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…………..