Our diocese continues to do our humble share in helping contain and mitigate the deadly effect of the coronavirus pandemic. We attend to the holistic need of every person to uphold their dignity in line with the Catholic Social Teachings of our Church. Across our state, nation and global family, organizations and individuals are striving to address not only the spread of the novel COVID-19 but also its impacts on our social, economic and spiritual well-being.
It is heartening to see so many joining together, albeit virtually, to respond to the needs of others. One of the many ways we can help as the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and as individual Catholics is by learning more, and supporting ongoing efforts and avoiding unnecessary duplication of efforts in areas where other entities are more experienced and better able to provide assistance.
Thus, our diocese is well-suited to aid Catholics with their spiritual needs and provide aid to our fellow parishioners or those who are experiencing homelessness through our parishes and Catholic Community Services.
In other areas of need, we offer the following opportunities to give or find assistance:
Holy Mass, Prayer, Confession — View Sunday Mass and all Holy Week Services through the Cathedral of the Madeleine YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmbsh8NP-fKKleFvyhTjkNA.
You may also check other resources such as parish websites, Vatican.org, Catholivtv.org, EWTN, etc.
Many parishes remain open for private prayer: adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, recitation of the rosary. Contact your parish office for openings and hours.
Confession, Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum are available by appointment in most parishes. Some, such as St. John the Baptist Parish, also offer drive-up Confession on specific days and times. Contact your parish for information.
Without Sunday Mass, parish collections that provide for parish liturgical and charitable services are way down. Please continue to mail in your weekly contributions to your parish.
Employment Needs, Such as Child Care or Temporary Unemployment — Federal and state resources exist for individuals and families needing assistance due to job loss or furlough. Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides federal emergency paid leave for employees taking unpaid leave, expands unemployment benefits, and requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide paid sick leave.
Utah’s Department of Workforce Services has information and resources related to unemployment insurance, child care, food and energy assistance and more at https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19/index.html
Assistance is also available through United Way’s 2-1-1 service. Housing or food assistance, transportation, medical and other emergency need providers can be found at https://211utah.org/
Homebound Elders — We encourage parishes to establish volunteer teams to assist parishioners who are unable to leave home to buy groceries or other necessities. Teams can work together via phone and email to gather needed items to be left on doorsteps or delivered by other means that maintain social distancing for the protection of our vulnerable elders. United Way of Utah has also established a COVID-19 Community Response Fund that provides much needed emergency funding to 2-1-1 providers, including senior support services, housing assistance providers and many, many others. For more information, visit https://uw.org/covid19-community-fund/
Food Assistance —Information on food resources, including pantries, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) and Women, Infants and Children programs can be found at https://uah.org/news/item/133-food-access-info-during-covid-19-response
Immigrants and Refugees — COVID-19 knows no boundaries and is not concerned with immigration status. Information regarding changes in U.S. policy, resources for immigrants, refugees and their parish communities can be found at https://justiceforimmigrants.org/covid-19-resource-page/
Small Business Assistance — Governor Gary Herbert has tasked the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce with serving on the Utah Coronavirus Task Force to provide information, resources and best practices for all businesses in the state. Updates regarding these areas are available at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/business/ including information on small business loans available through the U.S. Small Business Administration and other government entities.
Each of us can also help local restaurants and their staffs through the Tip Your Server campaign and Support Utah Dining which lists restaurants across the state offering to-go service. Find a restaurant and tip your server at https://supportutahdining.com/