Many parishioners have been asking about whether or not the dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass will be extended due to the present pandemic and numbers continuing to rise. I have told several people that I expected to hear from our Indiana bishops soon since other bishops in other states have already extended their dispensations. I just received the following in an email from the Pastoral Center.
The following is a message from the bishops of Indiana:
“While commending our pastors and pastoral life coordinators who have gone to great lengths to assure safe worship spaces in our churches, due to the increase in the COVID-19 cases in our state, the Indiana bishops have decided to extend the dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass attendance beyond August 15 until November 1, 2020, unless further developments determine otherwise.”
NOTE: This does NOT mean that you’re prohibited from attending Mass. It only means that the OBLIGATION to attend has been suspended. There are people at our Catholic Churches in Indiana at Mass every day as well as on Sundays. At St. Thomas More, as with all Diocese of Gary parishes, masks and social distancing are required. St. Thomas More also strongly recommends that everyone use the hand sanitizer provided from the touchless hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance to the church.