In light of the ongoing concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus) and with the guidance published by the Center for Disease Control and other health safety organizations, which indicate that certain individuals may find themselves at a higher safety risk, I decree that:
The following categories of individuals are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass “on Sundays and other holy days of obligation” (canon 1247):
- Individuals over the age of 60
- Individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancer
- Individuals with severely compromised immune systems
- Caretakers of the at-risk individuals listed above
This dispensation remains in effect until it is revoked.
Please consider the following if you are unable to attend Mass: devoting oneself to prayer and reflection, Lenten meditations, reading scripture, praying the rosary or novenas and other Catholic devotions.
Additionally, it is always edifying to reflect on the Sunday Mass readings which can be found at www.cathdal.org/readings, or, view an online Mass such as those livestreamed from the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe at 9 a.m.in English and 10:30 a.m. in Spanish every Sunday. Visit www.youtube.com/dallascath to view the livestreams. Another option is the daily Mass televised on EWTN.
Please remain cautious and prudent during this time, keeping those who are ill or suffering as well as medical professionals and caretakers always in your prayers.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Edward J. Burns
Bishop of Dallas