Public Celebration of Mass Suspended throughout California
Dioceses Offer Catholics Resources to Continue Lenten Journey
In response to unprecedented measures taken by California and the nation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), every Roman Catholic Diocese in the state has suspended the public celebration of Mass. Catholics around the world are in the season of Lent – in preparation for Easter, the most holy Feast of the liturgical year – making this necessary move particularly heartbreaking.
“This is an extraordinary step for the 11 million Catholics in the Golden State,” said Andrew Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. “Every Bishop in California recognized the public health threat posed by the infection but also appreciated the need for spiritual and emotional support in such a challenging time.
While it is remarkable that so many Californians are confined to their homes to stop the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, it is fortunate that social media and communication technology makes it easier than ever to reach out to others who might be anxious.
How do you stay healthy – spiritually, physically and emotionally – during such an unusual time?
From a faith perspective, the resources available online are tremendous. Many people already get an email with a daily reading or a short reflection. Such practices are especially widespread during Lent.
Online Catholic Mass & Spiritual Resources during COVID-19 (and Anytime!)
During the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these online resources will help maintain our spiritual practices and cope with a difficult time.
Coronavirus and Legal Immigration
It’s important to note, however, that the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that medical treatment related to COVID-19 “will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis.” Read the USCIS statement here.
Please note that as the public charge rule is related to legal immigrants seeking status changes and/or visas. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has temporarily closed to the public effectively curtailing all immigration activity – EXCEPT for enforcement.
Regardless of immigration status, if you are ill do not hesitate to seek medical assistance.
Click here for more.
California Legislature in Recess
In response to COVID – 19, the California Legislature has jointly voted to approve a recess in both the Senate and the Assembly until April 13, 2020, at which time the recess may be extended.
The resolution also specified that the Legislature may recall itself from the joint recess by joint proclamation of the President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly.
U.S. Census forms are now being delivered to communities throughout the country. Participation in the census is vital to help ensure there is accurate data about communities and the services that they need.
While there are many questions, rumors, and fear regarding the participation of immigrants and refugees in the 2020 Census, it’s important to note that the USCCB urges all people, regardless of citizenship, to participate.
There is anxiety pertaining particularly to the safety of personal information in the Census, but the U.S. government has strict statutory rules regarding the privacy of Census respondents’ data. Justice For Immigrants has backgrounders available in English and Spanish to address some of those concerns.
California Catholic Conference staff, like most of California, is working remotely for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
Our God is near and asks us to be near to one another. Perhaps right now we cannot draw near physically to others for fear of contagion, but we can reawaken in ourselves a habit of drawing near to others through prayer and mutual help. #HomilySantaMarta
March 20, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 10