March 11, 2020
Dear Pastor/Pastoral Administrator:
All of us at the Archdiocese of Louisville are very concerned about the health and safety of our parishioners and the broader community in light of the outbreak of COVID19 in the Commonwealth. As you know, I have communicated with pastors and those who assist them several times about our liturgical practices, including options for the sign of peace, hygiene issues for those who serve at Mass, and the suspension of the distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice to the faithful.
Chancellor Dr. Brian Reynolds has been in dialogue with the Louisville Department of Health and Wellness, seeking their recommendations for restrictions of upcoming gatherings in light of Governor Beshear’s announcement this morning.
The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is at the center of the life of the Church. Perhaps especially in difficult times, liturgical gatherings are a source of comfort and hope for the faithful, as well as an opportunity to offer our prayers to God for those who are suffering or who cannot be with us. At the same time, it is important – especially for those who are ill, feel vulnerable, or feel afraid – to be able to exercise individual discretion in light of this situation.
With the information I have now, I will not be calling for a diocesan-wide cancellation of daily or weekend Masses. I will be sending messages to you by the end of the day Friday about communicating the risks of large gatherings and how to mitigate those risks. I ask you to encourage those who are ill or have symptoms to stay home as an act of Christian charity for their fellow parishioners. I want individuals who feel vulnerable, especially senior citizens or those with underlying health conditions, to know that they are not obligated to attend Sunday Mass. I also am asking that you publicize times for Mass of the Air, which is available through platforms around the Archdiocese.
It is important to note that this is a rapidly changing situation, and I will continue to provide updates. I will communicate with you by email and ask that you monitor your emails in the days ahead.
Below are times for Mass of the Air. (Please note that we just learned of a change in the schedule from what was previously sent):
11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the Faith Channel, Inc. (Spectrum channel 19), Louisville, KY. This Mass also is streamed live on the Faith Channel at www.faithtvlive.com.
10:30 a.m. on WHAS-TV (channel 11), Louisville, KY and whas11.com under the “Live Video” tab.
9 a.m. on WBKI-TV (Spectrum Channel 7)
10 a.m. on WNKY-TV (channel 40), Bowling Green, KY.
Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville
BOLD and UNDERLINE added by Deacon Pat