PORTLAND---With attention to the guidance from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and upon consideration of the size of the usual congregations, Bishop Robert P. Deeley is temporarily suspending all daily and Sunday Masses and religious services throughout the Diocese of Portland (covering the entire state of Maine), effective immediately. The bishop is also issuing a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for Maine Catholics during this time. There are nearly 300,000 self-identifying Catholics and 141 active Catholic churches in Maine.
In anticipation of questions which might arise, baptisms, funerals, and weddings, including with Mass, may continue but only with immediate family present for the Mass.
The Mass is our prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God for his many blessings. It is also our graced opportunity to strengthen one another in faith and hope. To aid us in preserving those bonds in a time of crisis, we will gather online and by way of social media. Starting this Sunday, March 22, Bishop Deeley will celebrate a Mass from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland each Sunday at 10 a.m. Although not open to the public, the Mass will be live-streamed at both www.portlanddiocese.org and www.facebook.com/PortlandDiocese. Additional options and resources to participate in Masses from home are listed below.
"These are unprecedented circumstances,” said Bishop Deeley. “I join with many bishops across the country in making this decision in response to the continuing threat of COVID-19. In this diocese, our parishes are places of welcome where all can encounter Jesus, but they must also be communities that look after the most vulnerable among us. Temporarily suspending Masses will help to ensure the safety of our older parishioners and our priests, particularly those who are also among the most vulnerable.”
Although we are unable to attend Mass in person, it is important that we continue to support our parishes as best we can, so that they can continue to serve the faithful throughout this crisis and long after it’s over.
“Please remember that your parish communities depend on the offertory collections and will need your support going forward to carry on the mission of the Church,” said Bishop Deeley.
Parishioners can continue to support their local parish through the WeShare online giving option. Parishioners can find a direct link to their parish account at www.portlanddiocese.org/OnlineGiving.
“I want to assure all of you that we, your priests, are spiritually united to you as each of us offers Mass each day,” said Bishop Deeley. “Please remember that in a time that can instill fear and anxiety, we, as Catholics are guided by our faith in the peace that comes from the love that God shows us in Jesus, who comes to be with us, to strengthen us from whatever weakness we may be experiencing or whatever illness may be afflicting us.”
In addition to Bishop Deeley’s celebration of Mass, there are many other ways to participate in Masses on several platforms.
Our Lady of Hope Parish, Portland
Viewers can visit www.ladyofhopemaine.org and participate in Masses from St. Pius X Church in Portland on Mondays through Fridays at 9 a.m., Saturdays at 4:30 p.m., and Sundays at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. The parish has added an additional livestreamed Mass at 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. This Mass is livestream only (church will not be open to public for this Mass).
Parish of the Holy Eucharist, Falmouth
Viewers can visit www.facebook.com/ParishOfTheHolyEucharist and participate in Masses from Holy Martyrs Church in Falmouth on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m.; and Sundays at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Bangor
Viewers can visit https://stpaulbangor.me/watch-mass-live or www.facebook.com/StPaulBangor and participate in Masses from St. Mary Church in Bangor on Mondays through Fridays at 8:30 a.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. They can also participate in Masses from St. John Church in Bangor on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
“Word on Fire”
Daily Mass will be offered from Bishop Barron’s chapel at 8:15 a.m. each day. www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass.
Viewers can participate in daily Masses at 8 a.m. and noon, seven days a week, and at 7 p.m. every day but Sunday. The Masses are broadcast over the air and online (www.ewtn.com/tv/watch-live). The Masses are also archived at the site.
CatholicTV also broadcasts Masses at 9:30 a.m. each day over the air and online (www.catholictv.org/masses/catholictv-mass). The Masses are also archived at the site.
Listeners can participate in Masses each day at 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 10 a.m. on Relevant Radio. The network is available on a variety of platforms: on 106.7 FM in Portland, 105.7 FM in Springvale/Sanford, 97.5 FM in Fort Kent, 90.3 FM in Bangor, 89.7 FM in Bath/Brunswick, 89.5 FM in Augusta, and 1390 AM in northern Maine; at www.relevantradio.com/listen; or on smartphones by downloading the Relevant Radio app.
In addition, the Diocese of Portland is offering a number of resources to assist you in participating in Mass from home.
GIVE US THIS DAY
Give Us This Day is centered on the Word of God and provides a relevant and trustworthy understanding of Scripture, including daily Mass texts. To access the resources for free, visit www.giveusthisday.org/digital.
Magnificat is honored to provide complimentary access to its online version and resources to help people pray from home. To access the resources for free, visit https://us.magnificat.net/free.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides the daily readings along with reflections and other materials. To access the resources for free, visit www.usccb.org/bible/readings. In addition, the USCCB is offering prayers and resources for engagement during this difficult time at “Catholic Current.” Explore the materials for free at www.catholiccurrent.org/covid19.
“We pray for all those affected by the novel coronavirus, those in the service of providing health care, and the common good,” said Bishop Deeley. “May we find strength in the community the Lord gives us. May it remind us of His presence in our lives. And may we always know that trusting in the Lord Jesus will help us bring God’s mercy and love into the world through our care for one another.”
A public announcement will be made when the temporary suspension of Masses concludes.
For more information, contact Dave Guthro, Communications Director for the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7810 or firstname.lastname@example.org