To the Nativity Community:
On Thursday, March 12, 2020 Archbishop Schnuur issued an update on the Coronavirus that has been widely circulated. Below are highlights from his letter, the full copy can be found on the Nativity Update Center at www.nativity-cincinnati.org/updates. We have also posted the Archdiocese FAQ for the Faithful on the Update Center.
Beginning immediately and continuing until further 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, which should be announced prior to the start of Mass:
- No holding hands during the Our Father
- Suspension of exchange of a sign of peace (or instruct the faithful to do so without physical contact)
- No reception of Holy Communion from the chalice
- No reception of Holy Communion on the tongue
- Not for penitential reasons, but for health reasons, holy water fonts in the church should be drained.
- Unconsecrated bread and wine for Mass should be kept out of public areas. In other words, they are not to be part of the offertory procession.
Our current general precautions should continue to be followed, specifically:
- Those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or are at risk should be strongly encouraged to not 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.
- Already-scheduled Confirmations and weddings may proceed as scheduled. Masses of Christian Burial should continue as needed. However, every effort should be made to limit attendance at the ceremony, especially among those who are experiencing health issues or are members of high-risk groups.
- Sacramental preparation events – e.g. RCIA classes, Genesis retreats – may continue at the discretion of event organizers; however, those organizers should exercise sound judgment in deciding to hold such events.
- Non-sacramental parish events or gatherings – e.g. fish frys, athletic contests, youth group meetings – should be cancelled.
It certainly is an interesting and challenging time for our community! Remember that God still is in control. Keep an eye out for those around you who may need help. Practice common-sense hygiene, avoid large crowds, and if you are sick please stay home. Pray often.
Additional information can be found on our website at www.nativity-cincinnati.org/updates and we will continue to send updates as we receive them. If you have any questions, please contact Rudy Gruenke at (513) 531-3164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Paul F DeLuca Rudy Gruenke IV
Pastor Director of System & Special Projects