will be no public attendance at Mass. We will live-stream the Mass for those interested. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Mass will be streamed at 10:00 a.m. Please know that all listed Mass intentions will be offered by Fr. Declan and me. We are also working at providing the best video and audio quality as possible for the broadcast Masses. The videos will be posted on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as well as the parish’s web page if you missed the actual live-stream.
- You are invited to visit the chapel Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. On a table in the chapel foyer, Missalettes are available in case you want to take one home with you to follow the Mass and view the readings. Daily Mass readings are in the Missalette as well.
- Funeral Masses and Wedding Masses will be allowed but must follow the CDC directives of no more than 50 people present in the space. For your information, the health department is also mandating all funeral directors that, at the cemetery, the coffin must go to graveside. There will be no gathering of people in the cemetery chapel and numbers must be under the 50 person limit.
- The opportunity to go to confession will still be offered. Every Saturday, confessions are heard from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. When you come to the church, please make sure that you keep distance between the people in front of you and behind you.
- We at St. Thomas More Parish are going to do our best to provide you with daily inspirational posts as well as provide the live-streamed Masses.
- Try to take find a way to check in on the sick and the elderly in your family, among your friends, and in your neighborhoods. Remember, Church is not a building. Church is the people of God.
- Please remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day even though you might not be able to attend Mass. This is your time to prove to God how much He means to you and how much you rely on Him. This is not the worst thing that humanity has ever faced. If we face it together, each praying and doing his or her part, we will make it through intact and, I dare say, stronger than before.
- Please remember and repeat to yourself as often as possible: God loves you! He will not abandon you.