Message of Monsignor Rupert, Cathedral Pastor regarding the Cathedral response to COVID-19
March 12, 2020
The Cathedral has made available a COVID-19 resource page that may be accessed via www.stpeterscathedral.org/covid-19
The following is a message from Monsignor Rupert.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be moved. . .
My Dear Friends,
As you may have heard, today Bishop Bambera released the latest guidance regarding the response of the Diocese of Scranton to COVID-19. In writing to you today, I affirm the primary concern of our Bishop for the health and safety of all of our faithful, most especially our Cathedral staff, parishioners, visitors, and friends. As the Mother Church of the Diocese of Scranton, we take very seriously our commitment to all the faithful of the Church of Scranton and anyone who passes through our doors.
As the global community grapples with this virus and all that it entails, each of us will be called upon to make changes, adjustments, and perhaps difficult decisions. For the most part, the decisions being made are based on of-the-moment assessments using the most current information available to us. Therefore, I ask for your patience and understanding as this situation continues to rapidly evolve. As Catholic Christians, and as members of the global community, we must do everything we can to help stop the spread of this pandemic.
To that end, I offer the following updates:
-The Cathedral has established a COVID-19 resource page on our website (www.stpeterscathedral.org/covid-19). A link to the webpage is available in the text version of this message and is accessible from our homepage.
-Bishop Bambera, in union with the Bishops of Pennsylvania, has dispensed the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
-Despite the suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, all regularly scheduled Masses will remain open to the public for those who wish to attend.
-Aside from maintaining our normal Mass schedule, the Cathedral will remain open throughout the day for private prayer and meditation.
-Effective immediately, in addition to our normal stringent cleaning procedures, I have directed the Cathedral staff and volunteers to clean and disinfect high-touch hard surfaces such as door handles, the restroom facilities, and pews. This will be done following each Mass.
-I have communicated with our Ministers of Hospitality to refrain from physical contact when greeting and assisting parishioners and visitors.
-I have made available additional anti-bacterial hand sanitizers for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and have instructed them to use them before Mass and before and after the distribution of the Holy Eucharist.
-All liturgical vessels and related liturgical items will be cleaned daily.
-The Night at the Races event scheduled for Friday, April 17 has been postponed.
-The Lenten Journey to Easter in the Art of the Cathedral tour, presented in conjunction with First Friday Scranton, has been cancelled.
-The Lenten Gospel Reflection series has been cancelled. The series will be made available on our website and social media accounts.
In these anxious and uncertain times, we must cling to the love that God has for each of us. Its radiance is stronger and more life-giving than anything our earthly existence will ever experience. The Psalmist reminds us that our help comes from the Lord, and that is what we must embrace as we make our way through the world.
I encourage you to stay tuned to our social media channels and website for updated information. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. I assure you of my prayers for you, your family and loved ones, and our beloved Cathedral.
With every blessing,
Monsignor Dale R. Rupert
Pastor, Cathedral of St. Peter