Check here for announcements, updates, online Masses, cancellations and prayers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more news and updates, follow the Diocese on its Facebook page Roman Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles.
Bishop lifting dispensation from obligation to attend Mass
The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop, is lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation in the Diocese of Lake Charles. The obligation for Catholics in good health goes into effect November 29, 2020, the First Sunday of Advent.
Bishop Provost granted the dispensation on March 17, 2020, due to the suspension of public liturgies amid the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus. The gradual reopening of churches for public Masses began on May 1, but the dispensation has remained in place.
In lifting the dispensation, the directives of September 25, 2020, remain in effect allowing for 75% of church occupancy. Pastors will continue to adhere to state guidelines regarding the number and manner of attendance. The only change in the directives concerns the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days.
Bishop Provost reminds those who are ill, immune deficient, symptomatic, in a state of anxiety over contracting the illness, or at high risk due to chronic conditions, that they are already dispensed by the law from the obligation to attend Mass.
Precautions that have been in place will remain, including sanitizing church parishes, the use of face masks and hand sanitizer, and the practice of social distancing. In doing so, there is no greater risk for contracting COVID-19 at church than when someone is at the grocery store, at work, or any other public setting.
The faithful who are unable to attend Mass are urged to make holy the Lord’s Day and to pray, read the Scriptures, and take part in acts of charity.
For questions or clarifications, please consult the Dean of your respective Deanery.
- Central Deanery — Very Reverend Matthew Cormier, V.F.
- East Deanery — Very Reverend Keith Pellerin, V.F.
- South Deanery — Very Reverend Rojo A. Koonathan, V.F.
- West Deanery — Very Reverend Edward Richard, V.F.
Catholic Charities expands food bank to Ragley
Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, with assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank, has expanded its food distribution to Ragley at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 16816 Highway 171. Food bank dates are the second Thursday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
All clients must bring the following items to register to receive food:
- Picture ID for each adult in the household and Social Security card for each person in household.
- Food stamp letter or proof of one month’s income for the household such as: SSI, TANF, Social Security, Child Support, Retirement, Unemployment, Veterans Benefits, or Payroll Checks.
- Proof of residency — a utility bill or a lease, and one rent receipt.
Clients will be registered while remaining in their vehicles. Food will be placed directly into their cars. All are asked to wear a face mask.
Additional food bank sites include: Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles; Golden Arms Apartments, 1481 Third Street, Lake Charles; St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, 11054 Highway 384, Grand Lake; and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Creole. All faiths are welcome to apply for assistance.
Daily reflections called “A Thought from the Bishop’s Chapel” can be found at www.lcdiocese.org/the-diocese/our-bishop/bishop-s-chapel-daily or on www.facebook.com/lcdiocese. The first of 74 reflections was posted on March 19, 2020, concluding with the final reflection on May 31. Bishop Provost began writing the reflections as a way to minister to the faithful after public Masses were suspended on March 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension of Masses was lifted on May 1.
For food assistance, visit Catholic Charities from 9 a.m. to noon any Tuesday, at 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles. For other assistance related to rent, utilities, ID’s, funerals, or medication, please call their office on Mondays at 337-439-7436 to apply.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help Catholic Charities continue their relief efforts, please visit www.catholiccharitiesswla.com and click on the Donate Now button. You may also mail donations to 1225 Second Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601. Food donations will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If you would like to donate food for the pantry, please consider ordering from their Amazon Wishlist or dropping off cans directly to Catholic Charities, 1225 2nd Street.
Pope Francis offered the following prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 11, entrusting the city of Rome, all of Italy, and “the entire world to the protection of the Mother of God, as a sign of salvation and hope” during the ongoing coronavirus emergency. Let us join our Holy Father in prayer, penance, and fasting in response to this time of trial.
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the Cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.