AOD Directives (May 1, 2020)


These directives are in place effective May 1, 2020 and remain in place until further notice.

Public Mass continues to be suspended until further notice.

If pastors are able to keep them clean, churches may be kept open and available for private prayer and intercession. Each pastor should determine the maximum number of people allowed in the church at any one time based on size, layout, ability to socially distance, and ability of the parish to clean the facility regularly. OLOW: church open Mondays through Fridays from 9 am until 4 pm; Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturdays from 3 until 6 pm, and Sundays from 8:30 until 9:45 am and 11:05 until 12 noon.

Parish offices should remain closed and employees, as they are able, to work from home. OLOW Parish Staff can still be contacted through emails, phone/voice messages.  We will return your calls.

Weddings and Baptisms are permitted if certain criteria are met but require individual permission of each instance, with the exception of item 3 below.

  1. For weddings, the officiant should complete the form emailed to the priest to request permission. No Weddings have been planned at OLOW until October.
  2. For baptisms, the presider should complete the form emailed to the priest to request permission. Baptisms will be rearranged.
  3. Where there is a danger of death, the individual should be baptized and (if it is a priest baptizing) confirmed. Contact Fr. Bob

Funerals are permitted under the following conditions: Contact Becky through the Parish Office.

In a Parish Church: A Funeral Mass or Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass may be celebrated with no more than 10 people present.

  1. This number should be strictly enforced by the pastor, with the assistance of the funeral director. If this small number cannot be adhered to, a priest should offer Funeral Masses without a congregation available to the family via livestream.
  2. All the faithful present should wear masks.
  3. Holy Communion is not to be distributed to the faithful during Funeral Masses. It is fitting to lead the faithful in a Prayer of Spiritual Communion at that time.
  4. Livestreaming of funerals is encouraged to allow more than the small number present to participate.

At a Catholic Cemetery: A Funeral Mass or Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass may be celebrated at a Catholic cemetery chapel or graveside. Contact Fr. Bob

  1. Clergy should follow and help enforce the number restrictions, health and safety guidelines, and proper social distancing practices of the cemetery.
  2. Many Catholic cemeteries have the capability for live-stream funerals from the cemetery chapel.
  3. Holy Communion is not to be distributed to the faithful during Funeral Masses. It is fitting to lead the faithful in a Prayer of Spiritual Communion at that time.

At Any Cemetery: Committal services may continue to be celebrated at any proper burial place pursuant to the guidelines of the cemetery.

Priests are to continue to celebrate Mass in private daily, remembering the efficacious nature of the Mass even without the presence of the faithful and to fulfill Mass intentions which have been allocated. Pastors are reminded of their obligation to offer the Sunday Mass for the people of the parish. Collective Mass intentions are permitted twice a week if the donors agree to such. If Mass intentions cannot be fulfilled in the near future, the intention (and the attached stipend) should be sent to priests at other entities, such as the missions or Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where they can be fulfilled. Fr. Bob is fulfilling all the Mass intentions through private Masses and live stream Masses.


Parishes are encouraged to livestream Masses when they are able. OLOW: livestream Masses on Wednesdays and Sundays at 10 am.

  1. A small number of the faithful is permitted to assist (liturgically or technologically) at the Mass. This number must remain less than 10, must be strictly enforced, and should only include those who are truly essential to support the livestreamed Mass. OLOW has complied.
  2. Those assisting with the Mass should wear masks, except when their speaking/singing prevents it.

Confessions are to be heard at the discretion of the priest. Priests should be generous in offering this sacrament to those who might be in grave sin. They should also take precaution for the welfare of the faithful and their own welfare, while at the same time protecting the sacramental seal. This includes, as best they are able: Saturdays in Church from 3 pm until 4 pm and by individual appointment. Contact Fr. Bob.

  1. Proper social distancing as best you are able (six feet apart)
  2. A well-ventilated area for hearing confessions (even outside of the Church)
  3. The use of a mask by the penitent and the confessor.
  4. Consult the previous directive about Confession and General Absolutionfor more information.

Anointing of the Sick for those in need of the sacrament should be performed as the priest is able. Contact Fr. Bob

  1. Be sure to sanitize the oil stock before and after each anointing. Do not contaminate the sacred oil.
  2. You are also permitted to use a cotton ball, and not your thumb, to anoint the head. For each anointing, use a new cotton ball (or “Q-tips”) and new oil on the cotton. Be sure to properly burn the used cotton ball at a suitable time afterward.
  3. In the case of pastoral necessity, the hands do not need to be anointed.

Confirmations scheduled for the remainder of 2020 are suspended until further notice. Plans for their resumption will be examined at a later time.

Reception of RCIA Elect and Candidates for Full Communion in the Church will take place at a later date, hopefully in conjunction with Pentecost. If we are not able to celebrate their reception at that time, provisions will be made for them to be received on an individual basis at their parish church. These details – including information regarding scrutinies – will be forthcoming closer to Pentecost. OLOW will rearrange with the AOD directives come out. 

FIRST RECONCILIATION/COMMUNION will also be arranged further in the year, depending on the circumstances.  Updates will be posted.