23 November 2020
This Advent promises to be like none other. With the pandemic raging, it is important to find ways to nurture our faith as we look forward to the great feast of the Incarnation, the Son of God becoming one of us. Please see my Advent message, which will be in the upcoming Catholic Missourian and which was emailed on Friday, for important information on Advent and our diocesan pastoral plan.
Parishes are encouraged to pray the Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for Protection from the Coronavirus at the end of each Mass. As public health officials continue to urge caution and cases of COVID-19 rise in our diocese, I have extended my decree regarding pastoral activities for our diocese.
Missouri bishops address ethical concerns about vaccines
On Friday, the Missouri Catholic Conference issued a statement to address ethical concerns about vaccines and the use of aborted fetal stem cells in vaccine research. The bishops stated that if safe and effective vaccines are available that don’t rely on aborted fetal cell lines, they “should clearly be the preferred option” for Catholics. “The vaccines currently in development which utilize problematic cell lines, however, should not keep Catholics from seeking vaccination,” they stated. “Preserving one’s health and that of others outweigh the remote association with past abortions which were neither desired nor intended by those now using the vaccines.”
Effective immediately, the Chancery staff will be abiding by the following protocols:
- We are restricting visits from external partners, customers, parish priests, school personnel, candidates and any other guests in the Chancery offices. In person meetings are to be cancelled and scheduled virtually if possible.
- Chancery staff are to refrain from visiting parish offices and schools in person. All business trips are cancelled.
Abiding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the use of face masks upon entering the church, during the celebration of Mass except when in place in the pew, during the Communion procession, and upon leaving the church is required. If social distancing cannot be maintained in the pew, then the wearing of face masks is obligatory even in the pew. For more resources, visit https://diojeffcity.org/public-health/.
New Safe Environment policies, PSA material
With our new safe environment policies effective Nov. 1, we have developed 12 graphics and a flyer of public service announcements parishes can use in bulletins, mailings and social media to explain the new policies. There is also a tutorial to help people understand how to register in the program. The new policies include new categories for volunteers and training for everyone is emphasized. It is important we provide information to parishioners so they can be engaged in keeping our children safe.
You will find all of these resources at diojeffcity.org/safe-environment. Also the direct links for the graphics are: one column bulletin | two column bulletin | social media. You are encouraged to rotate these, using a new one each month. Please contact Connie Schepers if you have questions or need other resources.
Share in bulletins, emails, social media, and websites
Totus Tuus applications
Are you a Catholic young adult interested in bringing the Gospel to kids and teens across our diocese? Please consider applying to be a Totus Tuus missionary. Download the materials at diojeffcity.org/totus-tuus/ and return your application to email@example.com. We do hire on a rolling basis, so the earlier the better! The application packet includes a job description, application, and instructions for a letter of recommendation. Totus Tuus Missionaries serve from May 27 – Aug 1. This is a full-time, paid position.
Nutrition counseling in Jefferson City
Anointing of the Sick
Due to hospitals’ strict protocols, it is important to seek the sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation prior to going to the hospital. Most hospitals only allow a priest to provide the sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick if the patient has been placed on comfort care (hospice) or is nearing death.
This year the Missouri Catholic Conference canceled its in-person Annual Assembly due to COVID-19. As an alternative, they are offering a podcast series, MCC from the Capitol. MCC executive director Deacon Tyler McClay hosts six great episodes focused on issues of interest and concern to Catholics. You can find the podcasts on their website and Spotify. Below is a description of one of the episodes, addressing religious liberty.
Religious Liberty in the Age of COVID-19
Vatican II proclaimed that religious liberty lays its foundation in the dignity of the human person, and that no one should be compelled to act in a manner that violates his or her conscience. But are their limits to this liberty that people of faith must accept for the common good? Bishop Mark Rivituso, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and Tom Buckley, general counsel for the archdiocese, discuss the church’s response to the recent government shutdowns due to the COVID pandemic.
The Diocese of Jefferson City is seeking a bi-lingual Director of Religious Education and Youth/Young Adult Ministry administer the curriculum approval process within the Diocese of Jefferson City for parish based religious education. He/she will provide direct support for and development of parish-based young adult leaders and youth ministers in the outreach, evangelization, faith formation and pastoral care of their youth. For more information, visit diojeffcity.org/employment.
Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri has the following career opportunities available: Refugee Temporary Assistance Connection (RTAC) Case Manager, Refugee Health Promotion Coordinator, Housing Counselor and Financial Education AmeriCorps Member. Job descriptions and application details can be found at cccnmo.diojeffcity.org/about-us/careers/.
Parishes are asked to use this form to send any updates of their parishioners: address changes, marriages, divorces, death, etc.
- As of April 27, the Chancery is no longer using PO Box 104900. Please address all correspondence to the street address 2207 W. Main, Jefferson City, MO 65109. The Post Office will forward mail from the PO box to the street address for up to one year, but the forwarding process will slow your delivery. Please begin using the street address immediately.
- Parishes are asked to publish in their bulletins the need for relief parents at St. Nicholas Academy. You can find the listing here.
- Please consider posting this helpful information for your parishioners on how to identify email and text scams.
- In the interest of time and accuracy, The Catholic Missourian has moved to a simple online process for submitting events for the Things to Do page. To have an event considered for publication in Things to Do and in the diocesan online events calendar, go to diojeffcity.org/event-listing and follow the directions. The process is straightforward and user-friendly. Events submitted for display advertising will be automatically included in Things to Do, as will items that have been previously submitted.
Preventing text and email scams
A scam has hit many parishes across the United States, as well as other faith communities. The Federal Trade Commission provided information on this scam in July 2019. The email or text purports to be from a person the target knows, such as one’s pastor, a parish staff member, the bishop or someone else from the Church. If the target responds to the fake email or text, the sender will follow up with a request for some sort of monetary assistance, often for gift cards, Google Play cards or iTune cards. Please read our post to learn how to prevent yourself or parishioners from falling prey to this scam.
Please feel free to disseminate the information in the “Monday Morning Memo” to a broader audience, such as parishioners and school families! Is there someone else who should receive this Weekly Memo? Please encourage them to sign up here!