Masks are currently optional for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals as per the Bishop’s guidance. Masks will continue to be available in the Narthex, and we have additional space set aside if you would prefer to continue social distancing and wearing masks. Please take care of yourself! We will update this page if anything changes (or join our Flocknote community for regular updates).
Updated Directives for Liturgies and Guidance for Gatherings/Meetings
As we seem to be moving into a new “live with it” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, several updates have been made to the Directives for Liturgies (CLICK TO VIEW) and the Guidance for Gatherings/Meetings (CLICK TO VIEW). All changes take effect on Monday, September 19, 2022.
Of particular note, the Directives for Liturgies allow for optional masking for ministers of communion when they are distributing communion. Vaccination is strongly recommended for choir members, but it is no longer a strict requirement. Communion may be offered under both species at the discretion of local parish leadership subject to the following conditions:
- Communion may be offered under both species (in the form of bread and wine) no sooner than two weeks after the issuance of this updated guidance (9/19/22).
- After local parish leadership makes the decision to offer communion under both species, pastors/plds must utilize a mandatory two-week period prior to offering the communion cup to ensure that a sufficient number of extraordinary ministers are available for offering communion in the form of the wine and to provide proper catechesis on the reception of communion under one or both species to their parish members.
- Ministers of communion who exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness should refrain from distributing communion under either species.
Of course, what has not changed is our continued encouragement to all eligible individuals to be vaccinated and boosted for their own well-being and in service of the common good. In addition, the practice of frequently washing or sanitizing hands should remain the norm.
Bishop Stowe Ends the Mask Requirement for Mass and other Liturgical Celebrations, March 3, 2022
With the latest directives regarding masking from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the CDC, it is now appropriate to allow for optional masking and site-based decision making about when it might be necessary to require masks because of local conditions. The Bishop continues to urge all Catholics to be mindful of our immuno-compromised members, who are encouraged to remain masked and who remain dispensed from the obligation to attend mass if necessary.
Pastors and Parish Life Directors are encouraged to create zones for those who will remain masked and prefer social distancing in their churches wherever it is possible to do so. We again encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated and boosted for their own well-being and in service of the common good. Please see https://cdlex.org/diocese-of-lexington-epidemic-response/ for the complete guidance related to the Mass and other Liturgical Celebrations.
In addition, the use of masks will be optional for those at gatherings and meetings that take place on parish grounds.
Bishop Stowe to End the General Dispensation as of the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021
Effective Sunday, November 28, 2021, Bishop Stowe, OFM Conv. will officially end the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. Those who are vulnerable or immune-compromised because of age or health reasons are under no obligation to attend Mass at the risk of their well-being. Parishes should continue to offer the celebration of the Mass via live stream for those who cannot risk attending Mass in person at the present time. The full decree with an accompanying reflection on the importance of Sunday Mass and the moral obligation to attend by Fr. Anthony McLaughlin, JCD, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul in Danville, is available below.
We received the following message from the Diocese regarding mask requirements on July 30th:
As Covid infections continue to rise and with greater understanding of how easily the Delta variant spreads, effective immediately the mask requirement for all people at Mass, all liturgies, and all other meetings that take place on parish grounds is reinstated. Furthermore, congregational singing should be greatly reduced or eliminated until further notice. All people eligible for vaccination should also seek it as soon as possible.
We received the following message from the Diocese regarding staff vaccination requirements on August 17th:
Employees at the Catholic Center of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment, starting on Sept. 1, Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv. of Lexington announced on Aug. 17. Pastors who choose to implement this policy at the parish level on Sept. 1 have his support; further mandates may be forthcoming. The bishop also reinstated the policy of requiring masks for all employees at work at the Catholic Center.
“This is an urgent matter of public health and safety. There is no religious exemption for Catholics to being vaccinated, and Pope Francis has repeatedly called this a moral obligation,” said Bishop Stowe. “The health care system is now overwhelmed by a crisis caused primarily by those who refuse to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. This is unacceptable, and our diocese now joins those employers who have already made this basic commitment to the common good a requirement.”
The Catholic Center is located on W. Main Street in Lexington. The Catholic Diocese of Lexington covers 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky, with 59 parishes and missions serving some 46,000 Catholics.
COVID-19: A Prayer of Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus, we pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable, we pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety, we pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance, we pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status, we pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world, we pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decision-makers, we pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all. Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant healing. Be with us, Lord. Amen.