Bishop Announces Suspensions Of All Masses

Northwest Iowa — Calling it the “most difficult decision I have made during my time as bishop,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless released the official position of the Diocese of Sioux City in regards to the threat of coronavirus.

Bishop Nickless said, “The health and well-being of all people in the diocese, as well as all Catholics, is of the utmost importance at this time. I ask all the faithful for their understanding and to join me in prayer for the end to this public health crisis.”

Bishop Nickless announced Monday the suspension of all Sunday and public Masses effective immediately. He says the suspension will extend for 8 weeks, and will then be re-evaluated as the coronavirus situation develops. During this period, Catholics in the Diocese of Sioux City are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, according to the bishop’s mandate. The CDC recommends no gathering of groups of 50 or larger during this crisis, and Nickless says parishes within the diocese will resume normal activities when it is safe to do so.

The Bishop says the suspension of Masses will include Holy Week, which he called, “the high point of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year.”

In addition to Masses, Bishop Nickless announced the following suspensions:
Baptisms – Baptisms will only be celebrated with immediate family and godparents. There will be no large group baptisms.
Weddings – Only immediate family members and witnesses are to attend weddings. Clergy are not to attend related social functions. Parishes are not to host receptions.
Funerals – Funerals may be celebrated only with immediate family members. Parishes may not host funeral dinners. The funeral vigil, wake or other events should all be held the same day as the funeral.
Holy Week – Holy Week liturgies are suspended.
Confessions – The sacrament of reconciliation (confession) will be conducted by appointment only.
Sacrament of Confirmation – All spring celebrations of the sacrament of confirmation are suspended
First Communion – The celebrations of First Communion are suspended.
Quinceañeras – Quinceañeras are suspended.
Eucharistic Adoration – The formal exposition of the Eucharist or adoration will be suspended

For more information visit the Sioux City Diocesan website by CLICKING HERE. The Diocese of Sioux City leads all Catholic parishes in our immediate broadcast area.



Local News