See how they love one another: The Church in a pandemic

Updates on the diocesan response, policies, and procedures surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Public Health Concerns
Key Contacts

Vicar General
Vicar for Clergy
Msgr. Robert Kurwicki
573.635.9127, ext. 210

Liturgical Commission Chair
Father Daniel Merz
573.897.2293

Superintendent
Dr. Erin Vader
573.635.9127, ext. 247

Communication Director
Helen Osman
512.785.3006

Director of Parish and Charitable Services
LeAnn Korsmeyer
573.635.9127, ext. 222

Executive Director
Catholic Charities of Northeast and Central Missouri

Dan Lester
573.635.7719


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, urges Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Updated August 11, 2021


Bishop W. Shawn McKnight has issued a statement in English and in Spanish, encouraging Catholics who can do so, to be vaccinated.

"I write again, this time with urgency, to encourage each person who can get vaccinated to do so," Bishop McKnight said. "Doing your part and accepting your responsibility is the quickest way to stop the suffering and return to our usual activities.

"The moral aspects of the vaccine have been thoroughly examined by the Catholic Church. I want to state clearly the outcome of the Church’s doctrinal and pastoral reflection on this matter: It is morally permissible and morally responsible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines currently available."


Bishop W. Shawn McKnight has issued a decree lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass in person, effective June 1.

Read the decree in English | Spanish

As more people become vaccinated, 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

Parishes across the diocese live-stream Masses to engage the faithful in the liturgy remotely

April 18, 2020

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of parishes who are live-streaming Masses in both English and Spanish. Please check your parish’s website or social media channels for more information: let us know if we can add yours by email communication@diojeffcity.org.

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Decree extending pastoral activity limitations in the Diocese of Jefferson City

April 17, 2020

Extending the Decree of 31 March 2020 on Pastoral Activities in the Diocese of Jefferson City During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Click here to read the 31 March 2020 Decree. In…

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Easter: God makes all things new

April 11, 2020

An Easter message from Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

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Keeping online ministry with youth safe and holy

April 10, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on with no apparent end in sight, many of us in parish and diocesan ministry are getting creative with our use of technology to share faith, conduct outreach and meet needs. This is certainly the case for those of us in ministry to the young Church, a generation often dubbed “digital natives.”

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Catholic schools in Diocese of Jefferson City will remain in distance learning mode through end of school year

April 9, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY – In light of Governor Michael Parson’s announcement today, the Diocese of Jefferson City’s Catholic elementary and high schools will continue providing lessons through remote means so as…

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How to watch Holy Week services live

April 8, 2020

All Holy Week Services from the Cathedral of St. Joseph will be livestreamed here: www.vimeo.com/diojeffcity and “simulcast” to Facebook here: www.facebook.com/diojeffcity. A list of parishes providing livestreaming services is available…

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Palm, Cross and COVID-19

April 5, 2020

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight delivered the following homily on April 5, 2020, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, at The Cathedral of St. Joseph, Jefferson City: Today’s liturgy…

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Bishop W. Shawn McKnight issues decree to promote public safety and well-being

April 1, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY — Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Diocese of Jefferson City has issued a decree which restricts the type of public gatherings in the 95 parishes of the diocese. The decree is for April 1-30, and limits access of the diocesan campuses — although lessons are continuing through remote learning for students in the diocesan schools.

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Diocese of Jefferson City Schools Office

Catholic schools closed through April 30

April 1, 2020

In a letter dated March 31, Interim Superintendent Kenya Fuemmeler announced that diocesan schools will abide by a decree issued by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight and remain closed through April…

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Decree On Pastoral Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 31, 2020

The following decree was issued by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight on March 31, 2020. It is effective April 1-30, 2020.

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Parish financial information

March 29, 2020

The following letter was sent by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight on March 29 to pastors, parish administrators, parish life collaborators and presidents of parish finance and pastoral councils.

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Volunteering with Teens amidst the Crisis: Considerations, Challenges, and Solutions

March 27, 2020

Many of us feel called to help in some way as our communities struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet, volunteering while practicing social distancing and self-isolation poses unique challenges to many of the traditional ways we are accustomed to serving.

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Protecting diocesan employees and volunteers as they continue to serve communities

March 26, 2020

The Jefferson City diocese is committed to maintaining a safe, healthy workspace for employees and visitors while ensuring as much continuity as possible during for parishes, schools and other charitable services during the COVID-19 emergency.

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Online contributions available to all parishes

March 26, 2020

The Diocese of Jefferson City is providing a temporary solution to online giving for parishes needing immediate access to online giving tools.

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COVID-19 presents a new challenge for diocesan schools

March 24, 2020

Spencer Allen, Principal of St. Joseph Cathedral School, shares insights on the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents to Catholic faculty, staff and students in the Diocese of Jefferson City.

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SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital opens drive-thru testing site

March 23, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (March 21, 2020) – SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City will open its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site, Monday, March 23, at the Health Plaza East entrance, 2505 Mission Drive. The site will be open from noon to 4 pm initially and hours may vary depending on volume.

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Últimas Noticias

General Health Directives

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidelines based on the latest research and scientific discoveries regarding COVID-19.

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