On March 12, 2020 the Roman Catholic Bishops of Ohio issued a letter in response to Governor DeWine's executive order regarding large gatherings. Although the Governor excluded churches in this order, the letter dispenses the Catholic faithful in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29. The Bishops' letter will close out this communication.
At Our Lady of Lourdes, please note the following changes that are in effect immediately. Also, please be patient with us as this is a rapidly evolving situation. We will do our best to relay all information received.
- Bishop Brennan encourages senior citizens to NOT attend mass. We highly encourage you to follow this directive to keep our parishioners and community safe.
However, if you still plan to attend mass, please note the following changes:
- Weekend and weekday Masses will still be held at normal times. The Church will remain open until 5:00pm on weekdays if you would like to stop and pray.
- There will be NO altar servers, greeters, lectors or extraordinary ministers. Ushers will be used for collection as needed.
- Communion will only be distributed by Father Kavanagh and a Deacon. Please reconsider receiving the Eucharist in the hand only during this pandemic.
- There will be no music or books and pews will be wiped down after every Mass.
- Bulletins will be available for pickup in the Vestibule. They will NOT be passed out.
- Holy water will be drained from all fonts.
Changes to Activities
- All Parish Activities are cancelled, including PSR, TMIY, Walk Youth Group Meetings and Walking with Purpose until further notice.
- There will be NO Parish Committee Meetings.
- There will be NO Penance Service on April 2, 2020.
- Stations of the Cross are cancelled for the rest of Lent.
Please pass this information along, especially to the elderly and vulnerable, who may not receive this email communication.
The Bishops' letter follows:
RE: Coronavirus Update from the Catholic Bishops of Ohio
This afternoon Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order regarding the avoidance of large mass gatherings to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio.
Even though religious gatherings are expressly excluded in the order, the Catholic bishops of Ohio, out of concern for the common good and the physical as well as spiritual well-being of all of the people of Ohio, have agreed to cooperate with the governor’s direction to create “social distance”.
To that end, we dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in Ohio and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29.
Out of charity and concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we encourage all the faithful, in particular those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or are at risk of illness seriously to consider refraining from Mass attendance.
As much as possible, we would like to see parish Mass schedules remain unchanged to allow the faithful to offer worship to almighty God and receive the great grace of the sacraments during this trying time; however, we recognize that this may not be possible because many of our senior priests may themselves be at risk. We ask for understanding and flexibility in this regard.
Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from illness or disease of any kind, and for an easing of the tension caused by this situation. May Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick and Mother of Mercy, intercede for us, and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us all.
Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr
Catholic Conference of Ohio
Archbishop of Cincinnati
Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus
Most Rev. Jeffrey Monforton
Bishop of Steubenville
Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J.
Bishop of Youngstown
Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak
Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland
Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas
Bishop of Toledo