As the coronavirus pandemic persists and Louisiana remains in Phase 2 with churches limited to 50% of seating capacity, Bishop Robert W. Marshall, Jr. has issued a decree granting Catholics a dispensation from their obligation to participate in Sunday Mass until further notice.  “While we pray for an end to the pandemic and look forward to full churches again, at this time too many of our brothers and sisters are vulnerable to this serious virus,” said Bishop Marshall.  “We must encourage those who are sick and those with serious health conditions and their caregivers to worship from home.  Thank you to the priests and parishes who are regularly livestreaming their Sunday Masses.”

In addition to renewing the dispensation, Bishop Marshall also reiterated the importance of taking necessary precautions for those who do come to Mass.  “Please sanitize your hands and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and anyone one from outside of your household.  As advised by health care professionals, the governor has mandated that all wear masks and we respect both that medical advice and legitimate governmental authority.  Because many who have the virus are asymptomatic carriers who unknowingly pass it along, we take these precautions out of our obligation to protect our brothers and sisters.”