The Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino announced Tuesday that all parish churches, missions, and chapels are to be closed to the public immediately until further notice.

Diocesan churches in the Chino Valley include St. Paul the Apostle in Chino Hills and St. Margaret Mary and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Chino.

Parish offices will also be closed to the public, but someone should be available to answer phone calls, review emails and process parish mail, according to the directive signed by Msgr. Gerard M. Lopez.

All weekend and daily Masses at parishes, missions, chapels, hospitals and any outdoor Mass have been suspended.

The diocese will increase the use of digital media to help Catholics remain engaged in their faith, including livestreamed Mass and spiritual resources that will be posted regularly on the diocesan website.

Sacraments on hold

Individual confessions and communal penance services such as those offered during Easter week are suspended.

The only confessions allowed are those to be heard for people in danger of death.

Baptisms are also suspended except for cases of persons in danger of death.

All scheduled weddings will be postponed to a later date if possible. If postponement is not possible, Matrimony without Mass may take place at a parish but only in the presence of the priest or deacon, bride and groom, two witnesses, the parents of the bride and groom, and others not to exceed 10 persons, inclusive of the priest or deacon.

The upcoming Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation are on hold until a decision is made April 5.

A decision will be made April 1 regarding upcoming Holy Week and Easter services. Palm Sunday is April 12 and Easter is April 19.

There will be no funeral vigils or Masses. 

The only funeral rite permitted is the graveside but no more than 10 persons may attend the rite of committal. 

Last rites

Priests are permitted to administer the Anointing of the Sick (last rites) and Holy Communion to parishioners who are ill in their homes, but sick calls must be in accordance with health department directives.

Priests may visit hospitals and convalescent homes to administer the Anointing of the Sick (last rites) and Holy Communion but only with the permission of the hospitals and convalescent homes and in accordance with health department directives.

Food pantries and food banks must be kept open to distribute food supplies, but soup kitchens or sit-down meals must be closed. Only take-out meals may be served to the needy.

The diocese is adapting to regulations of both the County of San Bernardino and the County of Riverside because it encompasses both areas.

Information: San Bernardino Diocese, 475-5180.

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