Denver Newsroom, Oct 23, 2020 / 15:37 pm
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is indefinitely suspending all public Masses after the weekend, citing rising COVID-19 cases in New Mexico and the approaching flu season.
The archdiocese’s schools may remain open.
In an Oct. 22 letter, Archbishop John Wester directed that all scheduled Masses be livestreamed or recorded starting Oct. 25. He said churches may remain open for private prayer, as long as people remain masked and socially distanced.
Funerals should be “delayed if possible,” with funeral rites without a Mass having ten or fewer people present, and anointing of the sick may continue “with due care,” he added.
Archbishop Wester said that “hospitals are also reaching maximum capacity for treating patients.”
The archbishop said there has been “no significant increase in the number of cases in our Catholic schools,” and thus Catholic schools may remain open “in accordance with the judgment of the pastor, superintendent and principals.” He said schools should prepare to provide online instruction if the need arises.
The archdiocese did not respond to CNA’s inquiry about whether there have been any outbreaks of the virus associated with the celebration of Mass in the archdiocese.
Since May 16-17, churches in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe have been allowed to reopen for the public celebration of Mass in line with phase one of the governor’s reopening guidelines, initially allowing for attendance set at 10% of building capacity, which was later expanded to 25%.