In light of the health concerns raised by COVID-19, Bishop Callahan has issued a temporary dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in the Diocese of La Crosse, stating,
"The faithful should be reminded that, if they are ill, they are under no obligation to attend Mass and should remain at home until they recover from their illness. Also, those who are well, but who are concerned about the Coronavirus threat because of age, health condition or other reasons, are currently dispensed from the Sunday obligation until further notice."
For those who are healthy, "As of now Sunday services will still be held and those not in a vulnerable position are encouraged to attend and join your prayers to those who are absent." The Bishop has outlined precautions to be taken at Mass for the health and safety of parishioners. Read his statement on COVID-19 Liturgical Practices.
Bishop Callahan reminds us that, "Liturgical prayer, particularly the Eucharist, the Source and Summit of our faith, is essential for all believers," and, "This lifting of the obligation to attend Mass in no way reduces the command to keep Holy the Sabbath." He encourages those unable to attend Mass to participate in spiritual communion by praying with a televised Mass if possible (links below), or as described in the Code of Canon Law 1248 (2), to "'devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.'" To view Sunday readings, visit USCCB.org.
Read Bishop Callahan's full pastoral address and decree to the people of the Diocese of La Crosse HERE.
Tri-Parish parishioners, please contact Father Emmanuel with any questions.