Letter to the Faithful regarding the Coronavirus

Dear Parishioners,

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these new waters, so to speak. We are doing our best to disseminate information without bombarding you with information. Please take time to read this e-mail to the very end. I’m not padding this with extra words—each point is important. Also, take time to make sure my e-mail address (aubrey-potter@cdolinc.net) is in your safe-senders list or in your contacts so that you receive all messages.

We’ve been given guidance from the Diocese of Lincoln regarding the coronavirus and the steps that should be taken to stop its spread. We are unsure as to the length of the suspension of Liturgies. This e-mail will be a combination of the diocese’s words and instructions, and information specific to our parish.

  • As you know, public Masses have been canceled. The purpose of this time of distancing is to stop the spread of a legitimately life-threatening illness.
  • Priests are still celebrating (private) Masses and will offer their Mass for the intentions which have been requested. These intentions will be published as they have always been, but the Masses will not necessarily take place at the times listed. (Be assured that if you have requested a Mass for a specific intention, it WILL be said.)
  • We are looking into ways to livestream Masses. In the meantime, remember that a mass for shut-ins is televised every Sunday in the Lincoln area on KLKN-TV at 9am. Additionally, EWTN broadcasts daily Masses and Sunday Masses at 7am, 11am, 6pm, and 11pm.
  • With Masses canceled, all Lay Ministers (Acolytes, Altar Boys, EMHCs, Lectors, Ushers) can disregard schedules until Masses & Services resume.
Liturgies & Services are all canceled. Devotions, Parish Family Rosaries, Stations of the Cross, etc., will not be held during this time. Altar Server Training will be postponed, as will all parish meetings and gatherings.

The Eucharist
  • There will not be communion services, and it is not permitted for EMHCs to bring communion to their families.
  • EMHCs will not be making communion calls to homes (or nursing homes, which have already been closed to visitors), to avoid spreading the virus.
Adoration & Prayer
  • Our church will remain open as usual for people to stop in and pray. Adorers must be of sound health and there should be no more than ten people at a time. The church will open at about 6am and will remain unlocked until nightfall. If you need the code to enter the church when it is locked, please call the parish office.
  • The church building is still being sanitized daily. In light of an overall shortage of sanitizing supplies, you are encouraged to bring your own disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer for personal use.
  • The Pink Sisters’ Chapel (1040 S Cotner Blvd) is still open at this time. It is available to the public after morning Mass—about 8am. Fewer than 10 people should be present at any time.
  • Confessions are to take place in the open air or a large room.
  • On Saturdays from 3-4:30pm (or until the last confession is heard), at least two priests will make themselves available in the church. One will be in the North Transept (side chapel – blue candles) and one will be in the Servers’ Sacristy. There will be signs to direct you. Music will be played in the church in order to maintain privacy for the Sacrament.
  • There can only be 10 people at a time in the church—including priests. Please be mindful of this, and wait outside when necessary.
Funerals | Weddings | Baptisms These can still take place, but must be limited to 10 people. If this affects you and you are worried, please ask for more information.

CCD | RCIA | Godteens All classes and meetings are suspended/canceled at this time. Communication will be sent to people coordinating and using these programs.

Confirmation: All Confirmations scheduled through March are postponed—including ours, which was scheduled for March 28th. We do not yet know when this will be rescheduled.

Anointing of the Sick If you are critically ill or in danger of death, Anointing of the Sick may still be administered, but it must be for very serious reasons. Please call the parish office (402-477-3979) if you require the sacrament.

Remember to take advantage of Formed.org. Our parish code is J4V3RY For at-home Bible Studies, excellent movies on the saints, audio books, etc.

How can we help one another at St. Teresa Parish?
  • We are compiling a list of parishioners who are willing to run errands for those who need help (especially our elders), who are willing to check on them (by phone), to keep those without e-mail or internet apprised of announcements, etc., and who could help our elders when necessary. Several people have already come forward. Please call or e-mail me if you are able to help in this way!
  • Conversely, if you are unable to leave home for physical or health reasons and would like for parishioners to check in with you or run errands, please contact me either by phone or e-mail.
  • We realize that many elders do not have e-mail or internet. A plan is being made to contact these people (and we’ll need your help!)
From Father Hottovy: Abundant blessings on this Saint Patrick’s Day. Special thanks to all who have been helping our parish navigate the challenges of these times. We will get through this; let Faith conquer all fear. Christ is stronger and more powerful than any disease, pandemic, or evil. Let us take to heart the words of Saint Patrick who trusted in the Lord amidst great trials and obstacles.

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

At home invite all to kneel and pray the Rosary before ending each day.

O God, come to our aid; O Lord, make haste to save us!

Jesus the Divine Physician, Have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Help, Pray for us.
St. Joseph, Pray for us.
St. Teresa, Pray for us.
St. Corona, Pray for us.
All Saints and Heavenly Angels, Pray of us.

As always, please call or e-mail with questions, ideas, or concerns.

God bless you!