St. Peter's

St. Peter's Church in Mansfield (2017 Richland Source file photo)

The Roman Catholic Bishops of Ohio today announced the extension of a suspension of Masses in all of its churches, now through May 3.

The announcement said:

"Today, April 2, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine extended the executive 'Stay at Home Order' to continue to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the State of Ohio. Out of deep concern for the common good, as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor's direction.

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"To that end, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio extend the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies at least through and including Sunday May 3rd. The Bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time period.

"This decision has not been taken lightly and, as your bishops, together with you, we recognize the sacrifice we are called to make by being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.

"Trusting in the graces flowing from the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord, we remain mindful of the hope that does not disappoint. As your bishops, we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord's Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of televised, live-streamed, or radio broadcast options and making a spiritual communion.

"Keeping in mind the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church's treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours and Stations of the Cross, etc.

"Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from the Coronavirus, for all health care workers and first responders, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this pandemic. Relying on the Motherly care of Our Lady, Health of the Sick, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we trust in the glorious hope of His resurrection."

The announcement was made by all of the state's Catholic bishops, according to the Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, chairman of the Catholic Conference of Ohio and also the Archbishop of Cincinnati