TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Roman Catholic Church announced plans to implement a gradual reopening of parishes for public worship after consultation with church leaders, along with attention given to the medical and scientific community.
Individual pastors may provide Holy Communion beginning May 23. There will be no public masses at that time, but Holy Communion may be given outdoors.
The Sunday Mass obligation has been suspended indefinitely for all Catholics living in or visiting the Tucson Diocese. Parishioners might view a mass on television or internet prior to receiving communion.
You will need to check your local parish’s website or Facebook page to determine if this will take place at your parish and how the local protocol to receive Holy Communion will be provided.
The diocese said if at any time they see the virus intensify or any other factors that would cause them to close, they will adapt plans.
“We will not let our love for the practice of our faith overcome our call to be faithful citizens attentive to the common good," Bishop of Tucson, Edward J. Weisenburger said in a news release, May 15.
On the weekend of May 29, pastors may petition the Bishop for permission to begin limited public celebrations of the Mass. Parishes will not automatically open on any particular day; rather, each pastor must certify to his parishioners and to the bishop that basic safety protocols will be in place before opening to the public.
Weekend masses may begin on Friday and extend through Monday, with no celebrations of any kind through the rest of the week to allow for additional cleaning to take place. Catholics likewise are urged to graciously and politely leave, should they approach a church and find a “church is now full” sign at the entrance.
“I call upon Catholics to be especially attentive to their pastors as they work with parish leadership to institute these critical protocols," Weisenburger said.
To read the full letter with more detailed plans on reopening, click HERE.