For the common good, wear a mask

While we've been able to bring back worship, sacraments and parish events during the pandemic, it's important during this public health crisis that we take steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for the common good. This means wearing a mask.

In this video, by the four bishops of Iowa, we can see that there are Scriptural reasons to support wearing a mask.

 

Watching the numbers

The diocese continues to monitor the public health situation in southwest Iowa by watching county specific COVID-19 data, and by frequently consulting with local medical experts and diocesan priests. If the diocese observes a significant local increase in COVID-19 cases over the course of two weeks it will consider resuming previous phase restrictions on gatherings and public Masses. These decisions will be made on a county specific basis, and in consultation with the diocesan regathering team, local pastors, and medical experts.

  • In this video, Bishop William Joensen explains some of the changes that have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  •  Here are some Liturgical Guidelines you can expect to find in our parishes.
  •  Here are some helpful posters to help returning parishioners learn about the changes at their church.

Mass

Parishes have been asked to continue streaming Masses online. Here is a list of parishes that are streaming. You may need to check with the parish about the times, as some of those changed when public celebration of the Mass resumed.

Sacraments and COVID-19

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Catholic Health Association of the United States have put together a wonderful Q&A regarding sacramental practice when you have a loved one in the hospital. We hope you find it helpful and comforting during these difficult days. Here is how to do a  sacramental confession when a priest is not available.

Schools

Our school administrators have worked tirelessly to devise a Return to Learn plan for the upcoming school year. Get the latest information here .

 

Prayer Resources

Use this time to grow closer to the Lord. There are many resources to feed our spirituality. Take a look at the prayers and multitude of websites that offer prayer, tips and guidance.

Resources for ministry leaders

Parish ministry leaders are encouraged to follow this link to a list of resources they may find useful.

Resources for families

We have compiled podcasts, articles, and prayer resources to foster our faith during this time.

Social Services

Here is a list of social services available in our communities. Catholic Charities can be contacted if you need help with food, counseling or other social services.

Hospitals/Care Facilities

Contact the hospital or care facility you want to visit prior to going to see what restrictions may be in place.

HR for parishes and schools

Here is a link to a memo and resource information sent to parishes and schools on March 13.

Unemployment

If your parish or school is part of the unemployment program with the Iowa Catholic Conference, and you have staff whose hours are reduced, or staff are temporarily furloughed, they should file a claim here with Iowa Workforce Development. If your parish or school is not part of the ICC’s unemployment program, your staff may still be eligible for some financial aid if their hours are reduced or they are furloughed. The new CARES Act covers employees of nonprofit organizations. They should contact Iowa Workforce Development for information on how to apply.

Accessing funds

Parishes can access their funds at the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa here.