March 12, 2020
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki Dispenses Catholics from their Sunday Mass Obligation Due to Coronavirus
MILWAUKEE ― The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced today that Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki has dispensed Catholics from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus. The dispensation will cover the next two weeks, including Masses for Sundays March 15, 22 and 29. Masses will still be celebrated across the 10 counties of the archdiocese, but the obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be lifted, leaving attendance to people’s individual judgment.
“If people are fearful about crowds or if there are people who are older or suffer from an existing medical condition, we do not want to put them at any additional risk,” Archbishop Listecki said. “These are measures to prevent an increase in the spread of a virus and serve as a safety net for the next two weeks. After that, we will reevaluate.”
Sunday Mass is available in the archdiocese via broadcast in two forms, on the radio, at 9 a.m., Sunday mornings, on Radio 920 AM, W.O.L.F., and on broadcast television on WVTV, My24 at 7 a.m., and 9 a.m., and on WITI Fox 6, at 5:30 a.m.
In place of attending Mass for those Catholics who choose to remain home, the Church asks that they set aside a similar amount of time for private prayer and reflection.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass dates back to the 4th century. The Second Vatican Council reiterated the Church’s requirement that the faithful attend Mass on Sunday, as the chief act of worship for Catholics.