Message from Archbishop Jackels to the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, regarding the coronavirus
The President extended the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic at least until the end of April 2020, in an attempt to slow down the spread of the disease and to reduce the number of people who get sick from it, so as not to overwhelm hospitals.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Keep your distance from other people.
As a consequence, we will not be able to gather as a community to celebrate the Holy Week and Easter services. Oh my.
Also, the provisions that were communicated a few weeks ago will remain in force until further notice:
- All public celebrations of Holy Mass are cancelled. All Catholics in the Archdiocese of Dubuque are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
- During this time, the Archbishop will livestream a celebration of Holy Mass each Sunday, as well as the Triduum, and will lead the Rosary each week on Thursday. Visit www.DBQArch.orgfor more information about these livestreamed events.
- Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms may be held, but limited to the immediate family, or at least no more than 10 people present.
- Communal penance services should not be held. One-on-one confession can be scheduled, but with provisions made for social distancing and keeping common surfaces sanitized. The use of general absolution during this pandemic is allowed.
- All in-person gatherings in the Archdiocese of Dubuque of more than 10 people are cancelled. If there are gatherings of 10 people or less, the standard coronavirus practices should be observed, especially social distancing.
All of the above-listed provisions are done out of devotion to the common good, and to give good example, contributing to the solution, not to the problem.
This “fast” from Mass and sacraments does not show a lack of appreciation for them. We need God. Prayer and worship are essential practices of our faith in God, and they are ideally practiced with others, not alone. But we have to be good stewards, prudent, careful not to contribute to the spread of disease.
Pray. Do penance. Give alms to the poor.
Pray to God for speedy deliverance from the evil of the coronavirus, for those who are sick, for those who care for the sick and elderly, for those who fear for their lives and livelihood, and that we might all remain calm and confident in God’s wisdom, power, and goodness.
Do penance, if by no other way than to practice silence when tempted to pass on gossip, or to say something hurtful, or to murmur against God (and the archbishop).
And give alms, all of us, especially those who have the means, contributing to our parishes and to Catholic Charities, in their attempts to help people who are out of work, or who can’t afford rent, food, medicine, and other essentials.
God, come to our assistance. Lord, make haste to help us. Mary, health of the sick, pray for us. St. Raphael, patron of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and patron of healing, pray for us.