Information regarding the celebration of Mass and the Coronavirus

New information from the Archdiocese effective March 24, 2020

Behind all the directives issued by the archdiocese these past several days is the strong conviction that we have a responsibility to encourage people to stay at home and limit contact with others.  In our conversations with medical and civic leaders it has been made very evident that we are in a particularly critical moment in trying to limit the spread of this virus.   This has been reinforced by the governor’s recent proclamation of his executive order that all people stay at home.

In response, Archbishop Charles Thompson has directed that the following instructions be communicated:

• The Holy Father has encouraged all Christians to pause at 12:00 noon, March 25th, Eastern Time, to pray the Our Father in response to the Coronavirus.
• Given the need to encourage people to remain in their homes, particularly the most vulnerable, no public gathering of the faithful should take place at this time.  This includes gatherings that take place outside or in parking lots, even if people remain in their cars.  This would include celebration of Mass by loudspeaker or FM transmitter, distribution of Holy Communion in the parking lot or in cars, drive up confessions, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, or even gatherings for prayer and the rosary.  We certainly encourage the creative ways of offering prayer and sustaining a sense of community via social media and other forms of communication.
• All churches and gathering spaces are closed and should not be left open for private prayer or gatherings.
• While the needs of individual parishes are varied, pastors are encouraged to limit the presence of office staff to those who are necessary for the care of the people and the regular maintenance of parish facilities.  If it is possible for staff to work from home, that is encouraged.   When staff do need to be brought together, all precautions concerning social distancing should be taken into account.
• Reception of Holy Communion should only be offered in the context of Viaticum for those in danger of death.  Out of concern for the health of our homebound, deacons and the lay faithful should not make pastoral visits to the homebound or those in health care communities.  Holy Communion should not be brought to the faithful in their homes outside of the giving of Viaticum.
• Ministries and societies concerned with service to the poor, such as St. Vincent de Paul and food pantries are to remain active wherever possible.  Care should be taken to adopt protocol and procedures to protect both clients and those involved in these vital ministries.  Further guidance will be provided by Catholic Charities
• Because of the suspension of public Masses, the pastoral necessity for priests to celebrate as second or third Mass on a Sunday is no longer in effect.  Therefore, the expectation is that a priest will celebrate only one Mass on a Sunday, and may celebrate a vigil Mass on Saturday, provided that this is the only Mass celebrated on that day.
• Should a priest have multiple intentions for Masses on a single day, those intentions may be combined at the sole Mass of the day, with the consent of those who requested those intentions.  Otherwise, other Mass intentions should be rescheduled.  A reminder that a priest must celebrate a pro populo Mass every weekend.  However, this may be combined with other intentions.   Also, a priest may only accept one stipend per day.  (Motu proprio: Mos iugiter, 1991)
• The most recent developments mean that the previous policies on funerals and weddings remain in effect.  With growing uncertainty and the need to protect the health of others, weddings in particular should be postponed or rescheduled if possible to a later date.  Any exception to this should only be offered after consultation with Fr. Eric Johnson or Fr. Pat Beidelman.
• We would encourage our brothers who are vulnerable themselves either because of age or because of health to consider reaching out to other priests to provide sacramental assistance for those who have an immediate need. 
• Take care of yourself and contact a medical professional if you are in need.

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Information listed below was posted Friday March 20th, 2020 or earlier.

St. Christopher Parish will broadcast Sunday Mass starting Saturday at 5:30 pm. Masses for other intentions will be celebrated privately by Fr. Paul or Fr. Jude.  Mass intentions for all Masses will be announced during the Pulpit announcements before Mass (this will be part of the broadcast).  Daily masses are already being broadcast. We are incredibly thankful to have the option to broadcast Mass, may parishes don’t. 

Parishioners are encouraged to take advantage of online giving thru WeShare.  Information to set this up is on our website at: http://saintchristopherparish.org/index.php/news/we-now-have-online-giving/.  You can set up your donations/pledges to St. Christopher Church for Sunday Collections, Second Collections, Holy Days, the Capital Campaign, St. Vincent de Paul and Endowments.  You can also mail in your contributions.  The parish address is 5301 W. 16th St., Speedway, IN 46224.

This weekend’s bulletin includes the prayer said at Mass last weekend, Prayer for a Pandemic by Cameron Bellm.  You can sign up to have the bulletin sent to your email here: https://discovermass.com/church/st-christopher-indianapolis-in/#  or you can view the bulletin on the Parish website: http://saintchristopherparish.org/index.php/bulletins.  The bulletin is also available on MyParish app.  Text “app” to 88202 to download the App. Once installed, you will select St. Christopher parish, and access is complete.  Finally, we have paper bulletins available at the parish office door with the glass enclosure (door # 19 I believe).

Archbishop Thompson and other priests of the Archdiocese are celebrating a Mass each day that will be posted on the https://www.archindy.org/ homepage. This Mass is recorded in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at our Cathedral.

How to access Mass Online:
If you go to the Parish website (http://stchrisindy.org/) in the lower left corner under Quick Links you will see a link that says: Live Video of Special Services. Click that and it will take you to the video. Click on the previous broadcasts to see the available Masses to watch or to see the slideshow normal posted in Emmaus Way on the screens.  Daily Masses will be broadcast starting at 9 am daily.  Sunday Mass will be broadcast starting at 5:30 pm Saturday. (Note: I have to click the play button several times to get the Mass broadcast to play.  Please be patient with yourself and with the website when you watch Mass. This is a work in progress and we are all doing the best we can in these ever changing circumstances.)

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Here is the link for the complete message from the Archdiocese regarding the suspension of Masses until further notice.  https://www.archindy.org/wors…/coronavirus2020-closures.html

All events at St. Christopher Parish have been canceled or postponed. The access cards for volunteers have been turned off and the Parish Office will have limited access. Please call (317.241.6314) before coming to the office to schedule an appointment. The Food Pantry will be open as usual (Tue and Fri 9 - 10:15 am).

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Effective March 18 and until further notice all public Sunday and weekday Masses throughout the Province of Indianapolis, which is comprised of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Dioceses of Gary, Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, and Lafayette are suspended. Of course, the archbishop’s dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass from March 13 continues until further notice.

Daily mass at St. Christopher Parish will be live streamed at 9 am.

All events at the Parish have been canceled until further notice.

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