Do we have Mass? Coronavirus closures and dispensations in US dioceses

Do we have Mass? Coronavirus closures and dispensations in US dioceses

Stock photo. Via Shutterstock.
Stock photo. Via Shutterstock.

.- This story is developing and will be regularly updated.

Last updated: 11:56am, Monday Sept. 14

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, bishops across the country have taken steps to curtail the spread of the illness, and many dioceses have announced restrictions on public Mass and other liturgies. 

Is Mass canceled in your diocese?

Below is CNA’s rolling coverage of restrictions and special measures taken by dioceses, organized by province, and the status of public Masses and school closings. This list will be updated regularly as news comes in, but check with your diocese for any to-the-minute changes where you live.

To let CNA know about closings or dispensations in your diocese, email us here. Try to include a link to official notification if you can.

Province of Anchorage (Archdiocese of Anchorage, Dioceses of Juneau, and Fairbanks):

The Archdiocese of Anchorage has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Juneau has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Fairbanks has suspended public Masses.

Province of Atlanta (Archdiocese of Atlanta, Dioceses of Savannah, Charleston, Raleigh, Charlotte):  

The Archdiocese of Atlanta suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Savannah has suspended public Masses.

Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston announced May 2 that public Masses will resume May 11.

The Diocese of Charlotte has suspended all public Masses or limited them to no more than 10 people. Catholics are encouraged to check with parishes for updates.

All public "weekend Masses in the Diocese of Raleigh are suspended until further notice."

Province of Baltimore (Archdiocese of Baltimore, Dioceses of Wheeling-Charleston, Wilmington, Richmond, Arlington): 

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has suspended public Masses until further notice. (Go Charm City!)

Bishop Mark Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston has suspended "for the time being the public celebration of Mass, both for Sunday obligation and daily Masses", beginning the afternoon of March 14.

The Diocese of Arlington announced June 29 that public Masses can be celebrated without capacity restrictions beginning July 1. The obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is dispensed until further notice.

The Diocese of Wilmington has suspended all public Masses.

Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond announced May 15 that public Masses will resume May 23, except in Accomack county and Richmond, where public Masses will resume May 30. The obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be dispensed.

Province of Boston (Archdiocese of Boston, Dioceses of Burlington, Fall River, Manchester, Portland, Springfield Ma., Worcester):

Public Masses have been suspended in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Bishop Peter Libasci of Manchester announced May 29 that public Masses can resume as soon as June 6.

The Diocese of Fall River suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Burlington has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Springfield, Mass., has suspended public Masses.

Bishop Robert Deeley of Portland on April 29 permitted 'parking lot Masses', at which Communion may not be distributed. Catholics in the diocese continue to be dispensed from their Sunday obligation to assist at Mass.

The Diocese of Worcester has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Chicago (Archdiocese of Chicago, Dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield in Illinois): 

The obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays has been extended by each of the state's bishops until Nov. 1.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has suspended all public liturgies and closed all archdiocesan schools “until further notice.” 

The Diocese of Springfield has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Rockford has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Joliet suspended weekend Masses for "the time being." Daily Masses and funerals can continue.

The Diocese of Peoria has suspended all public liturgies.

The Diocese of Belleville has suspended all public liturgies.

Province of Cincinnati (Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Dioceses of Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville, Toledo, Youngstown):

Public Masses in the Dioceses of Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville, Toledo, and Youngstown are suspended through at least May 3.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati announced May 8 that public Masses will begin May 25, adding that "you have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, and that dispensation will remain in place for the foreseeable future."

Province of Denver (Archdiocese of Denver, Dioceses of Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Pueblo):

Public celebration of the Mass has been suspended in the Dioceses of Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.

In the Archdiocese of Denver, public Masses can resume May 9, and the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays continues to be dispensed.

Province of Detroit ( Archdiocese of Detroit, Dioceses of Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, Saginaw): 

The Archdiocese of Detroit has temporarily suspended all public Masses, and closed all Catholic schools from March 13 through April 6.

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing announced April 30 that public Masses will be restored May 18, with continuing measures to protect public health.

The Diocese of Gaylord has suspended public Masses until April 6.

The Diocese of Saginaw has suspended all public Masses until April 5.

Bishop Paul Bradley of Kalamazoo announced May 14 that public Masses will resume May 27.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids has suspened public Masses, and closed Catholic schools, through the month of March.

Province of Dubuque (Archdiocese of Dubuque, Dioceses of Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City): 

The Archdicoese of Dubuque has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Sioux City has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Des Moines has canceled all public Masses.

The Diocese of Davenport has suspended public Masses.

Province of Galveston-Houston (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Dioceses of Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Tyler, Victoria): 

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has suspended public Masses.

In the Diocese of Victoria, public Mass is suspended.

The Diocese of Austin suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Tyler suspended public Masses.

Catholics in the Diocese of Brownsville has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Hartford (Archdiocese of Hartford, Dioceses of Bridgeport, Norwich, Providence): 

The Archdiocese of Hartford has suspended all public Masses until April.

The Diocese of Providence has suspended all public Masses.

Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport announced May 11 that outdoor, public Masses may begin May 21, and that "the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will remain dispensed for the time being."

In the Diocese of Norwich, public Mass is suspended.

Province of Indianapolis (Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Dioceses of Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Gary, Lafayette):

All public Masses in the state of Indiana are suspended.

Province of Kansas City (Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Dioceses of Dodge City, Salina, Wichita): 

Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Dioceses of Dodge City and Wichita are suspended.

The Diocese of Salina announced May 1 that public Masses can resume May 5. The diocese added that "the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation remains in force until further notice."

Province of Los Angeles (Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Dioceses of Fresno, Monterey, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego): 

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles announced May 27 that public Masses can resume June 3.

The Diocese of Monterey has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Orange has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of San Bernardino has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of San Diego suspended all public Masses March 15.

The Diocese of Fresno has suspended public Masses.

Province of Louisville (Archdiocese of Louisville, Dioceses of Covington, Knoxville, Lexington, Memphis, Nashville, Owensboro): 

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville announced May 11 that public Masses may begin May 20, and that "I am issuing a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for the Archdiocese of Louisville, until further notice."

The Diocese of Covington will suspend public Masses effective March 20.

The Diocese of Lexington has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Owensboro has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Memphis has suspended public Masses until further notice.

The Diocese of Nashville has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Knoxville has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Miami (Archdiocese of Miami, Dioceses of Orlando, Palm Beach, Pensacola-Tallahassee, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Venice): 

Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Miami and the Dioceses of Orlando, Palm Beach, St. Augustine, and Venice in Florida have been suspended.

Bishop William Wack of Pensacola-Tallahassee announced May 1 that public Masses will resume May 6, with the general dispensation from the Sunday obligation remaining.

In the Diocese of St. Petersburg, public ferial Masses resumed May 11, and public Sunday Masses will do so May 30. The obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays remains dispensed.

Province of Milwaukee (Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Dioceses of Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Superior): 

Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee expired the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days on Sept. 14. He wrote that "If a person is ill, especially during this pandemic, they should remain at home. Likewise, if a person is at risk because of age, underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system, one would be excused from the obligation. If a person is caring for a sick person, even if they are not sick, they would be excused from the obligation out of charity. Fear of getting sick, in and of itself, does not excuse someone from the obligation. However, if the fear is generated because of at-risk factors, such as pre-existing conditions, age or compromised immune systems, then the fear would be sufficient to excuse from the obligation."

The Diocese of Madison has suspended public Masses.

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay issued a decree Sept. 7 stating that "the faithful will once again be morally obligated to come to Mass on Sundays" beginning Sept. 20. He added that "if individuals are frail due to illness or age or, in their well-formed consciences believe that going into public places - including Sunday worship at Mass - would place their health or the health of their loved ones in serious jeopardy, they too are not bound by this obligation. Furthermore, if the occupancy limits have already been reached in a given Mass which preclude safe social distancing, the obligation does not apply."

The Diocese of La Crosse has suspended public Masses, effective March 20.

The Diocese of Superior has suspended public Masses.

Province of Mobile (Archdiocese of Mobile, Dioceses of Biloxi, Birmingham, Jackson):

Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile has suspended all public Masses through April 18.

The Diocese of Jackson has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Biloxi has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Birmingham on May 11 permitted public Masses beginning May 13. All the Roman Catholic faithful who reside in the diocese are dispensed from the obligation of assisting at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days until June 30.

Province of New Orleans (Archdiocese of New Orleans, Dioceses of Alexandria La., Baton Rouge, Houma-Thibodaux, Lafayette La., Lake Charles, Shreveport): 

In the Archdiocese of New Orleans, public Masses are suspended.

In the Diocese of Baton Rouge, public Masses are suspended.

The Diocese of Alexandria has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Lafayette, La., has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Lake Charles has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Shreveport has suspended all public Masses.

Province of New York (Archdiocese of New York, Dioceses of Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rockville Centre, Syracuse): 

The Archdiocese of New York has suspended public Masses. Churches will remain open for private prayer. Elementary schools in the archdiocese of New York are closed.

The Diocese of Brooklyn announced June 19 that ferial Masses will resume June 29, and Sunday Masses July 4. The dispensation from the obligation to assist at Mass remains in effect.

The Diocese of Albany suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Buffalo suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Syracuse suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Rochester has suspended public Masses and closed schools through the end of March.

In the Diocese of Ogdensburg, all public Masses are suspended.

Province of Newark (Archdiocese of Newark, Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Paterson, Trenton): 

Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Newark have been suspended.

The Diocese of Metuchen has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Trenton has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Camden has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Paterson has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Oklahoma City (Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Dioceses of Little Rock, Tulsa) : 

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa announced May 6 that public Masses will resume the week of May 18.  The obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days will continue to be dispensed.

The Diocese of Little Rock will suspend all public Masses from the weekend of March 21-22, “except for small groups at the discretion of the priest.” Churches will remain open during daylight hours with Eucharistic Adoration.

Province of Omaha (Archdiocese of Omaha, Dioceses of Grand Island, Lincoln): 

The Archdiocese of Omaha has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Lincoln (Go BIG RED!) will resume public Masses May 4, and the dispensation from the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains.

The Diocese of Grand Island has suspended public Masses.

Province of Philadelphia (Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Dioceses of Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton): 

Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Dioceses of Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, and Scranton are suspended.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh announced May 14 that ferial Masses will resume June 1, and Sunday Masses June 6.

Ukrainian Province of Philadelphia (Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Ukrainian Eparchies of Saint Josaphat in Parma, Saint Nicholas of Chicago, Stamford):

All public Divine Liturgies are suspended

Province of Portland in Oregon (Archdiocese of Portland, Dioceses of Baker, Boise, Great Falls-Billings, Helena):

The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon announced May 6 that public Masses will resume May 9, with social distancing and no more than 25 persons in attendance.

The Diocese of Baker suspended public Masses.

Bishop Michael Warfel of Great Falls-Billings wrote April 23 that parish Masses may resume April 26 with reduced capacity, social distancing, and the determinations of local governments. He added that the Sunday obligation continues to be suspended.

Bishop Austin Vetter of Helena wrote April 23 that parish Masses may resume April 26 with reduced capacity, social distancing, and the determinations of local governments. He added that the Sunday obligation continues to be suspended.

Province of St. Louis (Archdiocese of St. Louis, Dioceses of Jefferson City, Kansas City-St. Joseph, Springfield-Cape Girardeau): 

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has suspended public Masses.

In the Diocese of Jefferson City, public Masses are suspended.

In the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, public Masses are suspended.

The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has suspended all public Masses.

Province of St. Paul and Minneapolis (Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Dioceses of Bismarck, Crookston, Duluth, Fargo, New Ulm, Rapid City, Saint Cloud, Sioux Falls, Winona): 

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of New Ulm has suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester suspended public Masses.

The Diocese of St. Cloud has has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Crookston has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Duluth has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Rapid City has suspended all public Masses.

Bishop Donald DeGrood of Sioux Falls announced Aug. 10 that beginning Aug. 17 the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will "apply only to those at increased risk for severe illness and those responsible for their care." For the purpose of the canonical dispensation he wrote that "those at increased risk for severe illness" "is exclusive to those aged 65 and older and those with the following medical conditions: cancer; chronic kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; obesity (body mass index of 30 or higher); serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; and type 2 diabetes mellitus."

Bishop John Folda of Fargo announced April 30 that public Masses will resume May 4. The obligation to assist at Mass is dispensed until further notice, and social distancing practices will limit the number of attendees.

Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck announced April 30 that public Masses will resume May 6. Social distancing is to be observed, and "the dispensation from the obligation to attend and participate at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days remains in effect until further notice for all who may be hesitant or afraid at this time to be in larger gatherings."

Province of San Antonio (Archdiocese of San Antonio, Dioceses of Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Laredo, Lubbock, San Angelo): 

In the Archdiocese of San Antonio public Masses are suspended.

The Diocese of Dallas has suspended public Masses until March 30.

In the Diocese of Fort Worth, public Masses are suspended. Masses will be celebrated at their regularly scheduled times.

After those Masses, will Holy Communion "be distributed outside of church in designated spaces after Mass for those who are present in their cars or separated by a safe distance. It is to be distributed in an open space with safe social distancing, in the hand, and not through a car window."

"If inclement weather prohibits this, Holy Communion may be distributed in the church with safe social distancing and without crowding with due respect for the limits on gathering size. Because of the extraordinary circumstances in which we are called to minister, I am requiring that Holy Communion be received in the hand to prevent the spread of contagion," Bishop Michael Olson wrote March 19.

"I am asking that my priests and deacons over the age of 60 refrain from distributing Holy Communion for the sake of their health. They are free to exercise their own good judgment in this regard."

Bishop Robert Coerver of Lubbock on April 22 permitted outdoor Masses observing social distancing guidelines. He added that the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is dispensed until further notice.

The Diocese of San Angelo has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of El Paso is "in the process of weighing options."

Public Masses have been suspended in the Diocese of Laredo.

Province of San Francisco (Archdiocese of San Francisco, Dioceses of Honolulu, Las Vegas, Oakland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton): 

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has suspended public Masses, in response to a "shelter in place" order impacting much of the Bay Area.

The Diocese of Oakland has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Salt Lake City has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of San Jose has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Honolulu has suspended public Masses.

Bishop George Thomas of Las Vegas on April 24 extended the suspension of public Masses until May 31, and dispensed the faithful and those visiting the diocese from their Sunday Mass obligation through May 30.

The Diocese of Sacramento has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Stockton has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has suspended all public Masses.

The Diocese of Reno has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Santa Fe (Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Dioceses of Gallup, Las Cruces, Phoenix, and Tucson): 

All churches and schools are closed in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe until further notice. 

The Diocese of Phoenix has suspended public Masses.

Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces resumed public Masses April 15, subject to New Mexico's civil limit of five persons at a gathering and "while maintaining all current health precautions set forth by the state and federal government.”

Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson announced July 1 that public Masses were again being suspended, effective immediately.

The Diocese of Gallup has suspended all public Masses.

Province of Seattle (Archdiocese of Seattle, Dioceses of Spokane, Yakima): 

The Archdiocese of Seattle has canceled all public Masses and closed Catholic schools. 

Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane announced May 27 that public Masses could resume in some counties May 30. He added that "the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in place until further notice."

In the Diocese of Yakima, public Masses have been suspended.

Province of Washington (Archdiocese of Washington, Diocese of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands): 

All Catholic schools are closed and the celebration of public Masses has been suspended in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Non-territorial:

The Personal Ordinariate of St. Peter has suspended public Masses.

Tags: Coronavirus

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