This from St. Columban Pastor Reverend Larry Tensi as a follow up to cautionary measures put in place earlier this week at St. Columban Catholic Church in Loveland
Published with permission of Rev. Larry Tensi, Pastor, St. Columban Catholic Church, Loveland, OH
LOVELAND, OH – 9:47 P.M. Thursday, March 12, 2020
THIS UPDATES THE STORY PUBLISHED Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 9:47 p.m.
Friday, March 13, 2020 – 11:15 A.m.
Update from Fr. Larry
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
As promised, I am updating you on a few things. First, the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We have been in contact with Bishop Binzer and he said he is still coming to celebrate the sacrament with us tomorrow, Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. In light of that, our recommendations are these:
· Families, please use your best judgment as to which guests will attend.
· We are discouraging those whose health is comprised, or at risk, not to attend.
· As a precaution, there will not be a reception after the celebration.
· We are going to record the celebration and make it available on our website in a timely fashion.
· If you chose not to attend, we will make plans for those candidates to receive the sacrament at a later date.
Second, we are going to cancel all celebrations of the Way of the Cross during Lent, including tonight’s scheduled time.
Third, we are recommending that groups in the parish not meet until Monday, April 13th. However, if you believe it’s vital to meet during this time frame, please let our Communications and Events Coordinator, Cathy Nagy, know of such plans.
Fourth, our parish Fish Fry is still on tonight. However, it will be limited to drive-thru only. Future Fish Frys will be reassessed on a week-by-week basis and we will let you know. Stay tuned!
Finally, as a precaution, we have implemented extra cleaning measures in church and school.
Thanks so much for your patience and understanding through this difficult time. As many have said, we are trying our best to navigate through uncharted waters and so it’s not easy to make these decisions, as I know the same is true for you and your household.
Meanwhile, be attentive to one another, especially those who most need help.
Message from Fr. Larry
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
I am writing this as a follow-up to the letter sent to you yesterday, Wednesday, March 11th regarding some liturgical changes taking place here at St. Columban due to the coronavirus. In light of Governor Mike DeWine’s issuing an executive order this afternoon regarding the avoidance of large mass gatherings, specifically those of 100 or more in a singe room or space, I have an update from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that I wanted to share with you.
Even though religious gatherings are expressly excluded in the Governor’s order, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed to cooperate with the order. Thus, beginning immediately and continuing until future notice:
* Catholics in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation through the weekend of March 28-29.
* Masses may be celebrated as currently scheduled with the following restrictions:
o No holding hands during the Our Father
o Suspension of exchanging the Sign of Peace with any kind of physical contact
o No reception of Holy Communion from the chalice
o No reception of Holy Communion on the tongue
* For health reasons, baptismal fonts should be drained.
* Unconsecrated bread and wine used for Mass should be kept out of public areas.
Furthermore, general precautions should continue to be followed, specifically:
* Those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or are at risk should be strongly encouraged not to attend Mass and, out of charity to their brothers and sisters in Christ, remain at home.
* Priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should practice good hygiene, washing their hands thoroughly before Mass begins and, if possible, using an alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution discreetly before and after distributing Holy Communion.
* All vessels should be cleansed thoroughly after Mass with hot, soapy water.
In addition, our celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation this coming Saturday, March 14 are allowed to take place. However, non-sacramental parish events or gatherings should be cancelled.
If I receive anything else, please know I will share it with you in a timely fashion. Meanwhile, as we hunker down and try to deal with this pandemic, I have included a prayer to put all of this in some kind of perspective, at least for me. I share it with you…………..
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.