Archdiocese of Mobile announces cancelation of services
Published 9:53 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The Archdiocese of Mobile announced Tuesday that all worship services and other services the church provides are canceled through April 5, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement from Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Catholic Social Services facilities throughout southern Alabama serve approximately 25,000 of our neighbors in need. These services will continue in the following:
• Emergency Assistance Ministries at our Social Service Centers will remain open providing food for families and individuals, clothing, and help with rent and utility bills. However, applications for this help will be received only by phone. Food and clothing will be distributed at the door and not within the Service Center.
• All thrift stores will close but clothing will be available for those in need through Emergency Assistance.
• Counseling for individuals and families will continue to be available but only by phone.
Rodi said in the statement that parishes may continue to provide food whether from food pantries or kitchens, but only on a takeout basis and not within a building.
Additionally, all worship services with laity or clergy may not be conducted, including devotions of any kind in a church or other location.
Rodi said he is requesting all churches remain open for prayer but without services.
Funerals with or without mass can’t be celebrated, only graveside services are permitted.
On weddings, those without mass may be conducted in a church building but solely with a cleric, bride and groom, two witnesses and parents of the bride and groom present.
Confessions may continue, but with a screen separating the priest and penitent or in an arrangement with 6 feet of space between both, according to the statement.
Baptisms are celebrated with parents, godparents and one cleric. The holy water fonts are to be emptied and cleaned.
“Although we will not gather for worship, we remain united in Christ,” Rodi said. “I am confident that our dedicated clergy will continue to serve the spiritual and material needs of neighbor. I particularly request that the clergy be present to the sick and those who suffer difficulties. I ask the people of our Archdiocese to please pray. Even if we cannot receive Holy Communion we can join ourselves with the love of God. Prayer is powerful and I request that we pray even more fervently during these challenging days.”