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Browsing Pastor's Corner

Updates; Questions & Answers for the April 5, 2020 Bulletin

Questions and Answers Now That Public Liturgies

Are Suspended Through May 3rd

The bishops of Ohio, including Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville, have declared that all publicly celebrated Masses and liturgies are now suspended and will be so through May 3rd.

Q. Will there be any times that the church buildings are open?

 Fr. Paul: At this point because the decree suspending public liturgies is formally enforced through May 3rd, we will continue to maintain the churches closed.

However, you and/or members of your household could contact me and we can plan for specific times for access to either of the church buildings, maintaining, of course, the hygienic and social distancing protocols.

You could contact me in the same way as described for anyone needing Last Rites: call me at (740) 432-7609 and follow the “Locate” instructions in the voicemail message to contact me on my cell phone or send me an email message through [email protected]; my phone is also synchronized with my email and so I am usually notified when an email message is received. I will try to respond to email messages as readily as possible.

Please pray that we might be surprised in a positive way and be able to have the churches open at scheduled times again!

Q. What about Masses that are already scheduled and their intentions, and scheduling new Mass intentions?

Fr. Paul: Fr. Robert Borer and I each have a small chapel where we can offer a private Mass each day during these next four weeks (not open to the public) and we will offer the Masses that have already been scheduled, not necessarily at the time scheduled, but as best as we can on the day that they were scheduled.

We will continue to post a live-streamed or a pre-recorded Mass each day at our Facebook page: Christ Our Light Parish, Guernsey County, OH. I will try to post a pre-Mass video as a separate video before each Mass as well.

Please feel free to call our parish offices about scheduling additional Masses: (740) 432-7609.

Q. What if I know someone who needs the Anointing of the Sick/Last Rites?

Fr. Paul: Please call me at (740) 432-7609 and follow the “Locate” instructions in the voicemail message to contact me on my cell phone or send me an email message through [email protected]; my phone is also synchronized with my email and so I am usually notified when an email message is received. I will try to respond to email messages as readily as possible.

Q. When will Confessions and Communion be available?

Fr. Paul: From instructions from Bishop Monforton on Tuesday, March 17th, Confessions may be available with strict hygienic safeguards in place (i.e., behind a screen between the confessor and penitent, with the penitent standing, conducted as quickly as possible). So, if you contact me about having a time for personal prayer in either of our church buildings, I will try to be available for confessions at that time as well.

Regarding Holy Communion, at this point we will maintain the instruction from Bishop Monforton on Monday, March 16th, which is the latest instruction on Holy Communion, though revised in light of the instruction on Thursday, April 2nd: “Holy Communion [is to be] distributed only as Viaticum [when death is imminent] at least through [Sunday, May 3rd], in keeping with the directives of the Bishops of Ohio regarding the suspension of public celebration of liturgies. This step is necessary to bring about the social distancing that is absolutely essential to public health and to serve the common good (cf. canon 223).”

Please see elsewhere here at our parish website, also in this "Pastor's Corner" and "Corona Virus Update" section about special conditions that Bishop Monforton has established for completing a Plenary Indulgence. This is meant to help us have peace about being ready for eternal life in Heaven with God without having usual access to Confession and Holy Communion.