Indiana bishops suspend public, Catholic MassesMarch 17, 2020
From Local Sources
The five Catholic bishops of Indiana have suspended all public Masses, effective Wednesday, and until further notice.
In making the announcement, Catholic Diocese of Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel urges all to continue to pray, especially for the sick, health care providers, public health officials and all community leaders during the weeks to come.
The Evansville diocese is also is taking the following actions:
• All weddings will be celebrated outside of Mass, effective Wednesday. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider, the engaged couple, the wedding
party and the immediate family of the engaged couple, adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
• All funeral liturgies will be celebrated outside of Mass, effective Wednesday. Funeral liturgies may be held in funeral homes or churches. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider and the immediate family of the deceased, adhering to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
• All baptisms of children will be one child at a time, celebrated outside of Mass, effective Wednesday. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider and
immediate family of the child being baptized, adhering to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
• The St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville is developing a plan to offer Mass seven days a week on YouTube and other platforms. Other parishes may also be offering this service. More details will be announced as they become available.
• Churches will remain open for prayer, but the faithful are urged to practice social distancing efforts to minimize their own and others’ potential exposure.
• Parish offices remain open under their normal business hours.
• Members of the faithful who are elderly, particularly those with underlying health conditions, and those with a comprised immune system or who are ill are
encouraged to stay home and avoid any gatherings. They are encouraged to pray at home and/or watch a televised Mass if possible.
• All parish events were canceled without exception.
• External events scheduled to be held in parish facilities (e.g. parish halls, school gymnasiums, etc.) should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Parishes should not commit to additional such events until further notice. Any such events are to adhere to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
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