Whereas guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Government advises: 1) the more frequently a surface is touched by multiple people, the more frequently it should be cleaned and then disinfected, and 2) frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily; and
Whereas many local health authorities allow for social gatherings and events when the standard protocols of social distancing and the wearing of face masks are observed;
I therefore emend, as Diocesan Bishop, the DECREES of 21 August 2020, 11 November 2020, and 2 March 2021 according to the following:
1.) The Bible, hymnals, other liturgical aids or spiritual resources for the celebration of liturgies and devotions may be returned to the pews of churches and adoration chapels, effective immediately. Those who enter churches and chapels are to be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands frequently, and pews and other frequently touched surfaces shall be cleaned and disinfected at least daily.
2.) Holy Water may be returned to fonts with frequent changes of Holy Water, at least daily.
3.) Social gatherings may take place on parish properties as early as 1 June 2021, but only if local health authority directives are observed. Parishes and schools are encouraged, however, to delay such events until late summer to avoid the need to cancel them if local circumstances require it.
This decree is effective immediately unless otherwise noted, anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given at the Chancery of the Diocese of Jefferson City on this 12th day of March, 2021.
Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, S.T.D.
Bishop of Jefferson City
Mrs. Constance Schepers