Decree – Suspension of Public Masses
In light of ongoing grave concerns regarding COVID–19 (the novel coronavirus), following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and other public health safety organizations, and mindful of the contagious nature of this illness, I hereby decree that:
- All publicly scheduled celebrations of the holy sacrifice of the Mass in the Diocese of Winona Rochester are suspended until Friday, May 15, 2020.
- In light of this, the faithful of the Diocese of Winona–Rochester are dispensed from the obligation set out in CIC can. 1247 to “participate in the Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation,” even while the more fundamental obligation of keeping holy the Lord‘s Day still remains.
- Programs of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are suspended, although Church buildings are to remain open for private prayer, according to what has been customary in a particular parish.
- Clergy are to remain available for forms of sacramental ministry that can be conducted according to the Center for Disease Control guidelines.
This decree is effective as of March 20, 2020, and remains in force until May 15, 2020.
Given on March 18, 2020, in the Diocese of Winona–Rochester, Minnesota.
Most Rev. John M Quinn
Bishop of Winona Rochester