These directives remain in effect as of June 26, 2020.
“The faithful in the Diocese of Fort Worth are still dispensed from the obligation to attend and to participate in Sunday Mass. If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of any illness stay home.” – Bishop Michael F. Olson.
Bishop Michael F. Olson has issued a pastoral letter to all priests, deacons, seminarians, religious men and women, and faithful laity of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Complete pastoral letter (6-26-2020)
From the 6-26-2020 Pastoral Letter…
- The faithful in the Diocese of Fort Worth are still dispensed from the obligation to attend and to participate in Sunday Mass. If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms of any illness stay home. If you are over the age of 60, I am strongly encouraging you not to attend Mass. If your parish can provide a Mass exclusively for people over the age of 60, I recommend that you attend that Mass. I am strongly recommending that people over 60 years of age not distribute Holy Communion for the sake of their health.
- Mindful of the obligation of charity to our neighbor, I am requiring that people in attendance at Mass wear masks or scarfs over their mouths and nose inside the church to help prevent the spread of the virus. This is not simply a strong recommendation. People will not be seated without wearing a mask.
- Children under the age of two (2-years-old) are not required to wear masks in keeping with CDC recommendations.
- The church building will be wiped down with disinfectant in between all masses. Hymnals and other worship aids are not to be present or used at Mass. Collection plates will not be passed or handled among people. … I am asking that people forgo the venerable custom of the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue during this time of pandemic. I am asking that this continue to be done during this time of pandemic out of consideration for the health of the ordinary or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
- If possible, please do not forget to maintain your stewardship and to support your parish financially.
- These same protocols and occupancy limitations apply in the Diocese of Fort Worth to the celebration of weddings, funerals, and baptisms for the sake of the safety and good health of all involved.
- Please continue to notify your parish of any family members or friends who are shut-ins and who desire a pastoral visit.
- The number of people who are to be in attendance at Mass will be limited to a number that can be safely present mindful of the recommendation of 50% capacity with social distancing and the required protocols of masks and sanitizing of hands. The distance of THREE FEET between persons generally equates to 50% capacity of the church building.
- Thank you for the extraordinary generosity that you have displayed in donating non-perishable food items and gift cards to your local parish that they can be distributed through food banks and other outreach services in our parishes and local communities. Please, if you are able, continue to do so and to remember Catholic Charities Fort Worth (CCFW) as the ordinary means of delivery for care and services to the poor and those who are most in need.
- There are to be no outdoor processions, outdoor parish gatherings, picnics, or festivals. These are places where people tend to gather in groups without social distancing. There are to be no overnight parish retreats of groups (e.g. ACTS or CHIRP retreats).
- Policies for Catholic schools are being finalized and will be released in the very near future.
Previous Diocesan Adaptations
Pastoral letter (3-24-2020)