To: Holy Family Parish/Our Risen Savior/Presentation Parish
From: Fr. Ryan Pruess
Re: COVID – 19 Update and Instructions
Date: March 12, 2020
As I promised you in my previous memo on February 25, 2020, we would be monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. I said that as circumstances change we would adjust and take the necessary precautions to protect and safeguard our Catholic community members.
With the recent development of the virus spreading to Fond du Lac County (2 confirmed cases to date) I believe that at this time it is best to err on the side of caution.
Effective today, I ask that the following precautions be implemented immediately.
Instructions for Mass:
- Suspension of holding hands at the Our Father
- Suspension of the sign of peace
- Suspension of the distribution of the Precious Blood at Communion time
- The gifts of bread and wine are not to be presented by members of the community but are rather to be left on the credence table and brought forward by the priest, assisting minister, or mass server.
- During weekday masses, only the priest will distribute the Body of Christ and no extordinary ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) will be used.
- During weekend celebrations only the Body of Christ will be distributed and EMHC will be utilized to assist the priest in distributing Communion to the congregation.
Instructions outside Mass:
- All unnecessary visits to the homebound and nursing homes will cease. Efforts should be made to stay in contact with the homebound by phone of other means that does not involve direct contact with the person. Communion may be taken to the homebound in emergency situations by a priest but other visits should not occur.
- Visits on behalf of the Catholic Church in Fond du Lac to nursing homes will cease. The priests of Holy Family will no longer be offering regularly scheduled masses at our assisted living facilities. Videos of the Masses will be provided upon request to residence of our assisted living facilities that we normally serve and residents are encouraged to make a spiritual communion. This is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the residence in that facility.
Emergency visits to administer the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum will continue and visits will still be attended to when requested.
- Please remember that all extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.
- Please, if you are sick or are experiencing symptoms of illness, note that you are not obligated to attend Mass out of concern for the wellbeing of all.
The above precautions will remain in force until such time as our normal practices may be resumed without risk. I will continue to evaluate any further measures that need to be taken.
Please, let us all continue to pray for an end to this epidemic. I pray for each of you and you families and promise that I will continue to remain vigilant in safeguarding our community and caring for your physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. Let us all pray to our loving Father to strengthen our faith and to trust in his goodness and divine providence.