April 29,2020 Policy for the Diocese of Grand Island for the re-opening of Catholic Churches on May 4, 2020 On Friday, April 24, Nebraska Governor Ricketts announced the opportunity for the re-opening of faith based services throughout Nebraska, beginning May 4, 2020. Since then I have consulted with members of the Presbyteral (Priests) Council of the Diocese of Grand Island about how we might proceed.
While some parishioners are eager to re-open their churches, many others feel that May 4 is simply too soon. Some priests have advocated that all parishes remain closed until we can all re-open at the same time. Some are concerned that if there is a partial re-opening, people will travel from areas that remain closed to parishes that have re-opened, and unknowingly transmit the virus.
With this new policy below, it is my desire to recognize the vast differences between some places like Hall County and Dawson County that have very high incidences of the COVID-19 virus and the many other places that have few if any cases of the infection.
Therefore, anticipating the governor’s re-opening date of May 4th, and as of that day, I am establishing the following measures:
The Dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day Obligation remains in force.
A limited opening (as of May 4) of Catholic Churches is permitted in those areas where few, if any, confirmed COVID-19 virus cases have been reported, but only by following the instructions that were sent to pastors.Furthermore, this re-opening is for liturgical celebrations only, and notfor educational, social or outreach activities. This limited opening is permitted for parishes in the following counties: Sioux, Dawes, Box Butte, Sheridan, Cherry, Brown, Rock, Wheeler, Garfield, Greeley, Valley, Sherman, Logan, Thomas, Hooker, Grant, Keith, Garden, Morrill, Deuel, Cheyenne and Kimball. (Should confirmed cases begin to increase in these areas, new closings should be anticipated.)
NO RE-OPENING of Catholic Churches until May 30th, is permitted in those counties where the number of confirmed COVID-19 virus cases is still increasing or experiencinga significant increase. Catholics who live in these areas should not migrate to parishes that are open. This NO RE-OPENING policy is for parishes in the following counties: Hall, Howard, Buffalo, Dawson, Custer, Lincoln and Scottsbluff. (Should the number of confirmed cases decline significantly in these areas before May 30th, perhaps a re-opening could then take place.)
Furthermore, parishes do nothaveto re-open at this time, if parish leaders believe it would be unsafe to do so. This policy anticipates good pastoral judgement about re-opening in areas that may be virus free or with only a few confirmed cases.
A NOVENA for the CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC 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 novena — nine days of prayer — to the Blessed Virgin Mary beginning Sunday, March 15. The novena, inspired by a prayer by Pope Francis, asks Mary for her intercession and protection from the coronavirus. The text of the prayer is below.
Or check out our Instagram feed for the Novena and many different prayers to pray during this pandemic.
March 17th, 2020 UPDATE FROM THE BISHOPS OF NEBRASKA ALL Masses are to be suspended until further notices, this includes daily, weekend, funeral and wedding Masses. Read the Bishops Letter here for more information: Corona Virus Concerns As always, if there is anything we can do to help or if you have other concerns, please contact anyone on Staff . Peace & blessings!
March 15th, 2020 5pm
In the spirit of support for the deterrence of the corona virus the schools in Grand Island have closed for at least this week. St. Leo's has a tradition of following that lead, especially in regards to Religious Education. Therefore all Religious Education gatherings at St. Leo's will be cancelled until further notice. This includes *Sunday Confirmation, *RE on Wednesdays and Sundays, *Empower Youth on Wednesdays *all Adult Faith Formation Gatherings on Wednesday and Sundays and the Bible study on Thursdays *as well as the Mom's gathering on Tuesdays. At this point, Mass will continue using appropriate and responsible hygiene and social interaction. The Bishop has already given dispensation from Sunday obligation.
This is a highly stressful time around the world. We are treading in uncharted territory. I call on all parishioners to continually pray for quick resolve of this threat, for the safety and welfare of the medical personnel, as well as any who are already affected. There are several different prayers out on social media to use during this challenging time. A 9 day Novena was started on March 15th. Please join us. We will do our best keep our parish informed through our Website, Facebook page, MyParishApp and REMIND. Thank you for praying and doing your part to help keep the virus contained. Peace, Fr. Don Buhrman
March 14, 2020
In response to the question on our parishioner's minds-- are we canceling parish life? NO!
We are not, as of right now. What we do ask is for YOU to use-- caution and use YOUR best judgment as to what is right for you and your family. There are some activities that we are having to cancel or postpone, as for the safety for the groups or event; if we can we want to continue.
As for Faith Formation - ie, Religious Ed, Empower Youth, Book Study Groups, as of right now... we are following the lead of the school system, as we have for most school type policies. We WILL continue with Religious Ed classes, both on Sundays & Wednesdays, with the added directives if anyone in the home environment is ill or has a compromised immune system (could be susceptible) to refrain from attending. As for the elementary level of faith formation, if not attending we will provide educational materials for at home studies to be completed with the help of guardians. Empower Youth and Confirmation Groups will also still be continuing with their scheduled meetings. Again if you are sick, or have or in contact with someone with a compromised immune system, refrain from attending. Book Study Groups and Bible Study Groups - please use your best judgment, as to who is in your group as well as your own environments.
At this time we don’t want stop formation education or community involvement, we also do not want to help this virus spread faster than it is able to be managed medically.
We are currently looking into ways to gather online to adapt to this "social distancing" our society will become acquainted with sooner than later.
Know that we are working to come up with solutions- because, as we've always stated, one of our top priorities is to create a safe environment for our parish, our parish community & especially within our faith formation.
God bless! (and just keep washing your hands!)☺
Thank You for visiting our Website! We would Love to have You visit in person too!
Please contact us if you find any errors or discrepancies within our website. We appreciate you visiting our pages and helping us keep them current and relevant!