- Due to the restrictions on large group gatherings announced by Governor Northam on Sunday afternoon, March 15, 2020, parish Mass schedules across the diocesan footprint may be affected. Please contact your local parish for more information.
- All diocesan schools are closed through March 27, 2020.
- All other diocesan facilities, including parishes, campus ministries, residential adult care centers, and the Pastoral Center, are operating on a normal schedule.
- Staff should take extra care to clean all high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards, etc. The CDC provides complete disinfection guidance at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html (added 15 March 2020, 4:00 PM)
Until further notice, Bishop Knestout has granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days to the following persons most susceptible to the effects of the Corona virus/COVID 19: those 60 years of age or older; those with chronic illness; and those with immune system deficiencies. The dispensation is also extended to those caring for people who are presently ill or who assist those in the three groups indicated and individuals with concerns about being in public gatherings. (added 14 March 2020, 1:00 PM)
While nothing can replace attendance at Mass and receiving Holy Communion, those already dispensed because of illness or (in addition) for the reasons given above have not committed a mortal sin. Those who refrain from attending Mass should, if possible, devote an hour to prayer on Sunday, observe Mass on television or on-line, or by praying the Rosary of some of the Liturgy of the Hours. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy in these ways demonstrates a genuine desire for holiness and a sincerity of heart.
Those exempted should check regularly with their parish or on the diocesan website for updates in the present health emergency.