BRIDGEPORT—The extension of the suspension of the celebration of public Masses in the Diocese of Bridgeport will now continue through Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
In an April 21 memo to all pastors and priests, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano announced that in the interest of the health and safety of the faithful and consistent with the April 10 executive order of Governor Ned Lamont limiting public gatherings, the suspensions will stay in place through May 20.
The bishop told pastors that he is working with a small committee tasked with implementing a plan for resuming the public celebration of Masses in phases once the State begins to loosen restrictions on public gatherings. He will also consult with all the Pastors before releasing a plan for resuming liturgical celebrations in the presence of the lay faithful as soon as it is safe.
“I am grateful to those Pastors who are continuing to provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Anointing of the Sick, live-streamed Masses, open periods for prayer inside the church and Eucharistic Adoration,” he said.
Since the suspension of public Masses, the diocese has live-streamed Masses celebrated by Bishop Caggiano, and most parishes have been able to live-stream Masses and prayer services to parishioners. The diocesan Leadership Institute has also live-streamed a novena and the Divine Mercy Chaplet in addition to making other prayer resources available.
In the absence of public Masses, the bishop has urged the faithful to deepen their sense of “spiritual communion” with the entire Church and to intensify personal prayer in addition to joining the live-streamed liturgies.
The bishop said that funerals and weddings may still be celebrated in churches outside of the context of Mass, as long as fewer than 50 people are in attendance and proper social distancing is maintained.
Since the State will likely require the use of face masks even after large gatherings are once again permitted, the bishop asked pastors to consider providing masks, where possible, for the clergy, ministers and lay faithful when public Masses resume.
The bishop first suspended the celebration of public Mass in the Diocese of Bridgeport, effective March 16, 2020. That suspension was to be in effect through April 30, 2020. To view live-streamed Masses and find other prayer resources, visit the diocesan website and social media at www.bridgeportdiocese.com.