By the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, September 3, 2020
In March, as communities responded to the growing coronavirus outbreak, the bishops of Wisconsin’s five Roman Catholic dioceses each granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. As the outbreak grew into a pandemic, all dioceses suspended the public celebration of Mass until it was safe to resume in-person worship.
In recent months, dioceses and parishes throughout the state have been able to resume public worship by adhering to strict safety standards and by restricting access to services for those who are symptomatic, sick, or at risk of serious illness. Throughout this time, the faithful have not been required to attend Mass on Sundays.
The bishops are grateful for the understanding and commitment of the faithful, who continue to practice care for one another through trying times. With new measures now firmly in place to promote and preserve the safety of those attending public Mass, it is with elation that the bishops of Wisconsin have announced plans to end the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation in September 2020. The Archbishop or Bishop of each Wisconsin diocese will announce to the faithful how and when the dispensation will expire within their diocese. These communications will include clarifications on when the obligation may be excused due to illness or other factors.
Collectively, the bishops were enthusiastic about the return to in-person Mass and the Eucharist, which is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC, No. 1324). They echoed the Holy Father’s recent statement on the importance of attending Mass: “We cannot do without the Eucharist, for it is God’s memorial. And it heals our wounded memory.” (Homily on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, June 14, 2020) As pastors, the bishops of Wisconsin encourage all who are healthy to seek the healing presence of Christ the Bread of Life through a return to Mass.
This article first appeared HERE.