IOWA BISHOPS ISSUE LETTER ON SUNDAY MASSES DURING PANDEMIC
Earlier this week Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted restrictions against some public gatherings, including religious assemblies. The Catholic bishops of Iowa have decided it would be most prudent for now to continue to follow the liturgical restrictions already in place, including the suspension of public Masses. The bishops will continue to closely monitor the statewide and regional situations regarding to the COVID-19 disease.
In a letter to Catholics issued April 28, the bishops said, “In particular, the health and survival of the elderly and other vulnerable populations is still a grave concern. Many parishioners and priests fall within these groups.”
The bishops continued, “We ask parish, school and diocesan staff to continue to minister to the faithful, and the faithful to each other, in ways other than meeting in groups during this difficult time of the pandemic … we take the advice of Paul: ‘Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer’ (Romans 12:12). Take comfort in knowing that Jesus is with us and with you, our faithful.”
ACTION ALERT TO CONGRESS ON FURTHER COVID-19 ACTIONS
As Catholics, we are called to be a Church for all God’s children. We affirm the inherent dignity of every person and our duty as Christians to work for the common good of all God’s people during this pandemic, while paying particular attention to the most vulnerable. You are being urged to contact your members of Congress regarding the next COVID-19 relief package in support of refugees and immigrants.
CANADIAN AND U.S. BISHOPS TO RENEW CONSECRATIONS TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER
As the world continues to face the ongoing effects of the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops tomorrow, Friday, May 1 in renewing the consecrations of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother.
The renewal of consecration planned in this country for May 1 does not change the designation of Mary as the Patroness of the United States under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Rather, this prayer reaffirms and renews previous Marian entrustments, and unites us in solidarity with our Holy Father, who recently established the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, as a source of protection and strength.
Archbishop Gomez will lead a brief liturgy with the prayer of re-consecration on Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. A liturgy guide will be available to assist the faithful who may join in by tuning into the USCCB’s social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ABSENTEE VOTING BEGINS FOR IOWA PRIMARY
The absentee voting period for mailed ballots in Iowa’s June primary has begun. Registered voters are receiving an absentee ballot request form in the mail. You are encouraged to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Iowans can also download the request form directly from the Iowa Secretary of State website, VoterReady.Iowa.gov. Requests must be received by the county auditor’s office by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22.
Primary elections are intended for members of the Republican and Democratic parties only.
In addition, the Iowa Secretary of State is recruiting poll workers for the primary. Many current workers are members of a high-risk category and are vulnerable to the coronavirus.
If you are interested in being a paid poll worker, go to pollworker.iowa.gov for more information.
As the Iowa bishops said in their letter, “We strongly encourage parishioners to visit the website and social media outlets of the parishes and schools to stay in touch as we look forward to gathering in person.” Your diocese and local parish are there to support you! Click here for a link to the diocesan websites to learn more about streaming Masses and other spiritual opportunities.