Coronavirus - Fr. Paisius' statement dtd. March 14, 2020

Dear Faithful in Christ,

We have been given guidance from our Archbishop concerning services in the Diocese of the South. I ask that you please read and reread the guidelines and be vigilant in upholding them with the utmost faithfulness and respect due to our Hierarch. Please find attached two .pdf documents: 1) Statement from The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America dated March 13, 2020; and 2) Guidance from His Eminence Alexander, Bishop of Dallas and the South dated March 12, 2020. 

In short, our services will continue, but with two very important adjustments: 

All parish and mission events and activities, including coffee fellowship, church school, and the rest, and all services - with the exception of the Sunday Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the Vesperal Liturgy of the Great Feast of Annunciation, and the Liturgies of the Presanctified Gifts - are cancelled through March 29, beginning immediately. We will adjust this as the situation warrants.

Everyone in the parish or mission, other than the priest (and deacon), a reader, a server, and no more than two (2) chanters or singers (all of whom are physically strong and at low risk for COVID-19), should remain at home, even at the time of the Divine Liturgy. The holy Body and precious Blood of Our Lord can never be a source of disease, it is after all for the healing of soul and body, but the COVID-19 virus can still be passed through the congregation. Out of love for our neighbor, we must do everything we can to protect the vulnerable by slowing the rate of infection not only in our parishes, but in the greater community, and thereby allowing the hospitals and medical community to more adequately care for those most at risk. All who are “at risk” – the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, any who are actively sick or exhibiting signs of illness – should absolutely absent themselves from the services. 

When I visit communities on Sunday to serve Liturgy, I will personally visit any and every household that desires a visit to take to them the Precious and Life giving Body and Blood of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Food of Immortality. As a Priest, it is my Sacred calling and Vocation to administer This Life Giving Mystery to my Flock. If people cannot come to church, I will bring Christ to His people. 

While this means attendance at our services will be down to three or four people, I will continue to offer them; the services are not cancelled, the Church will still be praying!

Please be mindful and careful in the manner of your speech and conduct, especially with our Church and clergy. I ask that you especially keep clergy and those working in the medical field in your prayers. 

If you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, do not hesitate to call, text, or email me:

cell#: 724-991-6715
email: frpaisius@zoominternet.net

In Christ,

Fr. Paisius

Icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos


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