Diocese closes offices at Catholic Pastoral Center

Because all public Masses have been suspended in the Diocese of Nashville to combat the spread of COVID-19, Bishop J. Mark Spalding and priests in many parishes provided video of Masses online. Video of Bishop Spalding celebrating Mass for the fourth Sunday of Lent and other online Masses are available at watchmass.com. Assisting Bishop Spalding at Mass were: Father John Hammond, who was the server and cantor; Director of Faith Formation Joan Watson, who served as lector; and Angie Bosio, who ran the video production. Photo by Rick Musacchio, Tennessee Register

Bishop J. Mark Spalding has announced that the offices at the Diocese of Nashville’s Catholic Pastoral Center will be closed through April 3 in compliance with the Safer At Home public health order issued by Nashville Mayor John Cooper.

The mayor issued the Safer At Home order, which took effect on Monday, March 23, to further combat the spread of COVID-19. The order directs all residents of Nashville and Davidson County to stay inside their homes and limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.

The Safer At Home order allows the offices of Catholic Charities of Tennessee that distribute food and other essential direct aid to people in need to remain open and to operate on their own schedule.

Although diocesan offices will be closed, employees will be working from home, which will allow those offices to continue to serve the parishes and people of the diocese. The offices and staff members should be available at their regular phone numbers and through email.

Bishop Spalding asked pastors to make arrangements to be in compliance with local directives to combat COVID-19, while continuing to provide for the essential needs of their parish communities. He has strongly encouraged the priests to continue to celebrate daily Mass privately, and to be prudent in tending to other sacramental and spiritual needs of their communities.

Future updates on the diocese’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be posted to the diocesan website, www.dioceseofnashville.com, the bishop’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, and the diocesan social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Tennessee Register will continue its regular print schedule and will publish online at www.tennesseeregister.com.

Earlier, Bishop Spalding suspended the public celebration of Mass and all gatherings and activities at parishes in the diocese after federal officials recommended that all gatherings of more than 10 people be cancelled.

In the absence of the public celebration of Masses, the bishop encouraged the priests of the diocese to continue to celebrate Mass privately and provide video of those Masses online.

People can visit www.watchmass.com for information about some of the many Masses and other resources available to help them continue to live their faith during the pandemic.

Bishop Spalding also asked all parishioners in the diocese to remember in prayer all those who have died or fallen ill around the world during the pandemic, all those who struggle because of the impact of the illness; and especially for the first responders and the medical personnel on the frontlines providing care.