CoronavirusEvansvilleIndiana

Sunday and Weekday Public Masses Suspended by Indiana’s Catholic Bishops

The five Catholic bishops of Indiana have suspended 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.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Evansville, the suspension will go into effect on March 18 and remain in effect until further notice.

The Catholic Diocese of Evansville released a statement on Tuesday to inform the public of the decision.

“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,” the statement issued by The Catholic Diocese of Evansville said.

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 canceled 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.

Catholic Schools

All Diocese of Evansville Catholic schools are closed. Here is the length of school closures by county, effective immediately:

  • Daviess – Three weeks
  • Dubois – Three weeks
  • Gibson – Four weeks
  • Knox – Three weeks
  • Spencer – Three weeks
  • Vanderburgh – Two weeks
  • Warrick – Three weeks
  • Effective immediately, all extracurricular meetings, school-sponsored events, fundraisers, field trips and non-essential meetings are canceled through Monday, April 6, 2020. The Catholic Schools Office will reassess the situation at that time.

You can read the full statement here.

You can find a detailed list of the delays, closures, and restrictions that have been announced around the Tri-State area by clicking here.

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