Bishop temporarily suspends Sunday Mass obligation

BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano has temporarily suspended the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in response to the Coronavirus crisis. However the public Mass schedule of parishes will continue throughout the diocese.

In a letter issued today (printed below) to all clergy and diocesan officials, the Bishop indicates he has taken the action of “so that anyone who may be fearful of becoming ill or of spreading illness, especially healthcare workers, caregivers to the elderly or infirmed or parents with young children, may have peace of mind in knowing that, with this provision, they do not commit mortal sin if they choose not to attend Sunday Mass”

The Bishop requests that those who decide to refrain from attending Mass on the Sundays during the next three weeks “treat the Lord’s Day with the honor it deserves and try, to the best of their ability, to view Mass online or to make time to read the Scriptures for the day.”

In brief, the Bishop’s letter contains the following directives: (Click for Spanish version)

  • Beginning this Third Sunday of Lent (March 14-15) through the Fifth Sunday of Lent (March 28-29), the bishop is temporarily dispensing all Catholics of the Diocese of Bridgeport from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Although the Bishop has suspended the Sunday Mass obligation for the next three weeks, the public Mass schedule of parishes will continue. As we move forward, Pastors, administrators, and lay parish coordinators will be required to follow any ordinances or mandates published by legitimate local authorities, who have been entrusted to protect the community at large. If you have any questions about parish events or liturgies, please contact your parish directly.
  • The bishop repeated his strong suggestion that non-liturgical, social events scheduled to take place in the immediate weeks ahead at parishes or diocesan institutions, especially those at which the elderly may be inclined to participate, be postponed or cancelled.
  • Beginning today, Friday, March 13, 2020, all diocesan schools and academies will be closed for a period of two weeks.
  • All parish Confirmations that are scheduled to take place before Easter Sunday will be rescheduled to a later date.