Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Coronavirus Directives

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Q:     IS THE OBLIGATION TO ATTEND SUNDAY/HOLY DAY MASS TEMPORARILY WAIVED?
A:    Yes. Bishop Mark issued the directive on March 12. It will continue until further notice.

Q:     IS THE NORMAL SUNDAY MASS SCHEDULE AT PARISHES STILL IN PLACE?
A:     Yes.

Q:     ARE WEEKDAY MASSES CONTINUING AS USUAL?
A:     Yes.

Q:    ARE STATIONS OF THE CROSS CONTINUING AS USUAL DURING LENT?
A:    Yes.

Q:    ARE REGULARLY SCHEDULED CONFESSIONS AT PARISHES CONTINUING?
A:     Yes.

Q:     WILL COMMUNAL PENANCES SERVICES AT PARISH HAPPEN THIS LENT?
A:     Yes.

Q:     ARE UPCOMING NOVENAS, TRIDUUMS, AND MISSIONS CONTINUING AS SCHEDULED?
A:     According to Bishop Mark’s directive, “…prudence would suggest that these spiritual activities be cancelled.”

Q:     ARE PARISHES STILL SPONSORING FISH LUNCHES AND DINNERS AND OTHER SOCIAL ACTIVITITES?
A:     According to Bishop Mark’s directive: “Until further notice, none of these activities should take place in parish facilities.

Q:     WHAT ARE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN THE DIOCESE DOING WITH REGARD TO CORONAVIRUS?
A:     All Pennsylvania schools — including Catholic schools in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown — are closed for 10 business days beginning on March 16. Our Catholic schools are instructed to follow directives from their local school district. There is a mandatory 14 day quarantine for any student, educator, or staff person who has recently flown on an airplane or may have been exposed to the virus through another person, or may otherwise pose a health risk.

Q:     WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES AT PARISHES?
A:     Programs are instructed to follow directives from their local school district.

Q:     IF I HAVE AN ILLNESS, SHOULD I ATTEND MASS, SCHOOL, OR OTHER CHURCH FUNCTIONS?
A:     No.

Q:     WILL HOLY WEEK AND TRIDUUM SERVICES CONTINUE AS USUAL?
A:     Unless it is determined otherwise, based on circumstances of the coronavirus, these
liturgical celebrations will take place.

Q:     WILL THERE BE HOLY WATER IN CHURCH FONTS?
A:     Bishop Mark directed that all Holy Water fonts be emptied immediately and not refilled until further notice.

Q:     WILL CONFIRMATION MASSES DURING THE EASTER SEASON CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED?
A:     The Bishop’s schedule for the Sacrament of Confirmation remains in effect until further notice. Any circumstances due to the coronavirus that require a change in the Confirmation schedule will be communicated as soon as possible.