On March 19, Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw, vicar general of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, released the following letter.
Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Salt Lake City,
On behalf of Bishop Solis, I want to reiterate what he has so eloquently preached recently via video-streamed Masses: our churches are still open for personal visits and private prayer. Though we have had to suspend community celebrations of Holy Mass and other public worship, the activity and ministry of our Church in Utah continues, especially and urgently in this time of stress and fear.
Our priests, deacons and lay ministers are still available to attend to the spiritual needs of the parishioners within the limits of government and health department restrictions. For the health and safety of our dedicated clergy, religious and lay faithful who continue to come to work at the Pastoral Center and Chancery Building, we have adopted the following measures:
• Non-essential and/or visits that are casual in nature are strongly discouraged.
• All attempts should be made to conduct standard business electronically, via phone, e-mail or video conferencing.
• Critical, time-sensitive or essential issues/items and visits to the Pastoral Center and Chancery Building can be accommodated; however, they require advance notice.
• For face-to-face interaction or in-person meetings, we kindly request a phone call ahead, so that we may take the necessary steps for the safety of all involved.
Parish churches will remain open on an individual basis as posted by the pastor for personal and private prayer.
Our priests remain available to attend to the spiritual needs of the people even at their own peril, but within governmental limits whenever possible. They endeavor to be prudent and minimize risk so that they may remain on the front line of ministry. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Let us pray for one another, care for one another, and affirm one another in this challenging time.
Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia