In some of the Wisconsin Catholic diocese the Bishop has reinstated the obligation to assist at the Sunday Mass. In the Diocese of La Crosse this is not the case.
Bishop Callahan has decided that it is NOT the right time to reinstate the obligation to participate in the Sunday Mass. In his letter explaining why, he said “This is not to minimize the importance of the communal celebration of the Holy Eucharist.” Rather, he said that he is “considering the high number of new COVID cases in our area and the growing number of congregants, and the ability we have of safely social-distancing in our churches.”
What this means for us at St. Mary’s is that we will continue as we have for the past few months. There will be four opportunities for the Sunday Mass (Saturday at 4:00, Sunday at 7:00, 8:30 and 10:00) even though the obligation is currently dispensed.
We will continue to offer masks for those who do not have their own and hand sanitation will continue to be provided. The church will continue to respect the physical distancing requirement which means that every other pew will not be used.
Even though the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains dispensed, Bishop Callahan has reminded us that “while the obligation remains dispensed the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath remains.” He offers good advice because the Third Commandment to keep holy the Lord’s Day should always be held in highest regard. God bless us all.