JOINT STATEMENT: THE SPIRITUAL LEADERS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESES OF SIOUX FALLS AND RAPID CITY
Suspension of all public Masses due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic
March 17, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relying on data that shows the real progression of the COVID-19 virus, has now updated its recommendation to limit gatherings to ten people. The recommendation limits the potential for transmission of the virus. Ultimately, the recommendation is rooted in serving the common good, including those most vulnerable to the virus and its devastating effects on the body.
Mindful of our own call as Catholics to seek the common good, we have directed that all daily Masses and all Sunday Masses prayed in parishes are suspended until further notice. This suspension takes effect on March 18, 2020 and includes all gatherings for social and educational purposes in Catholic facilities. It will remain in effect until further notice. This extraordinary measure has been directed after prayerfully asking God for His assistance in guiding His Church, in collaboration with the diocesan consultors and careful study of information gathered by government officials and recommendations given by medical professionals. We believe it is the prudent decision in keeping with the directives of many bishops throughout the United States who have made this prudential decision.