Coronavirus (COVID-19) & St. Margaret Update
(16 March 2020)
As it is already clear from the continued closings throughout our country and state, the Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly throughout many of our communities. Several bishops in the United States have made the difficult decision to offer the faithful a dispensation from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
Local leaders, including Governor Edwards, continue to announce aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. These include limiting the size of public gatherings and closing venues such as restaurants and theaters to significantly expand mitigation efforts to slow the progress of further community viral spread. Action must be taken now in order to protect our communities!
As I mentioned in previous correspondence, both via Facebook and our website and in person in announcements at Mass, we find ourselves in Level III of our emergency response protocol in our parish. The Coronavirus now presents several critical health situations all around us. Mindful of these further developments, Bishop Duca has suspended all celebrations of Mass until further notice. Beginning tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 17 March 2020), there will be no public celebration of Mass at St. Margaret Church and St. Thomas Chapel.
Tomorrow, Diocesan leadership will meet to discuss how this will practically continue to affect our parishes and the sacramental life of our Church.
In addition at St. Margaret, non-essential ministry gatherings as announced 13 March 2020 remain cancelled (https://stmargaretstthomas.com/further-cancellations/). I will make further, future determinations regarding extending any of these and other cancellations based upon the current situation in our community with the Coronavirus as time progresses. Remember, our Website and Facebook posts will help keep you informed of any developments in our parish and keep you informed with critical information.
Fr. Brad, the staff and I will be working on creative ways to extend the ministry of St. Margaret to you remotely and by means of technology during these preventative measures that will continue to morph and likely increase.
Our Catholic community is an Incarnational one that touches the divine through our sacraments. While the reality of not receiving the Eucharist temporarily is painful, know that these precautions surely make sense in the midst of the Paschal Mystery when we realize that the deaths we constantly experience are necessary for us to fully experience new life in abundance!
Keep me in prayer as I do for you!