Governor Gavin Newsom announced updated Directives for 30 counties in California due to an increase in coronavirus related deaths and hospitalizations. All three counties in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles—Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara—are included in the Directives.
According to the Governor and the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County Public Health Offices, our parishes must discontinue indoor Masses and other liturgical services, effective immediately.
Outdoor Masses and other liturgical services such as adoration and prayer services are allowed and encouraged. Parishes may continue to celebrate Confessions, First Communions, Confirmations, Funerals, and Weddings outdoors on the parish grounds. Parishioners must wear face coverings and practice social distancing, even outdoors.
Additionally, the Governor’s Directives include closures of parish offices. Parish offices are to be closed to the public. Pastors may allow a minimal number of essential parish staff members to continue working in the office provided that social distancing is observed. For example, while the office is closed to the public, parishes are encouraged to communicate regularly with parishioners, return calls to answer questions, and reassure individuals and families that our parishes are still there for them in prayer and to help with any needs they may have.
This is also a good time to remind all of our parishioners that the risk of coronavirus is real, and it is dangerous. While these Orders are discouraging and disappointing, this is the time to pray for one another, trust in Jesus, and focus on the care and love he has for each one of us.
May Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Angels, continue to bless our parishes and loved ones with good health, joy, and peace. Thank you for your attention to this matter and for the good work you do in your parishes.