The St. Louis Archdiocese will allow Catholic public masses to resume again as soon as May 18, when St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis are slated to begin lifting restrictions of their stay-at-home order.
The archdiocese called off public masses in March, as lockdowns and crowd-size limits went into effect to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announced Friday that parishes in St. Louis can begin holding mass again on Monday, May 18, at the discretion of each individual parish pastor.
“This decision, along with the accompanying policy and guidelines that will be provided to all parishes early next week, follows much work and consultation with the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the Missouri bishops and civil authorities,” Carlson said in his announcement.
The archbishop said that collaboration will continue through May 18 and beyond, with decisions subject to change based on any new data provided by health officials.
The general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will remain in place for all Catholics of the archdiocese until further notice, as many individuals continue to have concerns for the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones.
“I am filled with the joy of this Easter season to be able to once again reunite our faithful in the celebration of public Masses, centered around the Eucharist given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ,” Carlson said in a statement. “I am grateful to our priests, deacons and all parish staffs for working closely with me and archdiocesan leadership to continue to guide parish communities in their faith journeys, while prudently following all protocols to keep God’s people safe and healthy.”
The detailed policy will be provided to parishes early next week, and will include directives and guidelines that must be followed carefully by each parish in order to resume public masses.
To assist parishes in adhering to the new policy, thanks to the support of a grant from the Annual Catholic Appeal of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the archdiocesan leadership team is also providing many parishes with sanitation, hygiene and personal protective equipment supplies.
All parishes are encouraged to continue livestreaming masses so that the faithful who are not able to attend in person may participate in the celebration remotely.
Livestream schedules can continue to be found at archstl.org/coronavirus, as well as via individual parish websites and social media channels.