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.

“We want to accompany you as you shepherd your respective communities and help them to remain prayerfully connected even though you cannot gather physically,” Cooper wrote. “More than anything, we do not want people to feel like the Church has abandoned them. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we want to be creative and resourceful in reaching out to them and standing as a source of unity, hope, consolation and strength.”

The memo offered ideas and guidelines for ministry in a time of coronavirus.

Chief among the hopes is that parishes find ways to connect the people to Sunday Masses via digital means. Many parishes quickly responded, livestreaming liturgies and offering regular messages.

At St. Mary Cathedral in Northwest Portland, for example, Msgr. Patrick Brennan began recording brief daily video reflections and putting them on his web page, monsignorpat.com.

On March 24, Msgr. Brennan spoke about the day’s Gospel reading. “Being a Christian does not take away the trouble of life but gives us a way to live authentically through them,” he told viewers. He then reported that newly planted trees on the cathedral grounds have new shoots — signs of hope.

In the memo, Cooper listed apps priests can use to stay in touch with the faithful and announced that the pastoral center would have a team available to give advice and support on videoconferencing, websites and social media.

The memo urged pastors to set up a time to lead people in prayer daily, either via Zoom or by sending prayer cards and urging parishioners to pray at the same time at home.

The memo urged pastors to connect with staff and lay leaders, place phone calls to the homebound, make sack lunches for local shelters for the homeless and run parish education meetings via internet.