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Archbishop Alexander Sample on March 17 sent a video to western Oregon Catholics to check in on their well-being amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that I'm thinking about you,” the archbishop said in the two-minute video, sent by email and through social media. “I'm praying for you. I love each and every one of you, and we are going to get through this together, and I think we will be strong and even closer than ever once we get through this.”

The video was recorded at the Archdiocese of Portland Pastoral Center, which has been closed to the public but still has essential staff at work.

“God be with you in these times with your families and loved ones,” the archbishop said. “Take care of yourself and take care of one another.” He concluded by blessing those who watched.

In the video, the archbishop also addressed his March 16 decision to halt public Masses in western Oregon. Like more than 100 dioceses in the country, public liturgies are canceled to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“It pains me greatly to deprive you of the holy sacrifice of the Mass,” the archbishop said. “But this is a decision that simply had to be made. We must, of course, put the life and the health and the safety of our people first in this time, especially our elderly and our brothers and sis-ters with compromised immune systems. We become perhaps carriers of this virus to them even though we feel well.”

The archbishop said he soon will offer parishes pastoral suggestions, especially on liturgy in a time of coronavirus. He said there are “innovative ways” to stay connected.

“The church is not, has not and will not abandon you in these times,” he said.

In a Lenten video reflection issued March 18, Msgr. Gerard O'Connor of the archdiocese’s Of-fice of Divine Worship explored the gospel story of the man born blind. In it, Jesus challenges the notion that illness is a result of sin.

“Things are given to us, perhaps throughout our lives, not as a punishment, not as some sort of affliction, but so that at some point the Lord’s glory may shine out,” Msgr. O’Connor said.

In Mount Angel, the Benedictine Sisters have locked down Queen of Angels Monastery, home to many elderly nuns, some with chronic health issues.

“Effective immediately and until further notice, no visitors may come to the monastery or Sha-lom at the Monastery retreat and guest facilities,” said a March 18 email. “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.”

Liturgies are closed to the public and programs and retreats are canceled.

“During this time, we encourage you to keep up your spiritual practices,” the sisters’ email said.

The Trappist guesthouse in Lafayette also has closed, cancelling scheduled retreats.