The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop, has lifted 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 went 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 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.