Archdiocese of St. Louis Enters Phase 2

This page was last updated, Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

A new Archbishop has been appointed to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  Welcome Archbishop-Elect, the Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski.

Governor Parson announced the end to Phase 1 of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions and the beginning of Phase 2 with no restrictions and a full re-opening.  No state-wide health orders, no state-wide restrictions.  Local authorities will still be able to impose rules, regulations and ordinances.  The governor still emphasizes social distancing, avoidance of large crowds and practicing of proper hygiene.

Phase 2 Guidelines for public Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Louis were implemented as of Monday, June 22.  

In order to keep our parish communities safe, if anyone in your parish community is diagnosed with COVID-19, please report.

Archbishop Carlson has issued a social media statement addressing racial injustice.  This is available on his facebook page.

As of  Monday, June 22, 2020

  • All parishes should adhere to the capacity restrictions mandated by the city or county officials where they reside, but also be mindful of the six-feet social distancing requirements recommended by the health officials.  So, while some areas will be loosening to a 50-percent capacity restriction, please be sure that your parishioners can still maintain six feet between themselves.
  • Masks will still be required to enter a parish within the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  While the archdiocese still strongly recommends the use of masks throughout Mass with the exception of receiving Holy Communion, the requirement of wearing masks in the pews will continue to be a decision made by the parish pastor.
  • Holy Communion can now be offered in the hand or on the tongue.  Holy Communion distributed by extraordinary ministers will be administered in the hand only.  We strongly recommend that parishioners receive Holy Communion in the hand, however, as this is a celebration of God's love for us and the most important part of our Mass, parishioners who still wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue must receive from the Mass celebrant only.
  • Continue the suspension of the distribution of Holy Communion via the chalice.
  • Parishes will now only be required to clean pews once a day unless otherwise stated by city or county health officials.

It has been announced that the Rural Parish Mobile Medical Clinic will be reopening with amended service offerings and procedures.

Guidelines for Phase 2 can be found on 

What does this mean for Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle parishes? 

Fr. Mark Ebert and Deacon Michael Burch, as well as all of the staff and volunteers here at Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle are enjoying good health and our return to public Masses has been smooth.

If anyone in our parish community is diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact the Rectory office to let us know.   To date, there have still been no reports of any positive Covid cases from any of our registered members at either Immaculate Conception or St. John the Apostle.  Over just the past few weeks we have begun to hear from parishioners who have relatives or acquaintances  who have tested positive for COVID-19.  None of the relatives have lived locally or were members at either of our parishes.  A couple of parish families have suffered the loss of a family member who lived in another state. 

There are two Immaculate Conception parishioners at  Festus Manor, a facility which had multiple cases of COVID-19 reported, but there have been no negative reports to us concerning their health.   Please continue to pray for the parish, staff and all of our shut-ins and nursing home residents.

Both Immaculate Conception and St. John the Apostle have returned to the Mass schedules in effect before the pandemic began.  Weekday Masses at Immaculate Conception, Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m., Saturday Mass at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday Mass at 10:30 a.m.  St. John the Apostle has returned to Sunday Mass at 8:00 a.m.  Confession continues to be available at both parishes before weekend Masses or by appointment.

Until another official announcement has been made,  the general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation remains, anyone who has concerns for  their own health and welfare or for their families, may continue to live-stream or watch Mass on television or electronically even though physical attendance at Masses will be allowed.  Attendance is allowed, it is not required at this time.  Parishes that have been live-streaming are being encouraged to continue doing so for the time being.   We do encourage you to either attend Mass at your home church or to continue watching the Mass from your home either on television or live-streamed on an electronic device.

If you are 60+ years of age or have an underlying health condition, we do encourage you to remain home at this time. 

If you have a fever,  or if you have other symptoms associated with COVID-19, please stay home! 

Parish School of Religion has come to a close for the 2019-2020 school year.   We plan to resume classes with the 2020-2021 school year.  Our regularly scheduled first night back should be our annual Family Mass on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.  At this time that is tentative, as so many things are.  We know that a few of our catechists will not be returning for various reasons and new volunteers are welcome.

First Communion was held on our first Sunday back in the pews, Sunday, May 24, 2020, Ascension Sunday.

On Pentecost we welcomed a new parishioner.  Harry Pierce has been receiving instruction at Immaculate Conception and was fully received into the Church at the Vigil Mass on Saturday, May 30, 2020.  Under normal circumstances, Harry would have been received at the Easter Vigil.  He has been very patient with us and we welcome Harry as a regular and faithful member to Immaculate Conception Church!  Many Confirmations were put on hold throughout the Archdiocese this spring and many parishes across the area welcomed new Catholics into the Church at their new parishes on Pentecost weekend.

We have returned to our 3rd Wednesday of the month Eucharistic Adoration.  Please join us on the third Wednesday of the month (July 15).  Adoration begins at the close of the morning Mass around 8:30 and ends with Benediction at 11:30 a.m.  Social distancing practices remain in effect.

Groups may now have organizational meetings at the discretion of Fr. Ebert.   Social distancing practices remain in effect.

No receptions or social gatherings are yet allowed after Mass.  This means that Fr. Ebert and Deacon Mike will not be allowed to greet you at the conclusion of Mass.  There will be no gatherings in the parish hall for coffee and donuts for the time being. 

Baptisms, weddings and funerals are allowed, but no gatherings associated with these events
(i.e. funeral dinners) are allowed until further notice.

We will let you know about any other events as they draw closer.  Please refer back to this page and to upcoming bulletins.  The annual Spring Fling/Car Show/BBQ/Rummage sale will not be held in the spring.  Many parishes have already canceled long-standing festivals and picnics for the spring and summer.  We may have to accept the fact that our Spring Fling may not be possible for 2020.

Confessions before weekend Masses have resumed at their regularly scheduled times.  Confession at Immaculate Conception on Saturdays is 4:15-4:45 p.m., Sundays 10:00-10:15 a.m.  Confession at St. John the Apostle is Sundays 7:30-7:45 a.m.  Please maintain 6 ft. of distance between yourself and the next nearest person in line.

There will be no receiving of the Sacrament of Communion from the cup until permission has been granted by the Archbishop.  The Holy Body of Christ will be available during Mass.  Please respect the 6 ft of social distancing guidelines.  Markings can be found on the floor.  Since the cup will not be used, our regular Eucharistic Ministers will not be scheduled.

Holy Communion for the home-bound can resume with safety measures in place including the use of masks, sanitizer and adhering to social distancing.

Anointing of the Sick by a priest is still possible for those who are seriously ill or in danger of death.  Please contact Fr. Ebert to schedule a home visit.  If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, or have a fever, or have tested positive for COVID-19,  please inform Fr. Ebert before scheduling the visit.

If you are on our regular list to serve as lector at either parish, and if you have reservations about serving at this time, please let Brenda know so that she can schedule accordingly.  There will be no greeters before Mass and no special ministers scheduled for Communion.  The number of altar servers requested for each Mass has been reduced to 2.  There will be no Children's Liturgy of the Word during Mass.

The Eucharistic Ministers must wear a mask at all times.

Communicants should continue to wear masks, with the exception of the moment of receiving Holy Communion.

Volunteers to help with the new guidelines/procedures would be welcome.  Please speak with Fr. Ebert or Deacon Mike. 

Rosary will begin 1/2 hour before weekend Masses on the first weekend of each month. The Rosary leader may wish to remain in the pews rather than leading from the pulpit.

Hand sanitizer and extra masks will continue to be made available and easily accessible.

Social distancing should be adhered to in all cases outside of distributing Holy Communion.

We would like to remind you that the parish grounds are always open.

The parish bulletin has been published every single week including during the period of Mass suspensions.  Extra copies of weeks which you may have missed are still available upon request.  Paper copies of the most recent weekly bulletins  will continue to be made available outside in the water-proof boxes that have been installed at both Immaculate Conception and St.  John the Apostle.  The box at Immaculate Conception is located at the front of the church on the memorial pavers patio fencing, and the box at St. John the Apostle is  on the handrail at the front steps.  The bulletin is also available every week on this website (see menu at left Church Bulletins), or if you so choose, you may arrange to receive an e-bulletin to your personal inbox.  To subscribe for e-bulletins visit

Mass Intention requests may continue to be dropped off at the office or mailed to Immaculate Conception at PO Box 66, Park Hills, MO  63601.  Likewise, if you would like a candle lit in the alcove, please let us know.

More information and links about online and televised Masses continues to be made available here on our website.  Visit our Links page for more information about accessing online and televised Masses.

We ask that you please keep the needs of your parish and other individuals in mind.  Lots of prayer is needed at this time.  There will be many who will be uncomfortable with returning to a public Mass at this time because of age or health issues.   Keep in touch with your family members and neighbors and make sure they have what they need. Keep in mind that people who tend to suffer from depression and anxiety  may be finding this period of social isolation especially difficult, so don't hesitate to call and just let them know that you are thinking about them and praying for them.   Fr. Ebert, Deacon Burch and Brenda Carrow   are only a phone call or email away.  Please keep in touch and let us know what we can do for you.

Remember our food pantries and other charitable organizations.  Consider supporting St. Vincent De Paul, Catholic Charities of St. Louis and the Annual Catholic Appeal as there will be a greater demand placed on all of these organizations in the foreseeable future.    THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION FOOD PANTRY  CONTINUES TO BE OPEN ON FRIDAYS 7:30-9:30 A.M.!  Safety precautions and Social distancing procedures have been put in place. 

Our hats are off to Cap America employees who are now making protective masks at the local facility.  We thank them for making masks available for our food pantry volunteers and parish staff.

The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) was delayed.  Pledge weekends were originally set to begin April 18, 2020.   ACA Relaunch of the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal began June 13/14 and will continue June 20/21 and June 27/28.  The ACA video was shown before Mass on the first weekend and a guest speaker was welcomed  on Sunday, June 21.  If you missed the video it is available on the ACA page of our website or online at  ACA materials have been received by the parish and your donations and pledges can still be provided if you prefer not to wait.  Many of you may have received an additional pledge card in the mail directly from the Archdiocese.  This seems to have created some confusion for some.  You may use the mailed card instead of the card at the parish if you wish and then either return it to the parish or use the return envelope provided.  Please feel free to call or stop by to see us at the Rectory office or send your donation directly to the ACA office at  Please pray for the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal.

There will be "stationary" collection baskets in place at weekend Masses.  Fr. Ebert will announce their location and procedures for their use.  Online giving remains an option and can be accessed through our online giving webpage which can be found on the menu at left listed as Give (Online Giving).  Online giving can be provided directly through your bank or by credit card.  Tithes/donations can always be dropped off or mailed to Immaculate Conception.  To mail your contribution or any other communications, please send to Immaculate Conception, P.O. Box 66, Park Hills, MO. 
Thank you once again to those who found ways to provide donations to us throughout the period of Mass suspension. 

A funeral was held at Immaculate Conception on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 for Melvin Aubuchon.  Mel was  a parishioner at St. Joseph Church in Bonne Terre.  St. Joseph has a major painting project underway inside their church and so the funeral was held here.  Burial was also here at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery.  This is the only funeral that has been held at either Immaculate Conception or St. John the Apostle during this time of pandemic.

A virus outbreak has occurred at the Regina Cleri Home for retired priests. Many of the residents and staff contracted the disease and several of the priests succumbed to the devastating effects of the disease.

Fr. Ebert was also recently notified of the death of one of his classmates who passed away from cancer.

For more information or for a prayer from the USCCB, visit .  For information about the virus visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control at .

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