Bishop Talley Decree December 2020

Letter written to Holy Rosary parish from their pastor, Fr. Patrick Gallagher. Used with permission for St. Louis

As we know, Bishop Talley has reissued a general dispensation for the faithful from the requirement of attending Holy Mass on Sundays, this means that until further notice, one is not obligated to attend Mass due to the Coronavirus. All Masses are still being celebrated at their normal times and if we are able, we should make sure that we are not cut off from the source and summit of our faith, the Holy Eucharist. We should remember that the bishop issued this dispensation to alleviate the consciousness of the faithful. To allow those who are sick, vulnerable, or fearful of the virus to not attend Mass with a clear conscience.  This means that if we choose not to participate in Holy Mass while this dispensation is in effect but still decide to go out to other activities such as recreational sports, restaurants, or other activities we would be ignoring the charity of this dispensation. Also, if we decide to stay home from Mass on Sundays, we need to ask ourselves: Are we reading the Sunday readings at home? Are we praying with our family? Are we watching a live-streamed Mass to aid in our prayer?  Are we making sure that we are living out our faith on Sunday through devotions, the rosary, or some other pious and prayerful activity?  After all, although Bishop Talley has granted this dispensation about Mass attendance, we need to keep in mind that no Bishop has the power to dispense from the Divine Law of the Third Commandment to keep the Lord’s Day Holy.

I want to second the instructions of Fr. Patrick Gallagher for our own parish family.

Rev. J. Keith Stewart, V.G.

Click here to read Bishop Talley’s Decree