IMPORTANT AND TIMELY INFORMATION
Archbishop Nelson Perez announces the suspension of all public Masses in the Archdiocese effective Noon, Wednesday, March 18. Below is the press release statement, followed by some frequently asked questions.
Today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez has suspended all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia effective at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18th and until further notice.
Last week, the Archbishop dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Both decisions were made in response to the growing concern over the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the directives provided by government and health department officials at the local, state, and national levels. These measures will be re-evaluated pending future developments.
Archbishop Pérez said, “As the Archbishop of Philadelphia, my first priority is to ensure the health and welfare of those entrusted to the pastoral and temporal care of our Church. So, in light of the developing Coronavirus pandemic, a decision has been made to suspend the public celebration of all Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the time being.
All of us need to do our part to slow the spread of this illness. Like you, we are monitoring coronavirus developments and look forward to continuing our lives on a more normal basis. While things may look and feel different during these uncertain times, I want to be very clear that the Catholic Church in Philadelphia is not closing down. It is not disappearing and it will not abandon you. Time and again as our history has proven the Church has risen to meet great challenges and provide a beacon of hope and light.
As your Shepherd, I promise that the Church remains steadfast and is prepared to walk with you and serve you. Neither the Church nor its charitable works will stop. God is always by our side. He never abandons us. I invite you to join me in prayerful solidarity for the intentions of the sick, suffering, and their caregivers as well as government and health officials. With God’s grace and blessing, we will navigate the difficult waters of this challenge as a united human family, for after all is said and done, we are people of Hope!”
Is the Church closing?
No, our Church will remain open for visits as usual. We encourage our parish family to make visits and spend time in prayer before our Eucharistic Lord. Adoration will continue in Chapel. Please allow for proper social distancing when visiting and be aware there is a hand sanitizer available near the Chapel entrance.
Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals will continue. In accord with the Center for Disease Control guidelines, gatherings are to be limited to 50 people, following appropriate social distancing recommendations.
All celebrations of public Masses on weekdays and weekends are being suspended until further notice.
What will happen to a Mass Intention I had requested?
Although public Masses will not be celebrated temporarily, our priests will continue to offer Mass privately. All the Mass intentions that have been requested will be fulfilled in these private Masses.
Will Eucharistic Ministers continue to distribute Holy Communion to the homebound?
No. Communion Calls to the home bound are suspended. Nursing homes and hospitals have already suspended visits. However, our Priests will visit anyone to celebrate the Sacraments including Viaticum for someone who is near death.
What about First Holy Communion?
In following the guidelines of government and health officials for the protection of our people, First Holy Communion is rescheduled to Saturday, September 26.
Will Confession be available?
Confessions will continue to be heard on Saturdays from 8:00 to 8:45 AM and 3:30 to 4:15 PM.
Will Stations of the Cross be held?
No, Stations of the Cross are cancelled.
Is the Parish Office open?
At this time, the parish staff continues to perform their work. However, visitation to the parish office is discouraged. If you need to contact the office or a member of our staff, please call 610-489-1647 or email at email@example.com. Mass card arrangements and SCRIP sales are suspended at this time.
What can I do?
Pray. We will be making available resources online to assist you in praying. We encourage you to read the Scripture Readings for Sunday and Daily Mass, many websites and Apps, including the USCCB website, make those available. Some also offer meditations or reflections on the readings. Offer up Spiritual Communions daily.
Keep safe, follow the guidelines of the CDC, especially regarding hand washing and social distancing at this time.
Our Church will remain open during this time for your personal visits and prayer. Adoration in our Chapel will continue.
Some resources will be made available in the narthex of Church for your personal prayers, including the Stations of the Cross booklets for your personal use. A limited number of printed bulletins for this weekend will also be available. The Parish bulletin is always available on our website.
Stay in touch with the parish also by following us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StEleanorParish/) or going to the website homepage and fill in the pop-up that appears (www.steleanor.com). Follow us on Instagram @sainteleanorparish.