Statement from Bishop Knestout to the Faithful (March 16th, 2020)
Click to read this afternoon's letter from Bishop Knestout.
Click to learn the latest impacts to parish facilities and programs.
Bishop Knestout's Dispensation for the Most Susceptible (March 12th, 2020)
Until further notice, Bishop Knestout has granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days to the following persons most susceptible to the effects of the Corona virus/COVID 19: those 60 years of age or older; those with chronic illness; and those with immune system deficiencies. The dispensation is also extended to those caring for people who are presently ill or who assist those in the three groups indicated.
While nothing can replace attendance at Mass and receiving Holy Communion, those already dispensed because of illness or (in addition) for the reasons given above have not committed a mortal sin. Those who refrain from attending Mass should, if possible, devote an hour to prayer on Sunday, observe Mass on television or on-line, or by praying the Rosary of some of the Liturgy of the Hours. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy in these ways demonstrates a genuine desire for holiness and a sincerity of heart.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Knestout's Statement Regarding Mass Changes (March 11, 2020)
In light of the growing concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and out of an abundance of caution, Bishop Knestout is instructing all parishes, schools, residential adult care centers and campus ministries to take the following measures in their communities forthe foreseeable future:
- Cease distribution of the Precious Blood (Christ is fully present under both species of the Blessed Sacrament)
- Refrain from shaking hands during the Sign of Peace (bow or verbal gesture is appropriate)
- Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer
- Remove Holy Water from the Baptismal and Holy Water fonts
A new web page has been implemented at richmonddiocese.org/coronavirus which provides additional safety precautions. This web page will be updated regularly with important information about our diocesan response. Additional resources can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health websites.
As always, prayer is an important way Catholics can respond to any crisis as we express our dependence on God. We continue to stand in solidarity with all those affected by the disease as well as those health care professionals who care for them. We ask parishioners to keep these people in mind while we pray, especially as we continue our Lenten journey.
Sincerely in Christ,