Public Health Concerns
Vicar for Clergy
Msgr. Robert Kurwicki
573.635.9127, ext. 210
Liturgical Commission Chair
Father Daniel Merz
Dr. Erin Vader
573.635.9127, ext. 247
Director of Parish and Charitable Services
573.635.9127, ext. 222
Catholic Charities of Northeast and Central Missouri
Alphonse J. Schwartze
Memorial Catholic Center
2207 West Main St | PO Box 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight removes general dispensation from obligation to attend Mass on June 1, 2021
Updated May 15, 2021
On May 13 the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Therefore, the wearing of face masks and social distancing are no longer mandatory in churches for Mass in the Diocese of Jefferson City. Those who have not been fully vaccinated are urged to continue wearing face masks when they cannot maintain social distancing while indoors, in compliance with current CDC guidance.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight has issued a decree lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass in person, effective June 1.
As more people become vaccinated and the number of COVID-19 cases decline in our area, all Catholics are invited to join us to worship together, in person, and to receive the Body of Christ in Holy Communion, which nourishes our souls and heals us of our sins. That’s why we are obliged to participate in the Sunday liturgy each week.
Of course, if you are ill, are traveling, or otherwise dispensed from our obligation to participate in the Mass, please continue to join us online. Many of our parishes are providing livestreaming of Masses. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you in person at Mass!
People who are infected with COVID-19 are not permitted to enter church properties, in accordance with national, state and local health directives. All are asked to check their temperature at home before going to church.
"Miren como se aman”
La Iglesia en una pandemia Preguntas y respuestas frecuentes
Más información, incluyendo los decretos e instrucciones oficiales, está disponible en https://diojeffcity.org/public-health/#noticias-de-salud-pública.
Update 5/7/2021 Bishop McKnight lifts general dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation, effective June 1,2021
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General Health Directives
How to minimize the spread of virus in our gathering spaces
- Offering hand sanitizer stations at church and school entrances.
- Practicing good hand washing with soap and water as frequently as possible and teaching children this practice.
- Teaching children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, or to cough or sneeze into their inner elbow.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces in public areas, such as our churches, classrooms and meeting spaces.
- Liturgical ministers, especially extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, should maintain clean/sanitized hands.
- Wash hands before Mass or use a personal bottle of hand sanitizer while in the pew before serving, ensuring the sanitizer is entirely dry before serving.
- Wash liturgical vessels with mild detergent and hot water after each liturgy, which will help to protect the finish by removing oil from hands, and work to remove pathogens that may be on the vessel from its use in the liturgy.
How individuals can protect themselves and others
People who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home until they are free of fever (fever is 100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
Those who have weak or compromised immune systems (i.e., the elderly, the infirmed, infants and young children) should avoid public gatherings. These individuals could include the following:
- People age 65 and over
- Individuals with organ and blood cancers
- Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer
- Individuals taking medications that treat autoimmune diseases, i.e., corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, azathioprine and biological therapies such as rituximab and etanercept, to name a few
- Individuals with infections such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, measles, herpes, chickenpox
- Individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes type 1 or type 2, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis, and liver failure
- Individuals suffering from malnutrition
- Individuals with autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Individuals with extensive burns
- Individuals with exposure to environmental toxins like radiation
- Individuals having no spleen
- Individuals who are pregnant
Additional resources for parishes and parishioners
- Frequently Asked Questions - can be used in digital communications, pulpit announcements, signs, etc.
- Welcome people - can be used as pulpit announcements, on signs, in newsletters, etc. (please modify as needed)
- Communion instructions - can be used as pulpit announcements, on signs, in newsletters, etc. (please modify as needed)
- Charity and Mercy Grants from Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri
- Faith on Facebook Toolkit
- Resources to livestream liturgies
- Suggested prayers of the faithful, from the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship.
- “Influenza and the Liturgy” from the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy