Home Local News BISHOP NICKLESS SUSPENDS ALL PUBLIC CATHOLIC MASSES FOR 8 WEEKS

BISHOP NICKLESS SUSPENDS ALL PUBLIC CATHOLIC MASSES FOR 8 WEEKS

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Sioux City Catholic Diocese Bishop R. Walker Nickless has issued a mandate to suspend all Sunday and public Masses effective immediately for the next eight weeks.

That will include Holy Week Masses.

The edict follows recommendations released by the Centers of Disease Control to cancel large events or gatherings that could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Bishop Nickless calls this the most difficult decision he has made during his time as Bishop.

During this period, Catholics in the Diocese of Sioux City are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, according to the bishop’s mandate.

Parishes within the diocese will resume normal activities when it is deemed safe to do so.

Other changes included the following:

Baptisms will only be celebrated with immediate family and godparents.
Only immediate family members and witnesses are to attend weddings. Clergy are not to attend related social functions and Parishes are not to host receptions.

Funerals may be celebrated only with immediate family members. Parishes may not host funeral dinners. The funeral vigil, wake or other events should all be held the same day as the funeral.

Confessions will be conducted by appointment only.
Sacrament of Confirmation – All spring celebrations of the sacrament of confirmation are suspended.
First Communion – The celebrations of First Communion are suspended.

Quinceañeras – Quinceañeras are suspended.
Eucharistic Adoration – The formal exposition of the Eucharist or adoration will be suspended.

Church buildings may remain open for private prayer at the discretion of pastors.

All conferences, retreats, festivals or similar events in the diocese and the parishes are to be suspended.

All religious education, faith formation classes, RCIA and related activities are suspended.

Parish staff are to conduct meetings if essential, and if possible, electronically.

Parish staff members are asked to telecommute, if possible.
Parish governing boards are strongly urged to meet electronically.