From: Very Rev. Msgr. Gerard Lopez, S.T.L., V.G.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Our Lord:
As you have heard, Governor Newsom has re-instituted today the “shelter-in-place” orders which we had in March 2020. The major impact will be felt in the closure of our churches and our parish offices. Bishop Barnes and Bishop Rojas had an emergency meeting with the Diocesan Emergency Operations Collaborative (EOC) staff this afternoon to develop our Diocesan Response. Please read very carefully the email directive below from our EOC staff, Ann Marie Gallant and David Acosta, which is our Diocesan Response. Please begin to organize your Live Stream Masses in order to stay in contact with your parishioners. Also, please be aware that additional directives and guidelines may be forthcoming this week as the Bishops of the State of California have an opportunity to have conversations with each other on how best to respond to these new closures.
Also, the staff of the Diocesan Pastoral Center (DPC) will continue to serve you through these latest changes. We will have a Continuity Core Staff at the DPC in San Bernardino; other staff will be working from home as was the case in March, April, and May.
Pastors, Administrators, and Pastoral Coordinators should direct any parish-related question to me or to Father Erik Esparza, especially as regards to the spiritual and ecclesial life of your parishes.
While these new orders will bring disappointment and pain, let us continue to place our unwavering trust in Our Lord, knowing that he is with us in all ways as his faithful servants and disciples. May Our Lord bless you with strength and hope. Let us keep one another in prayer. Thank you for the heroic and tremendous ministry which you are doing.
Ann Marie Gallant, Director
Emergency Operations Collaborative (EOC)
Diocese of San Bernardino
Today, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order mandating a return to ‘shelter-in-place’ for all 29 counties which have been on the State’s ‘watch list’ during the past 14 days.
All Southern California counties – including Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego – are impacted by this revised directive.
This order is effective immediately, and no later than end of business today, July 13, 2020.
Due to the rapid rise of COVID cases, including an increase in both deaths and hospitalizations statewide, the Governor has reversed all phases of reopenings.
The ‘shelter-in-place’ order closes, once again, all places of worship and all business/office activity EXCEPT for those activities deemed ‘critically necessary for the on-going operation of the business enterprise’.
For the Diocese of San Bernardino, this means that we will be returning to the operational protocols of ‘essential infrastructure services’ as implemented in March 2020.
closure of parish offices except for critical parish operations i.e. finance, payroll, limited information services to maintain website and Mass streaming.
closure of all churches for indoor Masses, sacraments, funerals, weddings, baptisms etc. Gravesite services with maximum of ten is permitted, subject to approval of cemetery.
closure of Diocesan Pastoral Center/Rezek Center/Vocations Office except for those designated ‘essential operational offices’, as previously implemented in March 2020 such as payroll; information technology; human resources; facilities; accounting; parish assistance; financial affairs; construction and real estate; mission advancement; and, emergency operations etc.
mandated ‘stay-at-home’/work-at-home order for those 65 or older.
mandated ‘stay-at-home’/work-at-home order for any individual who is immune compromised/high-risk medical condition.
Diocesan communications and operations must operate ‘on-line’ through streaming, Zoom meetings, conference calls etc. as much as humanly possible and operationally feasible.
It is important to note that this is a mandated order from the Governor of California, and cannot be over-ridden or circumvented by any County.
To date, there has been no final State decision with respect to school reopenings.
So, progress will continue on our school reopening plans, in that regard, by our Office of Catholic Schools and our EOC Office, until additional directives are received on schools from the State of California, Public Health Official.
Should you have any questions with respect to the application of this executive order, please email/contact Ann Marie Gallant or David Acosta in the EOC office.