After consultations with the clergy of the diocese and health professionals, I believe it is necessary to promulgate a new Pastoral Direction for the diocese.
This Pastoral Direction is published first and foremost in the interest of public health and supersedes all earlier pastoral directions, which are now null and void. All congregations and parishes should abide by this Pastoral Direction for the foreseeable future. It will be lifted as soon as possible.
You can read the full Pastoral Direction here (PDF).
The key points of this latest Pastoral Direction are:
- All buildings and properties of The Diocese of West Missouri and its member parishes and congregations are closed, including parish administrative offices
- Childcare ministries on parish properties.
- Food and hunger ministries.
- Emergency building maintenance.
- Priests may conduct and live-stream worship services from the sacred premises of the parishes they serve.
In accord with Missouri’s “stay-at-home”, maximum occupancy, and essential services regulations:
- No entities of The Diocese of West Missouri will entice people to leave their homes to attend liturgies or other organized events;
- Clergy must also make every effort to stay at, and work from, home;
- Clergy and lay members shall not deliver communion to parishioners or provide “drive-through communions.”