Dear Parishioners of St. Patrick and St Joseph,
After much consideration and prayer, and in consult with our Bishop, I have made the difficult decision to suspend all masses at both parishes until further notice. This decision was not made lightly, and my heart is deeply burdened that the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our christian faith, is made temporarily less available to the peoples of Clark and Montgomery counties. It is however, also a primary concern of a pastor to safeguard the physical health of their flock so as to ensure their continued well-being throughout the christian journey. It is a rare occasion such as this when the spiritual and temporal goods of a community are seemingly in opposition, and as such I feel it important to explain as best I am able why I have come to this decision.
In my own conscience, the thought that I would personally be in any way responsible for the transmission of the COVID virus to our vulnerable parishioners, or would permit an environment that would significantly increase danger to my parish is flatly unacceptable. Given the high rate of infection and fatality this novel strain has with respect to the common cold, coupled with the tremendous burden that will soon be placed on our healthcare system, the chances that the retention of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would affect not only my parishioners but all the people of central Ky becomes too significant to ignore.
Acknowledging the fact there are public cases in Harrison, Fayette, and Montgomery counties, and the fact that our communities commute and interrelate within these counties regularly, our chance of contraction and spread is heightened, which affects all of us.
I urge you in this time of crisis to pray for our nation and world, particularly the sick and their caregivers. Please utilize online and television options for mass and devotions. The rosary and stations of the cross are some wonderful examples of devotions which may be practiced at home. We will be preparing an online program to provide supplemental spiritual resources for you and your family throughout this difficult time.
It is important to note that I will continue to be available for confession and for the anointing of the sick for anyone who would call (859) 967-4404. Please if you suspect you may need these sacraments do not hesitate to call, our physical and spiritual health is of unparalleled importance.
Lastly I urge all people to take this seriously and follow all protocols given by the CDC and local and national authorities, in addition to their own common sense. Caution cannot be over utilized during this time of trial in our world. Please do not dismiss the gravity of the situation, and continue to demonstrate the charity and values that make us such strong communities.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Frank Brawner
Montgomery County Health Department
Memorandum: POSSIBLE COVID-19 EXPOSURE
For St. Patrick Catholic Church Parishioners
March 13, 2020
Please be advised that any parishioners who attended mass on March 8, 2020 may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you did not attend church service on this date, then you have not been exposed.
We are asking you to monitor yourself for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from this date which would be until March 22, 2020. They are: fever, cough (may be a dry cough), and/or shortness of breath. If you develop these symptoms, please stay at home and notify your health care provider that you may have come in to contact with COVID-19 as soon as possible.
You are not being asked to quarantine yourself. We are notifying you out of an abundance of caution, and feel the risk of exposure is low. However, it is good practice to avoid large crowds, wash your hands often for 20 seconds, practice social distancing (keeping 6 feet between yourself and others), and stay away from those who are sick. These are all steps we are asking the general public to take at this time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 859-498-3808. You may also call the State Hotline for the public at: 1-800-722-5725 for general COVID-19 information and guidance.
PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA
12 de marzo de 2020
Contacto con los medios: Don Clemmer – firstname.lastname@example.org, (260) 580-1137
Católicos en la Diócesis de Lexington son Dispensados de la Obligación de acudir a Misa de Domingo como Parte de la Respuesta Epidémica
LEXINGTON – En un esfuerzo por evitar la propagación del COVID-19 y con especial preocupación por las personas vulnerables, el Obispo John Stowe, OFM Conv., ha otorgado una dispensa de la obligación de asistir a la Misa Dominical para los católicos en la Diócesis de Lexington para el fin de semana del 14 y 15 de marzo. Las Misas de fin de semana aún se celebrarán, pero los católicos no están obligados a asistir.
“Esta decisión no se tomó a la ligera, ya que la celebración dominical de la Eucaristía está en el corazón de la vida de la Iglesia. Y especialmente en los momentos de profunda preocupación por el bien común, las personas de fe recurren más profundamente a la oración y al apoyo que brindan las comunidades de fe ”, dijo el Obispo Stowe. “Estamos en comunicación con funcionarios de salud pública, y los riesgos de grandes reuniones como medio de propagación de este virus son reales. Es por eso que la diócesis ya ha adoptado medidas urgiendo que se evite el contacto con otros en nuestras liturgias.”
Los pastores deben alentar a quienes están enfermos o tienen síntomas a quedarse en casa como un acto de caridad para sus feligreses, y se alienta a las personas vulnerables, especialmente a los mayores de 60 años, a quedarse en casa. Aquellos que deseen seguir la Misa Dominical desde sus hogares pueden hacerlo a través de la transmisión en vivo en Facebook, cortesía de la Catedral de Cristo Rey (Christ the King Cathedral) en Lexington este domingo a las 9 a.m. (www.facebook.com/ctklexky)
Las Misas Diarias, que no son tan concurridas como las Misas Dominicales, también se seguirán ofreciendo. También se alienta a las iglesias católicas a proporcionar oportunidades para lavarse las manos en cada lugar de la Misa. Como la pandemia de COVID-19 es una situación que cambia rápidamente, la diócesis proporcionará más actualizaciones según sea necesario.
La respuesta epidémica de la diócesis está disponible en línea en: www.cdlex.org/diocese-of-lexington-epidemic-response
Update on St. Joseph Catholic Church schedule and cancellations.
All Masses, events, and meetings are cancelled. The office will be closed for the next 2 weeks.
If you have a sacramental emergency call Father Frank directly or a staff member to reach a priest.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020
Catholics in Lexington Diocese Dispensed From Sunday Mass Obligation as Part of Epidemic Response
LEXINGTON — In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and with particular concern for vulnerable people, Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., has granted a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation for Catholics in the Diocese of Lexington for the weekend of March 14-15. Weekend Masses will still be celebrated, but Catholics are not obligated to attend.
“This decision was not taken lightly, as the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is at the heart of the life of the Church. And especially at moments of deep concern for the common good, people of faith turn more deeply to prayer and the support that communities of faith provide,” said Bishop Stowe. “We are in communication with public health officials, and the risks of large gatherings as a means of spreading this virus are real. This is why the diocese has already adopted measures urging avoidance of contact with others at our liturgies.”
Pastors should encourage those who are ill or have symptoms to stay home as an act of charity to their fellow parishioners, and vulnerable people, especially those over the age of 60, are encouraged to stay home. Those wishing to follow Sunday Mass from their homes can do so via Facebook livestream courtesy of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington this Sunday at 9 a.m. (www.facebook.com/ctklexky)
Daily Masses, which are not as heavily attended as Sunday Masses, will also continue to be offered. Catholic churches are also encouraged to provide opportunities for hand washing at every Mass location. As the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation, the diocese will provide further updates as needed.
The diocese’s epidemic response is available online at: www.cdlex.org/diocese-of-lexington-epidemic-response