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  • Guidelines issued on forgiveness of sins when priest is not available
    On March 27, the Archdiocese of Portland’s Office of Divine Worship issued guidelines on forgiveness of sins when a priest is not available. The topic had a local face last week when Msgr. John Cihak in Milwaukie was not allowed into a Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center isolation unit to give last rites to a man with COVID-19.
  • Catholic Charities responds to coronavirus outbreak with creativity, technology
    Catholic Charities of Oregon was founded during a global crisis — the Great Depression — and in the intervening years has responded to urgent individual needs as part of its everyday work: providing shelter for the homeless, safety for the trafficking victim, furnishings and clothes for the refugee.
  • From the cloisters to quarantine
    For Father Maxy D’Costa, pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish in Oregon City, photos of his parishioners made him feel better about their absence at Masses. 
  • Portland agencies act to protect homeless during COVID-19 crisis
    COVID-19 poses a severe threat to homeless individuals in the Portland area. “It’s a large population hugely at risk, and they may be less able to access health care if they do get sick,” said Travis Phillips, director of Community Development and Housing at Catholic Charities of Oregon.

  • St. Vincent de Paul seeing requests spike
    “You are right where Jesus would be in these times of hardship. And he’s actually there because you meet him in the people.”
  • ‘I miss the Eucharist’
    Though sensible, the measure came as a hard spiritual knock for older Catholics. Retired and reflective, they count parishes as the very hub of life. At the same time, they form the foundation of their faith communities.
  • ‘The Church has not abandoned them’
    A main goal for Archdiocese of Portland leaders during the coronavirus pandemic is to assure Catholics they have not been forgotten. That was the highlight of a March 18 memo to priests from Todd Cooper, chief aide to Archbishop Alexander Sample.
  • Governor’s order urges Oregonians to stay at home
    In a widely anticipated move, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a “Stay Home, Save Lives” order this morning, shuttering retail stores, shopping malls, beauty salons, spas, theaters, barber shops, nail salons and gyms. 
  • Blanchet House shifts feeding process
    While most Oregon citizens have been ordered to stay home, feeding sites for Portland’s homeless are being considered essential operations during the coronavirus outbreak. Blanchet House of Hospitality last week served almost 10,000 to-go meals and collected almost 50,000 pounds of food from shuttered restaurants and businesses. 
  • Cathedral Mass online draws more than 800
    Words of consecration echoed off empty cathedral pews, but more than 800 people heard them March 22 as Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated Mass on Facebook Live. “I know you hunger for the Eucharist,” Archbishop Sample said, looking intently into the camera at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. 
  • Archbishop: ‘I’m thinking about you, I’m praying for you’
    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. 
  • Medical Teams International donates personal protection supplies
    Medical Teams International this week sorted and packed thousands of masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment from their Portland warehouse for hospitals in Oregon, Washington and California.
  • Portland Catholic family closes food cart as Oregon’s COVID-19 cases escalate
    Christina and Vinh Nguyen’s lives are centered on three things: their two children, their faith and their food cart. Now the couple’s Portland mini kitchen on wheels — its Vietnamese fare of noodle salads and banh mi sandwiches their sole source of income — is temporarily shuttered.
  • They prayed rosary with pope
    Archbishop Alexander Sample led a 1 p.m. rosary March 19 on Facebook Live, just as Pope Francis and Catholics around the world were praying the same prayer amid the coronavirus crisis.
  • Still on the air, but offices locked down
    Mater Dei Radio, the Catholic station serving much of western Oregon, closed its offices to the public the afternoon of March 19. Only essential personnel will be in the building on Sylvan Hill in Southwest Portland. 
  • The power of collaboration
    Kenton Women’s Village is the result of innovative solutions to homelessness in Portland. The initiative by Catholic Charities of Oregon is shifting from the one-size-fits-all model to address homelessness by creating a safe place for women to regain their independence, receive medical care and find employment. 
  • Catholic hospitals central in Oregon's COVID-19 battle
    Starting March 18, Providence Health and Services in Oregon is processing tests for COVID-19 in its regional lab.
Amid pandemic, new liturgical guidelines established in western Oregon
    The Archdiocese of Portland's Office of Divine Worship issued a memo to all priests in western Oregon Wednesday, March 18, addressing frequently asked questions amid the new coronavirus outbreak. It covered a range of liturgical considerations, including the celebration of weddings, funerals and Holy Week.
  • Benedictine Sisters announce COVID-19 policies
    MOUNT ANGEL — Queen of Angels Monastery home to many elderly sisters, some with chronic health issues. The sisters announced earlier today that for the safety of those sisters, and for the safety of the community, they are closing the monastery and Shalom at the Monastery retreat and guest facilities to visitors. “This is particularly difficult since as Benedictines, we hold hospitality as a core value and belief of our everyday living the Gospel and the Rule of St. Benedict,” wrote the sisters. 
Western Oregon Catholic school closures extended through April 28
    The Archdiocese of Portland’s Department of Catholic Schools has decided to extend the closure of all archdiocesan schools through April 28. This comes after Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state’s public schools to close for the next six weeks. Both public and archdiocesan schools originally had planned to reopen next month.
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