Bishop W. Shawn McKnight announced March 17 that all public Masses will be suspended in the Diocese of Jefferson City, beginning on Wednesday, March 18 and until at least April 3.
This means all Catholics are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person.
Online opportunities are listed on the diocesan website, diojeffcity.org, and some parishes will be able to provide online Masses. Catholics are encouraged to check with their local parish regarding online Masses.
“This is in keeping with the federal directives and other public entities in our area. We offer this decision as part of our effort to help stem the spread of the coronavirus,” Bishop McKnight stated. “I know you join me in concern for all who are being affected by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.”
In addition, parishes have been instructed to make the following changes, beginning March 18:
Bishop McKnight urged all people to remain mindful of their responsibility to serve the community in terms of time, talent and treasure in this extraordinary hour of need.
“You may register your volunteer capacity on our website,” he stated. “Parishes are organizing Disaster Responder Teams to serve those immediately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Please continue your tithes to your parishes by postal mail or online, if the parish offers that option.”
The bishop stated his profound gratitude to all who are working tirelessly to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
“I pray the efforts we are doing, as a people of faith, will provide tangible support, encouragement and spiritual hope to our communities,” he stated.