Letter to the Faithful: Continued Dispensation from Obligation of Sunday Mass Attendance -- 8/5/2020

August 5, 2020

Dear brothers and sisters,

Due to the continuing number of COVID-19 cases in Indiana, the bishops of the Province of Indianapolis, have continued the dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass attendance until Nov. 1, 2020, unless further developments determine otherwise.

Our parishes are following guidelines recommended by public health officials and designed for the public celebration of Mass. I commend our pastors, pastoral staff and volunteers who have gone to great lengths to assure safe worship spaces in our churches. I have every confidence that our local parishes will continue to practice social distancing and safety protocols so that public Mass and the sharing of the spiritual gifts of the Church may continue.

The continued dispensation is a prudent measure since a significant number of the faithful may find it difficult to fulfill the obligation during this time. To be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass does not mean people should stay away from church or fail to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

The Sunday celebration of the Mass remains at the core of our expression of the faith and the place where we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

I encourage those who have been away to contact their local parish to learn of the various protocols we have in place for safety. For those unable to attend in person, many of our parishes are offering livestream coverage of Sunday Mass (for a listing see www.dcgary.org). In addition to participating in Sunday Mass, it is the Catholic tradition that Sunday is kept holy by refraining from work, increasing our love of the Lord and extending charity to others through prayer and service.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb 13:11) As our public celebration of the Mass has limitations, there is no limit on the love of Jesus and the power of the Eucharist.  As the body of Christ may be somewhat separated physically, let us remember that we remain spiritually united in Jesus.

Thank you for keeping me in your prayers and know of my love and prayers for you. If I can pray for you specifically, please share your request through email at pray@dcgary.org. You may also send a prayer request through the diocesan website at www.dcgary.org.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Jesus, I trust in you…

Your Servant,

The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory

Bishop of Gary