COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Information for Parishes and Parishioners
Please note: We will be posting updates as the national and statewide situations surrounding the virus continue to evolve.
Latest Updates from the Diocese
Directives and Suggestions for Church Offices
Please know that the staff of the Diocese of Gallup are monitoring multiple information sources to assess the situation as it develops. Restrictions will be reduced as soon as the conditions warrant. After continued assessment and prayer, +Bishop James Wall, hereby issues the following diocesan directives, effective immediately and indefinitely, pending further directions:
Everyone is urged to keep informed about the status of the COVID19 disease in their county and vicinity. For church business operation, the guidance for businesses issued by the local authorities should be followed. The following instruction is in effect in all New Mexico and for Navajo County in Arizona. Churches in other counties of Arizona should also comply if any cases of the disease are subsequently reported in their county. Other protective actions are left to the discretion of the Pastor or Administrator:
- Routine operations should be curtailed to minimize contact between people. This may mean closure of the church office to the public.
- A sign should be posted with emergency contact telephone numbers if the office is closed or hours are reduced.
- As possible, telephones should be manned during some portion of the day to keep communication open. Answering systems need to be activated to allow for messaging.
- Any employee at increased susceptibility for infection (over 60 years of age or medically compromised) should be released to stay home.
- As feasible, set up arrangements for administrative employees to work from home.
- Employees who can do their duties without interaction with the public or a lot of interaction with other employees may still work on site with due caution for distancing and good hygiene practices.
- To the extent possible, employees should have continued pay, even if they are not allowed to work. Their duty assignment is home.
- Charitable work should continue to the extent possible without causing undue risk to staff and volunteers or creating a gathering of too many persons.
- Holy Water removed from the hand fonts
- Remove all books, missals and loose objects from the pews.
- Procedures must be in place for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to sanitize their hands before and after distribution of Holy Communion.
- Currently, all members of the faithful are dispensed from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. This dispensations will continue until such time as the course and risk of the COVID-19 disease can be better discerned.
Strongly recommended actions:
- Hand sanitizer dispensers available at the doors of the church
June 03 Ministry Update
Guidelines for the Restoration of public masses: Click here
May 23: Diocese to begin slowly restoring public Masses
May 15: Continuation of Practices to Combat the Spread of the Coronavirus
April 14: Additional restrictions from NM Governor on number of persons gathered
April 1: Exercising Faith in a Pandemic
March 24: Updated and Clarified Diocesan Directives
March 22: Updates on the State of the Coronavirus in the Diocese of Gallup
March 18: Directives for Operation of Church Offices
March 17: Diocese to suspend public Masses until further notice; certain events cancelled or postponed
March 16, 2020: AZ Schools to close, following the example of local governments
March 15, 2020: Daily Update (no major changes, but includes the prayer for the day)
March 14, 2020: Clarification on weddings, confirmation and other events in the diocese
March 13, 2020: The Little Sisters of the Poor will temporarily suspend public visits to their home for the elderly in Gallup
March 13, 2020: Bishop dispenses all faithful from Sunday obligation; Schools in NM will close for three weeks
March 12, 2020 – Mandatory and Recommended Guidelines for Parishes