As Oregon Catholics entered their first week without Masses because of the coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop Alexander Sample sent out a video message.

“I know this is a great heartache for all of you as it is for me so I just wanted to give you a little bit of a word of encouragement and to let you know that I’m thinking about you, I’m praying for you,” the archbishop said in the video, which has versions with Spanish and Vietnamese subtitles.

Archbishop Sample will celebrate a live-streamed Mass Sunday, March 22, from St. Mary Cathedral at 11 a.m.

“As I celebrate my Mass this Sunday, which on every Sunday I’ll offer for all of the faithful of the archdiocese, I want you to know that I will be holding you very very close in my heart and in my prayers,” he said.

He encouraged the faithful to find other ways to connect with the archdiocese, parishes and pastors.

Many parishes will live-stream their Masses, and plans call for live-streamed morning prayer from the archdiocese.

As he did in previous video messages, the archbishop concluded with a blessing.

On March 20, the archbishop held a phone conference with priests to encourage them and hear their concerns and suggestions. He urged priests to give themselves wholeheartedly for their people during difficult times.

“There was a great sense of unity amongst our priests, and it was inspiring to see their dedication,” said the archbishop’s chief aide, Todd Cooper.

On Friday, Archbishop Sample approved a new prayer, which has been translated into Spanish and Vietnamese.

On Friday evening, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler suggested that a stay-at-home policy was likely to be imposed Monday. In a note to workers at the Archdiocese of Portland Pastoral Center, Cooper urged the staff to work from home starting Monday.

On Friday morning at the Pastoral Center, Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith shared a quote: “This week has been a long year.”