Indiana Catholic Bishops Suspend Masses Due to Coronavirus (Click icon for recording of the Bishop’s statements)
All Indiana Catholic Church Services and other events have been cancelled. Click on audio below of the Bishops comments (recorded by NNDC) and read the full document of the new rules.
EVANSVILLE, INDIANA – March 17, 2020 – In light of new information and recommendations from health officials concerning the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgency to stem the spread of the virus, the five Catholic bishops of Indiana have suspended – effective March 18 and until further notice – all Sunday and Weekday Public Masses throughout the Province of Indianapolis, which is comprised of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Dioceses of Gary, Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, and Lafayette.
Please email questions about any of this information to email@example.com, and they will be routed to the appropriate diocesan department for response.
In making this announcement, Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel urges all to continue to pray especially for the sick, healthcare providers, public health officials and all community leaders during the weeks to come.
The Diocese of Evansville also is taking the following actions:
Catholic Parishes – until further notice
All weddings will be celebrated outside of Mass, effective March 18, 2020. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider, the engaged couple, the wedding party and the immediate family of the engaged couple, adhering to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
All funeral liturgies will be celebrated outside of Mass, effective March 18, 2020. Funeral liturgies may be held in funeral homes or churches. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider and the immediate family of the deceased, adhering to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
All baptisms of children will be one child at a time, celebrated outside of Mass, effective March 18, 2020. Participation/attendance will be limited to the presider and the
immediate family of the child being baptized, adhering to CDC and governmental
guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville is developing a plan to offer Mass seven days a
week on YouTube and other platforms. Other parishes may also be offering this service.
More details will be announced as they become available.
Churches will remain open for prayer, but the faithful are urged to practice social-
distancing efforts to minimize their own and others’ potential exposure.
Parish offices remain open under their normal business hours.
Members of the faithful who are elderly, particularly those with underlying health
conditions, and those with a comprised immune system or who are ill are encouraged to stay home and avoid any gatherings. They are encouraged to pray at home and/or watch a televised Mass if possible.
All parish events were cancelled without exception effective at 8 a.m. local time on Monday March 16, 2020. These include – but are not limited to – religious education and RCIA classes, youth and young adult ministry events, meetings of parish committees and other ministries, parish fish fries and other fundraisers.
External events scheduled to be held in parish facilities (e.g. parish halls, school gymnasiums, etc.) should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Parishes should not commit to additional such events until further notice. Any such events are to adhere to CDC and governmental guidelines/regulations, keeping in mind any limit concerning attendance numbers.
All Diocese of Evansville Catholic schools are closed. Here are the length of school closures by county, effective immediately:
o Daviess – three weeks o Dubois – three weeks o Gibson – four weeks o Knox – three weeks
o Spencer – three weeks
o Vanderburgh – two weeks o Warrick – three weeks
Effective immediately, all extracurricular meetings, school-sponsored events, fundraisers, field trips and non-essential meetings are cancelled through Monday April 6, 2020. The Catholic Schools Office will reassess the situation at that time.
Diocesan Offices and Events – through at least April 6, 2020
Diocesan offices remain open.
Effective immediately, all non-essential travel by diocesan staff is cancelled.
Meetings of diocesan committees and other groups scheduled for the Catholic Center and/or Sarto Retreat House are cancelled.
Diocesan events are cancelled until further notice, including the Souce + Summit youth and adult retreats.
Sacramental Concerns (Updated March 16, 2020) General
The most vulnerable populations should avoid participating in any of these events Weddings
All weddings would be celebrated outside of Mass with participation limited to officiant (priest/deacon), engaged couple, wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen), immediate family (no more than 10 total)
Funeral liturgy outside Mass may be celebrated at the church or at the funeral home, with participation limited to celebrant, immediate family (no more than 10 total)
Rite of Committal at graveside may be celebrated with presider and immediate family Baptism of Children
All baptisms of children would be celebrated outside Mass, with participation limited to celebrant (priest/deacon), child, parents, godparents, and immediate family (no more than 10 total)
Communal Reconciliation services have been suspended. Confirmations
Confirmations scheduled through the end of May are postponed until further notice. Mass Intentions
Continued Best Practices
Mass intentions can and should be fulfilled at Masses without a congregation as much as possible.