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Oklahoma bishops’ announcement on plan to begin public Masses

April 29, 2020

The Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Peace and joy to each of you this Easter season. Although in many ways it feels like the long Lent of 2020 continues, it is now Wednesday in the third week of Easter. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Over the past few weeks as many Oklahomans have adjusted to a new, albeit temporary, way of life, we have come together in creative ways to stay connected with one another and participate in the celebration of the Mass. Through these trials we will come to recognize more clearly how God has been with us through it all. For the lay faithful, the greatest sacrifice has been fasting from Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. We pray that in this time of fasting, God has graced you with a profound hunger for this communion with Jesus the Way, the Truth and the Life.

As your shepherds, we have been in contact with state and local government leaders and public health authorities to assess when and how we could begin the process of offering public Mass and, more broadly, resuming the normal sacramental life of the Church. We have established a joint task force with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa to explore the timeline and procedures for resumption of public Mass in Oklahoma. The task force consists of priests and laity in both dioceses in consultation with local medical professionals, including a leading infectious disease specialist.

On May 6, we will announce a timeline for how we will begin offering public Masses in Oklahoma and provide a detailed list of procedures and precautions for parishes. The dispensation from attending Sunday Mass will remain in place.

Thank you for your faithfulness, generosity, sacrifice and patience as we do our part slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our families and most vulnerable safe.

Blessed Stanley Rother and Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City

Most Reverend David A. Konderla
Bishop of Tulsa