FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2020
Bishop Suspends All Public Masses in Diocese Till Further Notice
LEXINGTON — All public Masses in the Catholic Diocese of Lexington will be suspended as of Tuesday, March 17, until further notice. Funerals will be permitted as long as maximum care is given to assuring the recommended social distancing. Other events should be rescheduled as much as possible.
Noting “the outcry of the medical community and wanting to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus,” Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., communicated this decision to the priests of the diocese on March 16.
“Let us pray for our people and our world and be creative in our outreach through social media and other means to continue to make this a meaningful Lent, despite the unusual circumstances,” Bishop Stowe said.
The Catholic Diocese of Lexington covers 50 counties in central and eastern Kentucky and has 58 parishes and missions and 15 Catholic schools.
Spanish version follows:
PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA
16 de marzo del 2020
El Obispo Suspende Todas las Misas Públicas en la Diócesis Hasta Nuevo Aviso
LEXINGTON – Todas las Misas públicas en la Diócesis Católica de Lexington serán suspendidas a partir del martes 17 de marzo, hasta nuevo aviso. Se permitirán los funerales siempre que se preste la máxima atención para garantizar el distanciamiento social recomendado. Otros eventos deben reprogramarse tanto como sea posible.
Al observar “la protesta de la comunidad médica y queriendo hacer nuestra parte para ayudar a contener la propagación del coronavirus”, el obispo John Stowe, OFM Conv., les comunicó esta decisión a los sacerdotes de la diócesis el 16 de marzo.
“Oremos por nuestra gente y nuestro mundo y seamos creativos en nuestro alcance a través de las redes sociales y otros medios para continuar haciendo de esta una Cuaresma significativa, a pesar de las circunstancias inusuales”, dijo el Obispo Stowe.
La Diócesis Católica de Lexington cubre 50 condados en el centro y este de Kentucky y tiene 58 parroquias y misiones y 15 escuelas católicas.
Ash Wednesday & Lent
February 25, 2020
Tomorrow(2/26) is Ash Wednesday, a day of fast and abstinence. Catholics abstain from meat. One full meal is allowed in addition to two smaller meals. Thus, the rules for fasting and abstinence in the United States are: Every person 14 years or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent. Every person between the age of 18 and 59 (beginning of 60th year) must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
St. Andrew Parish and St. Mary Mission
February 4, 2020
1.What is our uniqueness?
Both St. Andrew, established in 1858, and St. Mary, established in 1968, are very welcoming parishes. We have long term, multi-generational, parishioner families who are very loyal, from the days when St. Andrew was housed in a smaller church building in downtown Harrodsburg. Our parishes are made up of people of all ages. We have a brand-new Knights of Columbus council that is energetic and ready to help the parish as well as, with our Youth Group, continue to assist our neighboring Saints Peter and Paul Parish Lenten fish fry. We have a Spanish Mass on Sunday with a Hispanic population ready and willing to help. St. Mary Mission is self-sustaining and well established. Saint Andrew was gifted this year, by an outside donor, with a rosary shrine on the front lawn; statues of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua were sculpted in Italy in Carrara marble; illuminated at night, the shrine has drawn positive comment from the civic community. We are blessed by numerous tourists who visit nearby Shaker Village, the Bourbon Trail, Brightleaf Golf Resort and Herrington Lake. These visitors regularly remark on the beauty of Saint Andrew Church, opened in 2001.
2. What are the positive aspects of this Parish and Mission?
We are very generous and supportive of our priests. Our finances are doing well, and we are prudent with spending. We paid off all old debt as of July 2019. However, like many churches, finances and budgets continue to be a concern every year.
3. What are we addressing at the present time in our Parish and Mission?
The building is now nineteen years old. Currently we are addressing upkeep and routine maintenance issues with our church building (new windows, bell tower fixes, sound system updates, LED light changeover, security system). Bishop John signed a loan for these projects on February 4, 2020 with the current balance being roughly $220,000. Just this week we signed a contract to purchase a house to be used as the rectory for our next priest. The house is a one-minute drive to St. Andrew and is in excellent condition. It is move-in ready and will be available to us by May or as soon as the current owner relocates. We already have half the funds needed to purchase it, and we are currently in the process of getting Bishop John’s approval on the remaining $100,000 we need to borrow for this new rectory.
4. What needs to be addressed in the near and distant future?
Things that need to be addressed in the near future include: Getting more volunteers (younger ones to replace the elderly ones who have done it for years), being even more active as a parish in the local community (Parishioners are members of Rotary, Lions, the Christian Life Center), continuing to reach out and welcome the Hispanic community and getting our committees to be even more active.
Things that need to be addressed in the distant future include: The possibility of building the final wing to our Parish design concept (including a new kitchen). The representative from St. Mary’s said their people are always concerned if their Mission will be closed when a new pastor is assigned (due to the shortage of priests).
5. What does the new Pastor need to know before he accepts this assignment?
We have a small town feel but still are close to Lexington (45 minutes to city center Lexington; 30 minutes to Bluegrass Airport). We have a residence that is in excellent condition and is move-in ready for the new Pastor. There is land surrounding St. Andrew’s to develop and grow if needed. Campbellsville University, our cordial neighbor directly across the street, is growing at a rapid rate in Harrodsburg. This should lead to an overall growth of our community. We have an active, long-standing Youth Group that attends March For Life annually via fundraising; it is regarded by the Diocese as exemplary in organization and leadership. We are three communities (St. Andrew, St. Mary, Hispanics) that work well together. Although we have a good deal of long-term parishioners, our Parish has experienced a recent increase in younger families as well. We are active members, and currently host meetings, of the Mercer County Ministerial Association (an ecumenical group of Christian churches that deals with outreach and other ministry projects). There are currently 3 permanent deacons here that are ready to assist the new Pastor as needed. Our current Pastor will be keeping his personal residence in Harrodsburg after retirement and has communicated his willingness to substitute for weekend Masses at St. Andrew/St. Mary if needed and available. There is no longer a parish school. St. Andrew’s has 168 active households. St. Mary’s has 18 active households. The Spanish Mass attendance averages around 55 people. Both the Parish Pastoral and Finance Councils have worked well with our current and past pastors. Typically at our parish, the pastor consults with the council and committee members regarding church matters.
When asked what they would like to see in their ideal Pastor, the following statements were made:
- Be present and active
- Listen to and interact with all age groups
- Speak Spanish since we have a Spanish Mass
- Be energetic and enthusiastic
- Meet with families individually to help give them advice specific to their situations (give guidance)
- Be consistent and structured
- Love his vocation and be willing to live it out to the fullest
The paid employees currently at St. Andrew’s include:
Full time business manager, regular part time administrative assistant (25-30 hours per week) and a regular part time Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE)/Facility Manager (20 hours per week). Plus, we have a full-time volunteer sacristan (not a staff member). Current posted office hours are 9am – Noon and 1pm – 3:30pm, Monday through Thursday (Office is closed Fridays). In addition, there is a friendly dog who comes to work every day; his ministry is limited to office hours. However, other arrangements can be made if requested by the new Pastor.
*** 15 people attended this meeting. This included Parishioners from St. Andrew, St. Mary and from the Hispanic community.
Name of Task Force Chair: Deacon Brian Wentz
Address: 446 Fieldlark Way, Harrodsburg, KY 40330
Phone: (859) 265-7379