See how they love one another: The Church in a pandemic

Updates on the diocesan response, policies, and procedures surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Public Health Concerns
Key Contacts

Vicar General
Vicar for Clergy
Msgr. Robert Kurwicki
573.635.9127, ext. 210

Liturgical Commission Chair
Father Daniel Merz

Dr. Erin Vader
573.635.9127, ext. 247

Communication Director
Helen Osman

Director of Parish and Charitable Services
LeAnn Korsmeyer
573.635.9127, ext. 222

Executive Director
Catholic Charities of Northeast and Central Missouri

Dan Lester

Alphonse J. Schwartze
Memorial Catholic Center
2207 West Main St | PO Box 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight emends decrees on printed materials and holy water in churches, timeline for social gatherings

Updated March 12, 2021

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight issued a decree allowing the Bible, hymnals, other liturgical aids or spiritual resources, and holy water to be returned to churches, effective March 12. The decree includes instructions on how to maintain precautions against transmission of disease. In addition, he states that social gatherings may take place on parish properties as early as June 1, if local health authority directives are observed. Parishes and schools are encouraged to delay such events until late summer, however, to avoid the need to cancel them if local circumstances require it.

Read the decree in English | Spanish

The Holy See's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has provided  resources designed to support parish priests and staff in diocesan offices and health and social service agencies. You will find information about the COVID-19 vaccine for varied audiences, resources to support the preparation of homilies, relevant quotes from Pope Francis, links to useful information, and short messages for websites, parish bulletins or other media. A Family Guide to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is designed to help local communities and to counter misinformation.

Abiding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, people who are aged 65 or older or are at risk because of an underlying health issue are strongly encouraged not to attend public Masses where they may be exposed to the coronavirus due to crowds or lack of adherence to safety measures. Those who do come to churches for Mass and other activities are highly encouraged to practice social distancing, use face masks and otherwise observe measures for the common good. If social distancing cannot be maintained in the pew, then the wearing of face masks is obligatory even in the pew.

Bishop McKnight has dispensed the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday or a holy day for all the faithful of the diocese and all who are present within the diocese’s territorial boundaries.

However, the faithful are required to observe and participate in the Sunday or holy day liturgy either by participating in a Mass being livestreamed, or by praying and meditating on the readings of the Mass with the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet. Parishes are highly encouraged to continue livestreaming Masses for Sundays and holy days of obligation indefinitely.

People who are infected with COVID-19 are not permitted to enter church properties, in accordance with national, state and local health directives. All are asked to check their temperature at home before going to church.

Those who persist in their desire to receive Holy Communion on the tongue may do so but only after those who receive Holy Communion in the hand, or in a Communion line designated solely for Holy Communion on the tongue.

“See how they love one another”
The Church in a pandemic Frequently Asked Questions

As we continue our efforts to protect one another from the serious effects of the coronavirus, these FAQs are offered to assist the faithful in understanding the instructions and decrees promulgated by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight. The diocesan decrees and instructions give the faithful a means to continue the life of the Church in all its facets – the celebration of the sacraments, works of charity and mercy, and formation – while assisting civic officials in promoting the health and well-being of all.

"Miren como se aman”
La Iglesia en una pandemia Preguntas y respuestas frecuentes

A medida que continuamos nuestros esfuerzos para protegernos mutuamente de los graves efectos del coronavirus, ofrecemos estas preguntas y respuestas para ayudar a los fieles a comprender las instrucciones y decretos promulgados por el obispo W. Shawn McKnight. Los decretos e instrucciones diocesanos brindan a los fieles un medio para continuar la vida de la Iglesia en todas sus facetas: la celebración de los sacramentos, las obras de caridad y misericordia y la formación. Así mismo, colaboramos con los funcionarios cívicos para promover la salud y el bienestar de todos.

Más información, incluyendo los decretos e instrucciones oficiales, está disponible enública.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can we go back to Mass like normal in our parish? | ¿Cuándo podremos volver a Misa a nuestra parroquia como de costumbre?

Public Masses for many parishes in the Diocese of Jefferson City have resumed. However, if a city or county ordinance restricts or limits church services in person, or if a parish is unable to meet the health safety requirements set for by national, state and county authorities or the instructions provided by the diocese, they may not be providing public Masses.

In short, it will take time for things to “get back to normal.”

Important safety measures will be required in order to help protect congregants from infection and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Muchas parroquias de la Diócesis de Jefferson City han reanudado las Misas públicas. Sin embargo, si una orden de la ciudad o del condado restringe o limita aún más los servicios religiosos en persona, o si una parroquia no puede cumplir con los requisitos de seguridad de salud establecidos por las autoridades nacionales, estatales y del condado o las instrucciones proporcionadas por la diócesis, muy probablemente no ofrecerán Misas públicas.

En resumen, tomará tiempo para que las cosas "vuelvan a la normalidad".

Se requerirán medidas de seguridad importantes para ayudar a proteger a los fieles de la infección y retrasar la propagación del virus COVID-19.

Are there certain people who should not come to Mass? | ¿Hay personas que no debería de asistir a Misa?

Anyone who is ill, symptomatic or been exposed to someone else with the coronavirus within 14 days cannot enter the church. This includes all clergy and laity and is in accord with national, state and local health directives.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a thorough list of people who are at higher risk of a severe illness: Please consider reviewing it as you decide how to return to public gatherings.

Cualquier persona que esté enferma, sintomática o haya estado expuesta a otra persona con el coronavirus en los últimos 14 días no puede ingresar a la iglesia. Esto incluye a todos los clérigos y laicos, lo cual está dentro de las directivas de salud nacionales, estatales y locales.

El Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades proporciona una lista exhaustiva de las personas que tienen un mayor riesgo de una enfermedad grave: Por favor, considere revisarlo para decidir su regreso a actividades públicas.

If I can’t attend Mass at my parish for some reason, such as limits on the number of people in the building or other restrictions, can I attend Mass at another parish? | Si no puedo asistir a Misa en mi parroquia por alguna razón, tales como por los límites por la cantidad de personas en el edificio o por otras restricciones, ¿puedo asistir a Misa en otra parroquia?

In our efforts to keep one another safe and healthy, it’s recommended you consider participating in a Mass being livestreamed, rather than going to another parish in person. You can find a list of local parishes livestreaming Masses on the diocesan website,

En nuestros esfuerzos por mantenernos mutuamente seguros y saludables, se recomienda que consideren participar en una Misa transmitida en vivo en lugar de ir a otra parroquia en persona. Puede encontrar una lista de las parroquias locales que transmiten Misas en vivo en el siguiente enlace:

It’s just not possible for me to come to Mass or I don’t feel safe in going out right now. What can I do? | Simplemente no me es posible asistir a Misa o no me siento cómodo al salir ahora mismo. ¿Qué puedo hacer?

All the faithful of the Diocese of Jefferson City, and those who are present in the territory of the diocese, are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation until Nov. 27, 2020, provided that for days of precept they do one of the following:

  1. Prayerfully participate in the Sunday or holy day of obligation Mass livestreamed from their parish church or chapel, the Cathedral, the Vatican, or of any Mass of the day celebrated in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. Prayerfully read and meditate on the readings of the Mass for the Sunday or holy days of obligation, and recite the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet.

If you are a lay minister and are concerned about participating in public Masses in that role, whether as a lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, choir member, hospitality minister, etc., please let your pastor or coordinator know that you should be excused from serving until you are ready to return.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides a thorough list of people at higher risk of a severe illness. Please consider reviewing it as you decide how to return to public gatherings.

El obispo McKnight ha dispensado a todos los fieles de la obligación del deber de Pascua y la obligación de asistir a la Misa Dominical hasta el Nov. 27, 2020. Se ha alentado a las parroquias a continuar transmitiendo Misas en vivo, incluyendo la Misa diaria, para permitir que los fieles mantengan una conexión espiritual con su iglesia local.

Si usted es un ministro laico y le preocupa participar en Misas públicas, ya sea como lector, ministro extraordinario de la Sagrada Comunión, miembro del coro, ministro de hospitalidad, etc., informe a su pastor o coordinador que desea ser dispensado de servir hasta que se sienta listo para continuar sirviendo.

What should we expect when we come to Mass at our parish? | ¿Qué debemos esperar cuando asistimos a Misa en nuestra parroquia?

First, anyone who is ill, symptomatic or been exposed to someone else with the coronavirus within 14 days cannot enter the church. This includes all clergy and laity and is in accord with national, state and local health directives.

We also ask everyone to check their temperature at home before deciding if you are coming to Mass. You can find the current symptoms of the coronavirus at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website,

Bishop McKnight has instructed parishes to ensure all pews and other frequently touched services are cleaned and disinfected at least daily.

Everyone attending Mass or other public gatherings at our parishes and other entities is obliged to wear a mask or other facial covering. If social distancing cannot be maintained in the pew, then the wearing of face masks is obligatory even in the pew. The only exception during Mass is when we are receiving Holy Communion or if you can maintain social distancing in the pew.

You may be asked to observe social distancing – staying at least six feet from people not in your household, except while receiving Holy Communion (more on that below). In other words, only people who live together in one house should be together in the pew, but stay away from other households. . Please follow the guidance given to you at your parish.

The holy water fonts are to be changed at least daily and hand sanitizers are available.

When you arrive at church, please follow the instructions provided regarding through which doors to use to enter and leave, where to sit and how much distance to maintain when you receive Holy Communion. Some parishes may have to limit attendance in order to assure compliance with public safety guidelines.

You’ll notice there will be no offertory procession, no sign of peace and no passing of the collection basket. You can drop your donation into a stationary basket, or continue to use the online or ACH opportunities provided by your parish.

Primero, cualquier persona que esté enferma, sintomática o haya estado expuesta a otra persona con el coronavirus dentro de los últimos 14 días no puede ingresar a la iglesia. Esto incluye a todos los clérigos y laicos y está de acuerdo con las directivas de salud nacionales, estatales y locales.

También les pedimos a todos que verifiquen su temperatura en casa antes de decidir si asistirán a Misa. Puede encontrar los síntomas actuales del coronavirus en el sitio web del Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades en

El obispo McKnight ha dado instrucciones a las parroquias para que se aseguren de que todas las bancas y otros lugares que se tocan con frecuencia se limpien y desinfecten diariamente.

Cada individuo que asista a la Misa u otras actividades públicas en nuestras parroquias y en otras entidades tiene la obligación de usar una mascarilla u otra cobertura facial. Si no es posible mantener el distanciamiento social cuando se está en la banca, entonces el uso de mascarilla es obligatorio cuando se está incluso en la banca. La única excepción a esto es durante la Misa es cuando estamos recibiendo la Sagrada Comunión o si puede mantener el distanciamiento social cuando se está en la banca.

Es probable que se le pida que observe el distanciamiento social: mantener al menos a seis pies de distancia de las personas que no están en su hogar, excepto mientras recibe la Sagrada Comunión (más sobre eso a continuación). En otras palabras, solo las personas que viven en la misma casa deben estar juntas en la misma banca. Sin embargo, es necesario mantenerse alejados de miembros de otros hogares. Favor de seguir las recomendaciones de su parroquia.

Las fuentes de agua bendita deben cambiarse al menos una vez al día y tener desinfectantes para manos disponibles.

Cuando llegue a la iglesia, siga las instrucciones proporcionadas respecto a qué puertas usar para entrar y salir, dónde sentarse y que distancia mantener cuando recibe la Sagrada Comunión. Algunas parroquias tendrán que limitar la asistencia para asegurar el cumplimiento de las pautas de seguridad pública.

Notarás que no habrá Procesión del Ofertorio, ni el Signo de Paz, ni pasará la canasta de la colecta. Puede depositar su donación en una cesta estacionaria, o continuar utilizando las oportunidades de contribuir en línea (online) o ACH proporcionadas por su parroquia.

Can we receive Holy Communion, then? | ¿Podemos recibir la Sagrada Comunión?

Yes, but only the Most Precious Body.

For the distribution of Communion, ushers or other volunteers who are masked and gloved will ensure six-foot distancing in the communion line. Floor markings shall be placed six feet apart in the aisles in which the congregation approaches the sanctuary for Holy Communion, to facilitate proper social distancing.

Communion ministers must be masked, sanitize their hands using sanitizer immediately before and after distributing Holy Communion (allowing the sanitizer to dry thoroughly), and when at all possible, to utilize a disinfectant wipe or purificator dipped in a sanitizing solution (at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol) to sanitize their fingers when incidental contact is made with the communicant.

When approaching the Communion minister, if you are wearing a face mask, pull your mask below your chin and present one hand resting on the palm of the other. After responding “Amen,” the communicant reverently places the Eucharist in his or her mouth and immediately replaces their mask.

Those who persist in their desire to receive Holy Communion on the tongue may do so but only after those who receive Holy Communion in the hand, or in a Communion line designated solely for Holy Communion on the tongue.  Communion ministers must purify and then sanitize their fingers after distributing Holy Communion on the tongue to each household.

Sí, pero solo el Cuerpo de Cristo y solo en la mano. Esto está en consonancia con los consejos de los funcionarios de salud estatales para evitar cualquier posible contacto con la saliva de otra persona.

Para la distribución de la comunión, ujieres u otros voluntarios con mascarillas y con guantes asegurarán un distanciamiento de seis pies en la línea de comunión. Las marcas del piso se colocarán a seis pies de distancia en los pasillos que los fieles utilizarán para acercarse al santuario para la Sagrada Comunión y así lograr el distanciamiento social adecuado.

Los ministros extraordinarios de la Sagrada Comunión deben usar mascarillas, desinfectar sus manos usando desinfectante inmediatamente antes y después de distribuir la Sagrada Comunión (permitiendo que el desinfectante se seque por completo) y, cuando sea posible, utilizar una toallita desinfectante o purificador sumergido en una solución desinfectante (al menos 60% etanol o alcohol isopropílico al 70%) para desinfectar sus dedos cuando se hay contacto accidental con el comulgante.

Si está usando una mascarilla al acercarse al ministro de Comunión, posiciónela debajo de la barbilla y presente una mano apoyada en la palma de la otra. Después de responder "Amén", el comulgante coloca reverentemente la Eucaristía en su boca e inmediatamente reemplaza su mascarilla.

Los que persisten en su deseo de recibir la Sagrada Comunión en la lengua pueden hacerlo, pero solo después de aquellos que reciban la Sagrada Comunión en la mano, o en una línea designada únicamente para la distribución de la Sagrada Comunión en la lengua. Los ministros de la Comunión deben purificar y luego desinfectar sus dedos después de distribuir la Sagrada Comunión en la lengua de cada familia.

I’m in the choir or a lector. What should we do? | Estoy en el coro o soy lector. ¿Qué debo de hacer?

All lay ministers are obliged to wear masks or other facial coverings as much as possible. However, just like the clergy, you should remove your mask or facial covering when you are in the sanctuary area and when you are six feet apart.

Todos los ministros laicos están obligados a usar mascarillas u otros protectores faciales tanto como sea posible. Sin embargo, al igual que el clero, debe quitarse la máscara o la cubierta facial cuando esté en el área del santuario y cuando esté a seis pies de distancia.

When should children wear masks? | ¿Cuándo deberán usar mascarillas los niños?

Parents should determine when a child is old enough to attend Mass and can abide by the safety guidelines. The CDC guidelines state: ‘Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance’.(

Los padres deben determinar cuándo un niño tiene la edad suficiente para asistir a Misa y cumplir con los lineamientos de seguridad. Las lineamientos del CDC establecen lo siguiente: ‘Todos deben usar una cubierta facial de tela cuando estén en público, por ejemplo, a ir a la tienda de comestibles o para recoger otras necesidades. No se deben colocar cubiertas faciales de tela en niños pequeños menores de 2 años, en cualquier persona que tenga problemas para respirar o que esté inconsciente, incapacitado o que no pueda quitarse la máscara sin ayuda'' (

What about other celebrations, such as first Communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc.? | ¿Qué pasa con otras celebraciones como las Primeras Comuniones, Confirmaciones, Bodas, Funerales, etc.?

Your pastor, administrator or parish life collaborator has been given authority to schedule these – unless the local authorities are restricting public worship services – in keeping with the requirements of public safety.

Su párroco, administrador o colaborador de la vida parroquial ha recibido la autoridad para programarlas de acuerdo con los requisitos de seguridad pública, a menos que las autoridades locales estén restringiendo los servicios religiosos públicos.

Can we resume other meetings and events, including social events and sports? | ¿Podemos reanudar otras reuniones u eventos?

Your pastor, administrator or parish life collaborator has been given authority to allow meetings. It’s recommended the observance of social distancing, the use of face masks, and all other public health recommendations of state authorities should be followed whenever possible, as deemed by your parish leadership. Conferencing by telephone or Internet is another option being used by many parishes.

Su pastor, administrador o colaborador de la vida parroquial tiene autoridad para permitir reuniones. Siempre que sea posible se recomienda que se respeten el distanciamiento social, el uso de mascarillas y todas las demás recomendaciones de salud pública de las autoridades estatales siempre que sea posible, según lo considere el liderazgo de su parroquia. Las conferencias por teléfono o internet son otra opción utilizada por muchas parroquias.

What about our employees and regular volunteers who are staffing our parishes and programs? | ¿Qué pasa con nuestros empleados y voluntarios regulares que trabajan en nuestras parroquias y programas?

The Center for Disease Control offers these general guidelines for us to keep ourselves and each other healthy:

  • If you feel sick, you should stay home.
  • Continue to practice good hygiene, including:
    • Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid socializing in groups that do not allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Minimize travel to the extent possible.

Here are the guidelines the employees of the diocesan Chancery are expected to follow:

All employees are expected to work in the office with the exception of individuals who feel uncomfortable doing so and identify as “vulnerable individuals” or “immuno-compromised”. These individuals will be expected to work as much as possible through tele-work. While at work, employees will be expected to maintain social distancing (6 feet from others) and if unable to do so, a mask and frequent handwashing is required.

Vulnerable individuals include:

  • Employees age 60 and over
  • Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised. This includes:
    i. Individuals with organ and blood cancers
    ii. Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer
    iii. Individuals taking medications that treat autoimmune diseases, i.e., corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, azathioprine and biological therapies such as rituximab and etanercept, to name a few
    iv. Individuals with infections such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, measles, herpes, chickenpox
    v. Individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes type 1 or type 2, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, and liver failure
    vi. Individuals suffering from malnutrition
    vii. Autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
    viii. Extensive burns
    ix. Exposure to environmental toxins like radiation
    x. Individuals having no spleen
    xi. Individuals who are pregnant

El Centro para el Control de Enfermedades ofrece estos lineamientos generales para mantenernos saludables:

  • Si se siente enfermo debe quedarse en casa.
  • Continúe practicando una buena higiene, que incluye:
    • Lavarse las manos con agua y jabón, o usar desinfectante para manos.
    • Evite tocarse la cara.
    • Estornude o tosa en un pañuelo o en la parte interior de su codo.
  • Evite socializar en grupos que no permitan un distanciamiento social apropiado.
  • Minimice los viajes tanto como le sea posible.

Estos son los lineamientos para los empleados de la Cancillería diocesana:

Se espera que todos los empleados trabajen en la oficina con la excepción de las personas que se sienten incómodas de hacerlo y que se identifiquen como "individuos vulnerables" o "inmunocomprometidos". Se espera que estas personas trabajen tanto como sea posible a través del teletrabajo. Mientras estén en el trabajo, se espera que los empleados mantengan el distanciamiento social (6 pies) y si no pueden hacerlo, se requiere una mascarilla y  laelvado frecuente de manos.

Las personas vulnerables incluyen:

  • Empleados de 60 años o más.
  • Individuos con condiciones de salud graves, las cuales incluyen presión arterial alta, enfermedad pulmonar crónica, diabetes, obesidad, asma y aquellas que compromenten el sistema inmunitario. Esto incluye:
  1. Individuos con cáncer en órganos y sangre
  2. Personas sometidas a quimioterapia o radioterapia por cáncer
  • Individuos que toman medicamentos para tratar enfermedades autoinmunes, es decir, corticosteroides, ciclosporina, metotrexato, azatioprina y terapias biológicas como rituximab y etanercept, por nombrar algunos
  1. Individuos con infecciones como tuberculosis, VIH / SIDA, sarampión, herpes, varicela
  2. Individuos con enfermedades crónicas como diabetes tipo 1 o 2, insuficiencia renal, cirrosis hepática e insuficiencia hepática
  3. Individuos que sufren de desnutrición
  • Personas con condiciones autoinmunes como lupus y artritis reumatoide.
  • Individuos con quemaduras graves
  1. Individuos expuestos a toxinas ambientales como la radiación
  2. Individuos que no tienen bazo
  3. Individuos que están embarazadas
What if someone I know needs help because they’ve lost their job or income, or for other reasons? | ¿Qué sucede si alguien que conozco necesita ayuda porque ha perdido su trabajo o sus ingresos, o por otras razones?

Please contact your parish to find out what resources are there. Every parish has been encouraged to establish a disaster response team to assist people affected by the pandemic. You can also suggest the person contact Catholic Charities. There is a simple online form they can use, available at

Comuníquese con su parroquia para averiguar qué recursos hay. Se ha alentado a cada parroquia a establecer un equipo de respuesta a desastres para ayudar a las personas afectadas por la pandemia. También puede sugerirle a la persona que se contacte con Caridades Católicas. Hay un formulario sencillo en línea que pueden usar y que está disponible en

When is this all going to end? | ¿Cuándo va a terminar todo esto?

Only God knows. If at any time, a legitimate county or state authority resumes a stay-at-home order, “the public celebrations of Mass, liturgies or devotions shall again be expressly forbidden for as long as the legitimate governmental authority determines,” the bishop stated in his decree.

Whenever public celebrations of the Mass and other liturgies and devotions are suspended, private celebrations may take place with no more than the number of people allowed by the county health director or legitimate state official, and only in accordance with social-distancing regulations.

Sólo Dios sabe. Si en algún momento, una autoridad legítima del condado o del estado reanuda una orden de “quedarse en casa”, "las celebraciones públicas de Misa, otras liturgias o devociones volverán a estar expresamente prohibidas mientras la autoridad gubernamental legítima lo determine", declaró el obispo en su decreto.

Siempre que se suspendan las celebraciones públicas de la Misa y otras liturgias y devociones, las celebraciones privadas pueden tener lugar con un número máximo de personas permitido por el director de salud del condado o un funcionario estatal legítimo, y solo de acuerdo con las regulaciones de distanciamiento social.

Para obtener más información sobre la respuesta de la diócesis al COVID-19 y leer los decretos e instrucciones del Obispo McKnight, visiteública.


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Update 3/12/2021 Bishop McKnight emends decree concerning printed material, holy water in churches, suggests timeline for social gatherings

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Volunteering with Teens amidst the Crisis: Considerations, Challenges, and Solutions

March 27, 2020

Many of us feel called to help in some way as our communities struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet, volunteering while practicing social distancing and self-isolation poses unique challenges to many of the traditional ways we are accustomed to serving.

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Protecting diocesan employees and volunteers as they continue to serve communities

March 26, 2020

The Jefferson City diocese is committed to maintaining a safe, healthy workspace for employees and visitors while ensuring as much continuity as possible during for parishes, schools and other charitable services during the COVID-19 emergency.

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Online contributions available to all parishes

March 26, 2020

The Diocese of Jefferson City is providing a temporary solution to online giving for parishes needing immediate access to online giving tools.

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COVID-19 presents a new challenge for diocesan schools

March 24, 2020

Spencer Allen, Principal of St. Joseph Cathedral School, shares insights on the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents to Catholic faculty, staff and students in the Diocese of Jefferson City.

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SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital opens drive-thru testing site

March 23, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (March 21, 2020) – SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City will open its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site, Monday, March 23, at the Health Plaza East entrance, 2505 Mission Drive. The site will be open from noon to 4 pm initially and hours may vary depending on volume.

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20 March 2020

March 20, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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Enhancing parish communication in a time of “social distancing”

Enhancing parish communication in a time of “social distancing”

March 20, 2020

The diocesan Communications Office has a few suggestions on how you can communicate in this time when some “ordinary” channels of communication
have been shut down.

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General Health Directives

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidelines based on the latest research and scientific discoveries regarding COVID-19.

How to minimize the spread of virus in our gathering spaces

  • Offering hand sanitizer stations at church and school entrances.
  • Practicing good hand washing with soap and water as frequently as possible and teaching children this practice.
  • Teaching children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, or to cough or sneeze into their inner elbow.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces in public areas, such as our churches, classrooms and meeting spaces.
  • Liturgical ministers, especially extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, should maintain clean/sanitized hands.
    • Wash hands before Mass or use a personal bottle of hand sanitizer while in the pew before serving, ensuring the sanitizer is entirely dry before serving.
    • Wash liturgical vessels with mild detergent and hot water after each liturgy, which will help to protect the finish by removing oil from hands, and work to remove pathogens that may be on the vessel from its use in the liturgy.

How individuals can protect themselves and others

People who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home until they are free of fever (fever is 100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

Those who have weak or compromised immune systems (i.e., the elderly, the infirmed, infants and young children) should avoid public gatherings. These individuals could include the following:

  • People age 65 and over
  • Individuals with organ and blood cancers
  • Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer
  • Individuals taking medications that treat autoimmune diseases, i.e., corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, azathioprine and biological therapies such as rituximab and etanercept, to name a few
  • Individuals with infections such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, measles, herpes, chickenpox
  • Individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes type 1 or type 2, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, and liver failure
  • Individuals suffering from malnutrition
  • Individuals with autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Individuals with extensive burns
  • Individuals with exposure to environmental toxins like radiation
  • Individuals having no spleen
  • Individuals who are pregnant

Additional resources for parishes and parishioners