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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Pastoral MInisters



"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11


Use the links below to navigate to the section of interest:


Sacramental

Spiritual

Pastoral

Basic Needs


Sacramental

1. Can you provide some guidance regarding the sacraments of initiation during this contingency?

Reconciliation/Confessions. In the Archdiocese of San Antonio, General Absolution is not approved at this time. As long as churches can remain open, priests can hear confessions in the church or by appointment, following the requisite sanitation procedures and social distancing guidelines, to include the use of masks.


Infant Baptism. Infant Baptism may take place in parishes at the discretion of the pastor so long as social distancing and sanitation procedures are followed, to include the use of masks.


First Communion. First Communion for children may be celebrated at the discretion of the pastor and according to the requisite sanitation and social distancing procedures, to include the use of masks.

Confirmation. For all adolescent students prepared for Confirmation and for baptized, Catholic adults who have already received first Communion and have been prepared for Confirmation: According to correspondence sent to all pastors earlier this month by Archbishop Gustavo, a date is to be set by each parish for Confirmation. This date is to be between June 16, 2020 and August 31, 2020. The requisite sanitation and social distancing procedures are to be followed, to include the use of masks. When the date has been set (only one if at all possible), please inform Linda Ramirez at the Office of the Archbishop  of (1) the date and time of the celebration as well as (2) the full name - and Saint’s name - of all of the confirmation candidates by June 15, 2020. This date presupposes that the pastors who will be transferring to another parish on July 1, 2020, will set the date prior to leaving the parish so that the incoming pastor has the information. Once the Archbishop’s Office has received this information, the Archbishop will issue a specific rescript giving each pastor faculties to confirm those adolescents and adults on the submitted list on the specific date the pastor has identified for his parish. If assistance is needed in planning the Confirmation mass, please contact Grace Rodriguez in the Office for Liturgy and Pastoral Care.


2. What is the Archdiocesan policy on baptizing babies at home?

The Rite of Baptism clearly states that Baptism should not be celebrated in private homes, except in danger of death or if for a grave reason the local bishop has permitted it. (Order of Baptism of Children #32)


3. Can the Archdiocese post the live stream and recorded mass on its website?

At this time, the Archdiocese is posting a listing of all parishes live-streaming Masses from its landing page. This list can be accessed here or here.


4. Can the Archdiocese post the list of parishes that are live streaming masses on the Archdiocesan website?

Yes, it can be accessed here or here.


Pastoral

1. Can you recommend any good non-gathering options?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


2. Can you recommend any online "non-gathering" resources for Youth?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


3. Can you recommend any RCIA online and other catechetical resources for us to use?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


4. Do you have any Archdiocesan subscriptions to online platforms such as formed.org that we can benefit from?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


5. Can you recommend any archdiocesan catechetical resources to be provided to families during this no-contact time?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


6. Can you recommend any good non-gathering Bible study resources or alternatives that we can use?

Please visit the DPM Resource Website. Please visit this website frequently as more resources will continue to be added as needed.


7. Do you have any recommendations regarding the best way to live stream mass, reflections, devotions, etc.?

See the following links:

downloadQuickGuide: How to Live stream your Mass for Free with an iPad and free app (PDF)


downloadQuickGuide: How to Live stream your Mass to Facebook with your mobile phone (PDF)


linkTips for parishes to live stream Mass from Luis Tellez from Prince of Peace Catholic Church (Video)

Additional tips from Facebook for faith communities can be found here:

downloadFaith on Facebook Toolkit from the USCCB (PDF)


8. Can the Department of Pastoral Ministries send out weekly emails or updates with prayers, tips, etc.?

The DPM is sending out weekly emails with resources and updates, these can be viewed here. We welcome anyone to subscribe to receive these weekly emails.


9. Who can I contact for questions about sacramental records?

If you have a question regarding sacramental records or how to notate a specific entry in the parish sacramental books, please email Elvira Sanchez-Kisser or call 210-734-1959 and leave a message. Your call will be returned.


10. Can you provide any guidance/recommendations for conducting Youth Ministry groups via ZOOM (or some similar platform)?

As per the Risk Management Department, all parishes should have a communication agreement that includes videoconferencing. If the parish current Religious Education or Youth Program registration form includes a communication agreement that references teleconference/web-conference, that registration forms still stands and is sufficient. If the parish’s registration form for faith formation did not include a reference to videoconferencing, then parishes should use this Consent Form (PDF). Click here for Youth Ministry resources that can be utilized online.


Spiritual

1. Is there any guidance for future parish events (like retreats)?

Parish events like retreats are to be postponed until large gatherings are again permitted.


2. How far out should the parish cancel events (such as retreats)?

Parish events like retreats are to be postponed and not rescheduled until large gatherings are again permitted.


Basic Needs

1. We are experimenting with new ways of distribution in our food pantry but may need assistance for resupply for pantry next week. Can you help?

There are now limited resources at Catholic Charities for non-perishable food. Pastors can email Antonio Fernandez to inquire about this.


2. Can you help us have access to online platforms for communicating; ex. ZOOM?

ZOOM has temporarily lifted the 40 minute meeting restriction on free basic accounts. With a free account you can host unlimited number of meetings (temporarily with no restriction of time) for up to 40 people at the same time. Parish just need to create a free account. For a video on how to set up a livestream activity, click here.