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Diocese responds to COVID-19

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In compliance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order asking all Californians to “stay at home,” all parishes and schools of the diocese in San Diego and Imperial counties will remain closed until further notice.

The following restrictions and cancellations are in place until the COVID-19 emergency is over:
* Mass cannot be celebrated publicly in any form or place.
* Baptisms must be private and include only members of the immediate family.
* Rites for the dead are limited to interment services at the cemetery with less than 10 people; funeral Masses will be postponed until COVID-19 has been contained.
* Confirmation and First Communions will be rescheduled when the public health emergency is over.
* There can be no Communion services or liturgy of the word.
* Communal anointing and reconciliation services are prohibited.
* Weddings are to be postponed, or to take place with less than 10 people.
* Quinceañeras must be postponed.
* The Easter sacraments usually given to those participating in the RCIA will be postponed to Pentecost.

The ministry to the sick will continue.
It is essential that the priestly mission to the sick be continued on a personal basis, including men and women who may have COVID-19.

The sacrament of the anointing of the sick will be performed using a swab. Priests will stay at least six feet away from patients that they are visiting, except for the moment of anointing.

In every action in the priestly ministry to the sick, there will be a careful balance between serving those who are sick as Jesus did, and the need to protect the health of our priests. Priests may bring the Eucharist to those who are seriously ill and hear their confessions.

As many churches of the diocese will remain open as possible.
As much as possible, churches will remain open during the day for private visitation and prayer. Call your parish or consult your parish website for more information.

Also, we are trying to provide as many opportunities for parishioners to go confession as possible. This may require you to make an appointment at your parish. Again, call your parish or consult the parish website for more information.

Diocese offers daily and Sunday Masses
The diocese is offering daily and Sunday Masses through its website, sdcatholic.org, in English and Spanish. Sunday Masses are also available in Vietnamese through the site.

Individual parishes are being encouraged to livestream daily and Sunday Masses for parishioners. Check your parish website to see if your parish is livestreaming.

The diocese will provide streaming and recording of Holy Thursday Mass, the Good Friday liturgy and Easter Sunday Mass. Check the diocesan website, sdcatholic.org, starting on April 9, Holy Thursday.

How you can help
1. Observe the recommendations posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the public health orders of the San Diego County Health Department as faithfully as possible.

2. As a diocese, we strongly support these recommendations and defer to the opinion of health experts. This is not a challenge to our Catholic beliefs. On the contrary, we respect the science and want no part of putting the health of our fellow parishioners or their families at risk.

3. Contact your parish and look at your parish website regularly and offer to volunteer. Pastors will be looking for help in distributing assistance to seniors and others who have been asked to shelter indoors and practice social distancing from their families and friends. Young families homeschooling their children will need extra support. All of them may need deliveries of food, medicine or other materials that the parish is in a special position to provide.

4. If you are not already signed up for the automatic deduction of your weekly parish contributions, please do so now so that your parish can continue to provide assistance to any and all parishioners who need our support.

Health Updates on COVID-19
San Diego County Health and Human Services
Website: sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus/

For health-related questions in San Diego County, contact your healthcare provider. For general questions about COVID-19, information about community resources, or if you are uninsured, go to 211sandiego.org or call 2-1-1. Assistance available in various languages.

For mental health-related concerns in San Diego County, contact the San Diego Access and Crisis Line (888-724-7240), which offers immediate support and resources from an experienced counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week on all behavioral health topics. Language interpreter services enable assistance in 150 languages within seconds. It’s confidential and free of charge.

For Imperial County Public Health Department
Website: icphd.org
Imperial County COVID-19 information line, Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., at (442) 265-6700

Spiritual Resources at Home
The following are a few resources for those seeking to remain connected with the liturgical life of the Church and to grow in prayer during this period of social distancing:

* The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
*
Pope Francis’ daily Mass
* EWTN Global Catholic Television
*
Word on Fire
*
Magnificat, a monthly publication featuring the daily Mass readings, morning and evening prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours, meditations and more, is currently offering complimentary access to its online version (us.magnificat.net/free) in response the cancellation of public Masses in many (arch)dioceses.
* Catholic All Year blog
* Sacred Space
* Pray As You Go
* Catholic Daily Reflections

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