Bishop Zinkula has posted a video instructing how we might prepare for future gatherings.
Our Dear People:
Since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, Catholics in Iowa have been obliged by civil, scientific, and church authorities to sacrifice the opportunity to receive sacraments and worship in common. With the lifting of restrictions against certain public gatherings, including religious assemblies, by Governor Kim Reynolds, members of the faithful are understandably renewed in their hope that they might safely return to church and resume some form of regular parish life. Yet the spread of the COVID-19 disease remains a real and present danger. In particular, the health and survival of the elderly and other vulnerable populations is still a grave concern.
Many parishioners and priests fall within these groups.
In light of the expectation that positive cases of COVID-19 will peak in Iowa in the next few weeks, we have decided it would be most prudent for now to continue to follow the liturgical restrictions we have in place, including the suspension of public Masses. Without an effective vaccine or widespread testing and contact data that justifies a change in course, we simply are not at a place where we can resume our previous prayer practices. The suspension of the Sunday Mass obligation remains in effect statewide, and all vulnerable persons, the sick, and those may who have been exposed to the virus are asked to look after their own welfare with the support of those who care for them. We ask parish, school and diocesan staff to continue to minister to the faithful, and the faithful to each other, in ways other than meeting in groups during this difficult time of the pandemic. We strongly encourage parishioners to visit the website and social media outlets of the parishes and schools to stay in touch as we look forward to gathering in person.
We will continue to closely monitor the statewide and respective regional situations through the weeks of May and beyond. When the time comes that we can gather in greater numbers while observing social distance, safe hygienic practices and other precautions without placing one another at serious risk, public Masses and other sacramental celebrations will be allowed to resume.
These days are not easy. We understand that many of you are frustrated with this situation; so are we. We want to celebrate Mass with our parishioners and get back to “normal.” However, we take the advice of Paul: “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Take comfort in knowing that Jesus is with us and with you, our faithful.
Your Brothers in Christ,
Most Rev. Michael Jackels
Archbishop of Dubuque
Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City
Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport
Most Rev. William Joensen
Bishop of Des Moines
Fellow parishioners of St. Ann’s,
I hope this finds you well and learning to deal with our new reality. I am saddened that we cannot gather together for Mass and other Sacraments. We will celebrate Mass Sunday morning from the St. Joachim Chapel. You need to be on the parish Facebook group to see this. If you are not on it you can join by creating a facebook page at www.facebook.com. You will need to provide your name and email address to do so. You can then click this link to our parish facebook group St. Anns Long Grove.
I have chosen to do this as a private group so we have a sense of parish community. (If you have family members who are not parishioners but you would like to be joined with them in prayer please have them join this group as described above.) I am hoping by next week to be able to celebrate a daily Mass as well as Sunday.
Please remember we will not have our parish communal penance on Sunday because of gathering limits. The same for the celebrations of Confirmation and First Communion. We will celebrate those Sacraments when we can be safely together and at a time that works for as many as possible.
I ask parents of preschoolers through sixth grade to pick up family packets that are in the vestibule at the upper doors of the church. There are also copies of the Sunday prayer and spiritual communion. We have a number of “Ways of the Cross” that you can pray at home as a family.
If you can please contribute to the parish through electronic giving, by mail or placing your envelope in the white container on the table by the family packets.
Those doors will be open from 10 until 3 every day.
Please watch for further messages from me in these next days. Please know I am praying for all of us and encourage you to do the same. I know it will be a challenge to be so confined but we can sing our “kind and merciful”song. May the Lord bless and keep you.
Creator God of the universe, God of a thousand names and faces, divine source of health and
wholeness, whose compassion embraces the entire community of Earth: behold your fearful people all over the world as we confront the coronavirus. Out of the depths we cry to you, O God.
Holy God, hear our voices. Let your ear be attentive to our cries (Psalm 130:1-2, adapted) as we pray for all who may be affected by the virus:
For all health caregivers – nurses, physicians, aides, EMTs, paramedics, technicians and therapists; out of the depths, O God– We cry out to you. Protect them.
For hospital and nursing home medical staff, assistants, and housekeepers who have close contact with patients and for the patients themselves; out of the depths, O God–We cry out to you. Protect them.
For all who travel for their daily work over land and sea and through the air—flight attendants, pilots, ship captains and sailors, bus drivers, passengers and long distance truck drivers; out of the depths, O God– We cry out to you. Protect them.
For all who handle money—bankers, supermarket, village market and convenience store cashiers; out of the depths, O God–We cry out to you. Protect them.
For all who pump gas and serve customers at Interstate rest areas; out of the depths, O God–
We cry out to you. Protect them.
For restaurant workers—bartenders, coffee shop baristas, cooks, servers, chefs, and dishwashers; out of the depths, O God–We cry out to you. Protect them.
For hospitality workers–hotel and motel receptionists, servers and housekeepers; out of the depths, O God– We cry out to you. Protect them.
For daycare center staff who cuddle and comfort children and for all children; out of the depths, O God– We cry out to you. Protect them.
For teachers and professors, coaches and cafeteria workers at schools and universities across the world and students everywhere; out of the depths, O God– We cry out to you. Protect them.
For the homeless huddling for warmth over steam grates and under urban bridges; out of the depths, O God– We cry to you. Protect them.
For the poor, the lonely, the vulnerable, migrants, and the isolated elderly who have no protectors; out of the depths, O God–We cry out to you. Protect them.
For clergy and people who eat the bread of life, drink from the common cup and pass the sign of peace; out of the depths–We cry out to you. Protect them.
For all who have tested positive, all who are waiting for test results, and all who are quarantined; out of the depths— We cry out to you. Protect them.
For all who have already died of the coronavirus, now free from pain and suffering. May the God of hope carry them all the way home, and comfort their families and friends; out of the depths—
We cry out to you. Protect them.
Loving God, hasten the day when the virus will have run its course; quicken scientists to develop
medications and vaccines; call out the best instincts of your people—love, neighborliness, compassion, and a sense of caring for every member of your beloved community on Earth. We pray out of the depths to you, O God of hope, whom we call Jesus, Allah, YHWH, Divine Mystery, Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit.
Busted Halo offers a variety of podcasts, blogs, and videos on the Catholic faith.
Formed.org is Catholic Netflix! Binge on some new favorite shows, movies and kids content!
Fr. Mike Schmitz has been posting great videos on youtube about the big questions teens have about the Catholic faith.
Magnificat is offering FREE online service during the COVID-19 outbreak.
At this point, I think it is safe to say we are all just making this up as we go! What types of resources do you need from St. Anns? Get on flocknote and shoot us a message! Text STANNLG to 84576 to join! To send us a message, just respond to a text you have received from us!
STEP THREE – WITH MODIFICATIONS – EFFECTIVE 3/17/20
On Saturday, March 14, Governor Reynolds announced new mitigation measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19 within Iowa. The social distancing interventions being called for are consonant with STEP THREE in our policy. At the same time, we are well aware that the time to act is now if we are to have a significant impact on how fast the virus spreads in our communities. Therefore, we will be going beyond what our STEP THREE calls for and beyond the guidance from the State.
We do not take these steps lightly, especially the cancellation of almost all public worship within the diocese. The sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, lie at the heart of who we are as Catholics. But the common good calls us to make this sacrifice. It is clear from accounts from around the world that urgent action is needed if we are to avoid overwhelming our health care system. Our prayer is that this form of Lenten fasting will put us in deeper solidarity with those going with so much less, with those who will be—and are being—severely affected by this outbreak.
It is impossible to foresee how long these restrictions will be in place. The CDC recently recommended that large group gatherings be suspended for at least the next eight weeks.
This is a list of the key changes being made to church life, until further notice. The details of the policy are included below:
· All public celebrations of the Mass (and all other public liturgies or devotions) are to be cancelled.
o Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may be celebrated with immediate family members only.
o Individual Confession and Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated.
· All Catholics in the Diocese of Davenport are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
· If you are sick, or if you are caring for someone who is sick, please stay home.
o Those who are 60 years of age or older, and those with underlying health conditions, should stay at home and avoid all gatherings or other situations of potential exposure.
· All large group meetings, conferences, retreats and the like in the diocese are to be cancelled.
· All faith formation classes and activities are to be cancelled (use electronic formats if possible).
· Small office meetings may take place if essential, but it is preferable to meet electronically.
o Encourage staff, especially those at risk for severe illness, to telework (when feasible).
o Limit non-essential work travel.
· All Catholic schools will be closed, at least until April 13. All extracurricular events are to be cancelled.
o Further guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of the Superintendent.