Guidelines Announced for Parishes in ‘Yellow’ Zone Counties

As counties transition from “red” to “yellow,” the Diocese of Harrisburg has provided new guidelines for parishes in these “yellow” zones. These guidelines were developed after reviewing the directives from the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as studies provided through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Diocese will review and amend these directives as this situation continues to develop.

Letter to Families in our Catholic Schools 

Dear Catholic-School Families in our Diocese,

On this feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal Catholic Church, please know that I am praying for you for peace and health.  The Lord reminds us in scripture that He has plans for us, “plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.”  (Jeremiah 29: 11-12) While we cannot fully understand our current situation, let these words remind us to see things through the light of faith and to trust in God’s providence.

Bishop Gainer Temporarily Suspends All Masses

Today and effective immediately until further notice, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, out of great concern for the health of the faithful and in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has temporarily suspended all daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Additionally, Bishop Gainer has suspended all public liturgies and devotions, and has asked that all churches and chapels be closed, including all perpetual adoration chapels.

Bishop Gainer made this decision after careful consideration of the recommendations from public health officials, and out of great concern for the health and well-being of the faithful, our clergy and parish staffs, given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Bishop Gainer Grants Dispensation for Sunday Mass Obligation

The Diocese of Harrisburg, at the direction of Bishop Gainer, has requested that all parishes and institutions temporarily suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood by way of the Chalice and omit the exchange of peace, effective immediately. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to the serious nature of the influenza virus this season and due to public concerns regarding the Coronavirus. The Diocese often asks parishes to suspend the sign of peace and distribution of the Precious Blood during serious flu seasons. This temporary suspension will be lifted once medical professionals indicate the high risk has passed.