We have adopted many precautionary measures to keep our parish and school communities healthy and to support our public health agencies with community mitigation efforts when appropriate. We will continue to monitor developments and follow recommendations by our local and state health officials, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
We have instituted the following adapted liturgical practices as precautionary measures at all Diocese of San Jose parishes and schools:
Priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are to wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.
All should refrain from physical contact (handholding, shaking hands, hugging, etc.) before, during, and after the Mass.
Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful on the hand only and not on the tongue. The cup is not to be used during this time.
All holy water fonts have been emptied. Any holy water required for liturgies will be disposed of appropriately afterward. Our priests are washing their hands before and after using the sacred oils.
Bishop Oscar Cantú reminds the faithful that if they are sick, the requirement to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is dispensed.
Bishop Cantú grants a special dispensation from attending Mass on Sunday during March to those persons who are at a higher risk of serious illness from the virus. The Public Health Department defines those at “higher risk” as those over 50 years old and those of any age with health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.
For the ill, the homebound, or the aged who cannot attend Sunday Mass during March, the Diocese will record Sunday Masses in English and Spanish from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph. Recordings of the Masses will be available for viewing on the Diocesan website for a week after each Mass. www.dsj.org/vlog/
Other Masses are broadcast each Sunday at 5:00 a.m. / 9:00 a.m. / 9:00 p.m. on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), and at 8:30 a.m. on KOFY-TV Channel 20. Masses in Vietnamese are on Vietnamese Broadcasting Service (VBS) on local Channel 16.8 (with antenna) at 10:30 am on Sundays. Spanish masses at 5:00 am and 1:00 pm on the Spanish EWTN.
Our parishes and Catholic schools / Catechetical Programs are taking action to keep our communities healthy:
All priests, men and women religious, employees, students, and volunteers are encouraged to stay home when they are sick.
Our parishes and schools are increasing their cleaning procedures to keep their sites safe. Hard surfaces, such as counters, desks, and pews, are thoroughly wiped down daily with disinfectants and chlorine-containing cleansers to protect the health and well-being of our communities.
Pastoral care visits to the sick or the homebound by priests and lay ministers are being suspended, unless for the Anointing of the Sick (commonly known as Last Rites), until further notice.
Department of Schools is planning for the unlikely extended closure of a school with digital or distance learning opportunities. Please note Santa Clara County Public Health Department is not recommending closing schools at this time. If a staff member or student in a specific school is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Public Health Department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school is warranted. Our catechetical programs will follow the same process.
Large gatherings or events at parishes and schools are being postponed or canceled. The Health Department defines a “large mass gatherings” as one thousand people (1,000) or more.
More information, updates and Mass Recordings at https://www.dsj.org/coronavirus/