As Catholics, we hold the Eucharist to be the very “source and summit” of Christian life. When we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we receive Christ Himself – body, blood, soul and divinity. The Eucharist gives us spiritual nourishment and helps empower us to serve others as Christ served us. It is a precious gift born of our Savior’s love for us.
One of the most painful and difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make as your archbishop was to limit Masses in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to private celebrations without the physical presence of the faithful. I know the profound sense of hurt so many of our people are experiencing without the ability to receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Know that I did not make this decision lightly.
I have been in ongoing contact with state leaders and public health professionals, as well as with the clergy and lay leaders of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Those consultations convinced me that we must do all we can to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community, even if it means we may not be able to receive the Eucharist for what may be a significant period of time. This is for the wellbeing not only of the faithful of our Archdiocese, but for all the people of Maryland.
We miss you
Watch the video above for a special message from the clergy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced March 30 that the State of Maryland is implementing a shelter-in-place policy for all Marylanders. This standard will be applied in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Archbishop William E. Lori has instructed churches throughout the archdiocese to close. Churches will no longer be open for private prayer, confession or adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
“Like Governor Hogan, I want to take every precaution and every step necessary to ensure the health of the people we serve,” Archbishop Lori said. “While no bishop wants to ever close a church to one seeking closeness to God, I pray that in doing so we prevent further suffering, further death and will be closer to the day when we can reopen our church doors to the people we so deeply love and miss.”
ALL MASSES are to be offered without the physical presence of the faithful until further notice. There are no exceptions. Masses may not be celebrated for small groups of the faithful in chapels or homes. For a list of parishes that livestream their Masses via radio, television or the Internet, visit www.archbalt.org/online-mass.
Stations of the Cross
No formal Stations of the Cross services may be scheduled. Archbishop Lori conducted a livestreamed Stations of the Cross from the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen March 20. The recording may be viewed on the Cathedral’s website.
BAPTISM, WEDDINGS and FUNERALS- No baptisms or weddings will be offered while Gov. Hogan’s shelter-in-place restrictions are in effect. No funerals will be offered; only graveside services with a limit of no more than 10 people present.
CONFIRMATION-All Confirmation Masses are suspended until further notice, and will be rescheduled once restrictions are lifted.
RECONCILIATION-The Archdiocesan-wide “Day of Reconciliation” has been canceled. While Gov. Larry Hogan’s shelter-in-place policy is in effect, churches will not be open for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The archbishop has instructed priests not to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation in parishes and to only perform the sacraments in cases where the individual is in danger of dying.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK-The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will only be administered in cases when death is imminent.
Holy Week/Chrism Mass/Triduum
For detailed guidance on the celebration of Holy Week, the Chrism Mass and the Triduum in the Archdiocese of Baltimore this year, click here.
Updated March 31, 2020
James Sellinger, chancellor of education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, announced March 25 that Catholic schools will be closed through April 24, extending a closure period that began March 16 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The archdiocese is providing resources for at-home, online learning.
Mr. Sellinger’s announcement came after Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland State School Superintendent Dr. Karen Saloman said Maryland public schools will extend their closures until April 24.
The National Catholic Educational Association’s 2020 Convention and Expo, which was to meet in Baltimore April 14-16, has been canceled. The convention will be modified into an online professional development program.
The Division of Catholic Schools has created an information sheet with answers to frequently asked questions concerning Catholic schools and the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to download the information sheet.
Continued communication with the faithful is critical at a time when they are being separated from their parish community and from the Eucharist. We are strongly encouraging the use of the MyParish App. You will receive instant parish notifications, participate in online Masses, daily Mass readings, archdiocesan and international news, prayers, broadcasts of the Catholic Baltimore radio show and so much more!
The Archdiocese of Baltimore periodically sends out email and/or text messages via Flocknote. Click here to signup. Also check with your parish about signing up to for your parish’s Flocknote messaging system to receive direct information from your local faith community.
The Catholic Review also provides important ongoing coverage of the pandemic. You can sign up for the Catholic Review’s twice-a-week enewsletter here or by texting CRMedia to 84576. Visit the Catholic Review’s website at www.catholicreview.org.
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
Media inquiries should be directed to the Office of Communications: email@example.com.
The functions of the Catholic Center are operating from remote locations. A very limited number of essential personnel will report to the building on a daily basis. We are committed to serving our parishes and schools with the same level of responsiveness and attention that they expect and need.
CATHOLIC BALTIMORE RADIO SHOW
Listen to more episodes here.
For free downloads of daily liturgical readings, pre-written prayers for the General Intercessions and other liturgical resources, click here.
This one-page guide offers suggestions for how to celebrate Mass at home. Although there is no substitute for gathering in person for Mass, this can be an opportunity for the whole family to participate prayerfully in spiritual communion with their sisters and brothers in Christ.
In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul offered support and encouragement to his fellow Christians, urging them to “rejoice in hope, endure in affliction and persevere in prayer.”
In that same spirit, Archbishop William E. Lori invites all to share their requests for prayers for themselves, their families and loved ones. The archbishop will take those requests to the altar every day as he celebrates Mass.
Pray for one another that God may keep us always in his love.
Click here to make a prayer request.
Archbishop William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, invites all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and all members of the Knights of Columbus and their families to join him in praying a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for protection against the coronavirus.
As the world faces the effects of the coronavirus, we understand that our parishes, too, will be affected. Learn how you can support your parish family here .
Your support of archdiocesan-wide initiatives, including the 2020 Annual Appeal for Catholic Ministries, is also greatly appreciated. Please call 443-263-1989 with any Gift Processing questions or concerns.