In the interest of public health and safety, local governments have issued restrictions on certain activities in response to the coronavirus. Most recently this afternoon, Governor Hogan announced that all public schools in the State of Maryland will be closed from March 16 through March 27. As a result of this order, Archbishop Gregory has indicated that all Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Washington will be closed during this same time frame of March 16 through March 27.
Additionally, the State of Maryland has ordered that no public gatherings in excess of 250 people may be held until further notice. As a result of this order, Archbishop Gregory has indicated Masses open to the public, in ALL archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries will not be celebrated starting this Saturday, March 14th until further notice. Weddings and funerals may proceed but attendance should be limited to immediate family.
Archbishop Gregory has also issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to all parishioners of the Archdiocese of Washington.
“We are aware of the rapidly developing district and state guidelines regarding the coronavirus. My number one priority as your Archbishop is to ensure the safety and health of all who attend our Masses, the children in our schools, and those we welcome through our outreach and services. Please know that this decision does not come lightly to close our schools or cancel Masses,” Archbishop Gregory said. “We are profoundly saddened that we are not able to celebrate our sacraments as a community for the time being but we know Christ remains with us at all times – specifically in times of worry like this.”
“I have made available pastoral and spiritual resources as well as TV Mass on our website that I encourage you to use. I also invite you to join us for Mass and prayer via livestream in our social media.” Archbishop Gregory continued. “May the peace of Christ settle any anxieties and fear we may have. Let us continue to pray for the people whose lives have been impacted by the coronavirus as well as those who continue to care for them.”
Reverend Daniel B. Carson
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia