There have been several new events regarding the Coronavirus and below are some changes that we are making at Our Lady of the Greenwood.
Parish and Church
Archbishop Thompson and the rest of the Indiana bishops have suspended all public Masses. This is effective today, March 17 at Our Lady of the Greenwood. Fr. Todd and I will continue to offer Mass privately for the good of the entire people of God, for the Church, and for the intentions of the day. Also, the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass from March 13 onward continues until further notice. See this link for more information:
You can still benefit from and contribute to the tremendous graces offered through these Masses. Fr. Todd’s suggestions on Spiritual Communion in the bulletin letter for Sunday, March 22 are a great way to do that. Link to Bulletin
You can also watch the Mass live streamed from either EWTN online (ewtn.com) or on television. The Archdiocese will also be offering live streamed Masses online from archindy.org soon and our parish might be able to offer this option soon.
- The Parish Penance Service on March 25 is cancelled. We will be keeping an eye out for the updated guidelines on the celebration of the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick, which the Archdiocese is still working on.
- Baptisms, Funerals, and Weddings between now and April 6 are postponed until further notice.
- Funerals will be postponed whenever possible. If a funeral is offered, then it will be celebrated outside of the Mass and in the presence of a small number of the faithful while practicing the CDC’s prescribed precautions for hygiene and social distancing (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html) . Fr. Todd or I would be happy to offer a private Mass for the intention and the repose of the soul of the deceased person.
- Other prayer or sacrament related liturgies (including the Stations of the Cross and Perpetual Adoration) are suspended until further notice.
Meetings and other events:
- All parish meetings that are not directly related to aiding the poor are still cancelled until further notice. This includes meetings for sacramental preparation and religious education.
- We will continue to offer the food pantry for those in need until further notice. In fact, this is one of the greatest ways we can support each other and the larger community during this time of need next to prayer itself. We are also experiencing a higher number of people in need. Please prayerfully consider donating extra food to the food pantry if you are able. Items most needed as of now include canned vegetables and fruits, meats, peanut butter and jelly, and crackers.
- The office will be closed but our staff will be working from their homes. Staff will be checking voicemails and emails daily. They will do their best to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have as quickly as possible.
Mr. Clady and I have decided per a directive from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Office of Catholic Schools to close the school until at least April 6th. He has already communicated this to the parents of the school and is working with them on a daily basis.
A Pastoral Note
Fr. Todd and I are very public people who are in regular contact with others. We will continue taking the CDC’s precautions seriously.
FINAL THOUGHT: This can be an opportunity for us to offer up our suffering for those who die from communicable diseases every day in all parts of the world. We ask for God’s healing touch for those who are sick and to help us find creative ways to minister and proclaim the Gospel in the midst of these challenges. We should be prudent, not fearful, and remember that we are called to still love each other even if we can’t be around each other in the same way.
Let us be mindful of the extra time we may have to pray and to offer it for those who are sick or suffering from any illness, that they may know God’s healing touch. The staff and I will plan to offer you all any creative opportunities, through prayer and otherwise, to help you through this time.
Fr. Vinny (on behalf of Fr. Todd, who is on his annual retreat this week)