Indiana State Department of Health - https://www.coronavirus.in.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/
Official Website of the United States Government - www.usa.gov/coronavirus
Coronavirus (COVID-19) White House, CDC, FEMA -https://www.coronavirus.gov
St. Luke Catholic Church Updates
May 27, 2020
This is my latest letter concerning COVID-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus. My last letter was already outdated by the time it was published. Things shift rapidly as our government and Church leaders give us direction. Pray for all our leaders; they have the tremendous burden of leadership.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has provided us with detailed directions on how and when to reopen our parishes. The whole plan is available on the archdiocesan Web Site: www.archindy.org.
Much of it is based on the expertise of a place called The Thomistic Institute. It’s sort of a Catholic Think Tank maintained by the Dominican Friars in Washington, D.C. It is named after the great Dominican preacher and teacher, Saint Thomas Aquinas. It pulled together medical experts, theologians, and just plain common sense. Their suggestions have been adopted by our U.S. Bishops.
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is extended throughout the State of Indiana until August 15, 2020. At risk groups like those over 65 or with underlying health conditions should remain at home. Common sense, people! Naturally anyone who is not feeling well should always stay home—virus or no virus.
Changes needed to be made in many of our routine church procedures. Watch the short video we made describing these. You can easily access it at our parish web site, www.stluke.org.
The public celebration of Mass and the other sacraments resumed on Tuesday, May 19. This includes confessions, Communion Services, the celebrations of baptisms, weddings and funerals with Mass, Anointing of the Sick, and postponed Memorial Masses for those who have previously died. Churches are open for private prayer.
Only the main church is unlocked during the day for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and the scheduled Masses and confessions.
The most important thing now is to be able to receive the Eucharist. We are dispensed from the Sunday obligation until August 15. We resume Weekend Masses the weekend of May 30-31, Pentecost Weekend. For social distancing: the most well—attended Masses have been the 9:30 and 11:30 Sunday morning Masses. Consider going to another Mass!
If we use every other pew, people will be about six feet apart. Our church seats approximately 800. The last weekend we had Masses (March 14-15) we had already been dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass. Our largest attendance was at the 11:30 a.m. Mass. It was 285. That’s 36% of our seating capacity. I don’t expect even that many to return to Masses soon.
Everyone will need to refrain from gathering in the Narthex or in the parking lot. Just come to Mass, then leave Mass, all the while observing social distancing norms. To observe social distancing in church, then to gather in groups after Mass makes no sense! For once, follow the example of those people who have to race out the door as soon as possible! Sadly, we priests will not be in the Narthex to greet people before or after Masses.
Social distancing guidelines need to be observed. We have signs or markers indicating which pews are open for seating, where to stand when approaching Holy Communion, and so forth. Naturally, members of the same household may sit together in one pew.
Marion County authorities instruct us that everyone (over two years old) attending Mass must wear a mask (to protect others, not yourself). Everyone is asked to bring hand sanitizer for use before and after Mass. We will hopefully have some masks and hand sanitizer on hand, but it sure would help if folks bring their own.
Worship Aids and Hymnals will be out of reach and should not be used. When music is used at Mass there will be one cantor and the accompanist—no choirs. Music will likely be short familiar refrains we can sing without a worship aid or instrumental music.
Liturgical Ministers (lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar servers, and ministers of hospitality) will be minimal—only what is essential. Incense will not be used until further notice.
The priest and other liturgical ministers will not process down the main aisle from the Narthex. We will enter the “short way” from the sacristy.
The gifts of bread and wine to be consecrated will not be brought forward by members of the congregation. They will be already in place in the sanctuary on the credence table.
The weekly offerings will be taken up in the usual manner using the collection baskets with the long poles. There is no need to touch the basket.
The options of the Sign of Peace and Communion from the Cup are suspended. Otherwise, Holy Communion will be distributed in the usual way at the usual time during Mass. Communicants will distance six-feet from the person ahead in line as they approach. There are markers on the floor. The Church says we may not place the Sacred Host in hands wearing gloves.
We ask those who wish to receive Holy Communion in the traditional manner—on the tongue—wait until last. We also ask that they come to one of the priests to receive the Sacred Host rather than one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. However, health officials have not concluded that receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is more of a risk for germs than receiving in the hand.
If you are uneasy, it is acceptable to attend Mass but not to receive Holy Communion. The Church has always made use of what we call a “Spiritual Communion.” This unites you spiritually to Christ’s Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament when for some reason one cannot receive Holy Communion. Here is an example. You can Google for other versions online.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
The pews and common areas will be disinfected with EPA and CDC cleaning solution after use. We have purchased a Hospital-Grade Misting System that will greatly simplify this task.
Perpetual Adoration Chapels are closed until we can be assured that someone will be present there 24/7. At this time, this does not seem feasible. The church will be open through the day for adoration before the tabernacle.
Special Parish Celebrations such as First Holy Communion, Baptisms and Receptions into the Church for those who have completed R.C.I.A. or R.C.I.C will be rescheduled. Confirmations with the archbishop will be rescheduled at later dates. Our plan now is to have our 8thgrade Graduation Mass at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16.
Plans are in the works now to enable us to live streamat least one weekend Mass for those unable to come or those who are uncomfortable with coming to Mass yet. Details to follow.
Regular visits to the homebound by the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are still discontinued until later notice.
Saint Luke Catholic School and Preschool, SMRE (Sunday Morning Religious Education), and Youth Ministry:
All Indiana school buildings remain closed. Our school staff is doing a marvelous job with E-Learning. SMRE Classes and Youth Ministry activities are doing great jobs utilizing social media and technology. Needless to say, all extracurricular school activities such as sports, scout meetings, and so forth are not meeting.
The big question is when and if Saint Luke Catholic Preschool and School will reopen “as usual” in August. At this writing, we simply do not know. That decision will come through various leaders including our archbishop. The latest information we have says these decisions won’t be made until around July 4.
I want to make it clear that we have adequate provisions in place for any families who experience economic hardship and will find it difficult to pay school tuition. We will make it financially possible for every child in this parish to receive a Catholic
The Parish Office will be open beginning Tuesday, June 2, only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Please try to conduct as much parish business as possible by email or by leaving a voicemail for the appropriate staff member. Our maintenance staff remains on Site and maintaining and cleaning our facility.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has mandated that all in person group meetings remain cancelled. Many parish groups continue to meet via Zoom or conference call. It’s actually working fairly well.
We continue to publish the Sunday Steward, our parish bulletin. Hard (paper) copies will again be available for those who attend Mass. You can also read it online. Go to our parish Web Site: www.stluke.org. Click on “Bulletins” to find it. I’ll keep you posted on things through my weekly letter. I’ll do the same for the time-being through my “Monsignor’s Musings” podcast. Go to our Web Site and click on “Podcasts.”
Obviously, our weekly collections are way down. Please consider giving online through the parish Web Site or mailing your contributions to the parish office. Even such a wonderfully blessed parish like Saint Luke is in financial stress.
These past several weeks have been tough. When we get back to “semi-normal” we should have a better appreciation of many things we have taken for granted. It’s made me realize just how much I love Saint Luke.
Of one thing I am convinced; of one thing I am certain: Providence never fails!
Faithfully yours in the Providence that so far had never failed us,
Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel
Ask Monsignor Some Questions. Click here for his responses.
Click here for the link to the current edition to The Sunday Steward Bulletin
Click here for the link to Monsignor's Musings.
Mental Health Resources
Taking care of your well-being, including your mental health, is essential during this time. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Many people may experience stress, fear, anxiety, or feelings of depression. This is normal. There are things that you can do to manage your stress and anxiety:
- Exercise regularly, try to eat well-balanced meals, and get plenty of sleep.
- Limit alcohol.
- Practice breathing exercises and/or meditation. Take breaks from the news (see below for tips).
- Stay connected with others while practicing social distancing (see below for tips).
- Participate in activities or hobbies that you enjoy, or learn a new one.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. If you feel anxious or stressed from the information, struggle to turn off the TV or log off of social media, or have trouble sleeping, you might want to limit the amount and type of news you are viewing. Try to do enjoyable activities, return to normal life as much as possible, and check for updates between breaks.
If you or family member or friend in need of immediate assistance:Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA)
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Link)
Call 800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline
- Crisis Textline (Link)
Text TALK to 741741
- Veterans Crisis Line (VA)
Call 800-273-8255 or text 838255
Helping Homebound Children during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Center for the study of Traumatic Stress https://www.cstsonline.org/assets/media/documents/CSTS_FS_Helping_Homebound_Children_during_COVID19_Outbreak.pdf
Care.com – Free support for Frontline Workers with needs for child care, senior care, pet care, etc. - https://www.care.com/vis/covid19FtpLandingPage
Please note, names given will be added to the St. Luke Prayer Chain
- Front line workers, such as, Doctors/nurses, register clerks, stockers, truck drivers, maintenance/janitorial, warehouse workers, restaurant workers. It is optional to list which area person is working. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Those infected and their family. email@example.com
Ways to Donate Finacially/Volunteer
St. Luke Catholic Church - http://www.stluke.org/give
Archdiocese of Indianapolis - https://www.archindy.org/support/index.html
St. Vincent de Paul - http://www.svdpindy.org
- Volunteers for Food Pantry
- Donate Money
Catholic Relief Services - https://support.crs.org/donate/prevent-coronavirus
United Way of Central Indiana - https://unitedtoact.org/uwci/central-indiana-covid-19-community-economic-relief-fund
Wish Lists for Local Charities – order online and have item(s) sent directly to the charity
This area under construction. Should be available by April 27.
Restaurants that Double as Curbside Grocery Stores
Sahms – https://www.sahms.com
Panera - https://delivery.panerabread.com/menu/category/12637?utm_medium=brand-site&utm_source=link&utm_campaign=homepage-c220&utm_content=grocery-lunch
Ideas to connect with your neighbors
Helping community begins in your own backyard, with these five keys to good neighboring. [NOTE: Always keep a safe 6ft distance and follow other health guidelines]
- Build connection:T his crisis gives us all an excuse to introduce ourselves to neighbors we don’t know, and check in with those we rarely see, with a note call or safe knock. (BUT be prudent when giving out personal info.)
Stay connected through “hyperlocal” online groups such as a neighborhood
Facebook page or apps such as Nextdoor.
- Practice mutual aid: Offer to run essential errands, walk pets or do yardwork for frail or at-risk neighbors, or help tech-insecure neighbors set up their online. Share what you have, ask for what you need! (NOTE: Only share items that can be washed, sanitized or cooked.) Organize neighbors to support the community together: plan a neighborhood virtual food driveor support local restaurants with a takeout night.
- Check in with people: calls, texts, emails, social media, doorway chats. Reach out to specific individuals at risk: those struggling with physical health, mental health, finances, loss, or loneliness. Ask about their needs and help them connect with resources and helpers. Fight social isolation! Express caring, ask questions, be a good listener. Do activities virtually together, such as online games. Send occasional mental health pick-ups: positive news story, cute cat video, peaceful landscape, encouraging quote. Connection makes a difference.
- Neighbor prayer: Regularly prayer walk around your neighborhood if you can, or pray for the homes you can see from your front porch. Coordinate prayer candles in windows in your block. Simply let your neighbors know, “I’m praying for you!” Look for ways to connect with people for uplifting spiritual care.
- Find the fun! Fight cabin fever and promote mental health by organizing neighborhood activities: spot all the teddy bears in neighbors’ windows ... window art festival ... scavenger hunt ... neighborhood watch party ... make funny yard signs ... put up Christmas lights ... play music and have a doorway dance-off ... hang a backdrop and show a movie in your yard ... hold a joke-yelling contest ... fly kites ... door decorating contest ... group exercise times ...