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

20 March 2020

March 20, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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Enhancing parish communication in a time of “social distancing”

Enhancing parish communication in a time of “social distancing”

March 20, 2020

The diocesan Communications Office has a few suggestions on how you can communicate in this time when some “ordinary” channels of communication
have been shut down.

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Bishop McKnight’s Message for Diocesan Employees

March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020: Most Rev. W. Shawn McKnight’s message to employees of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

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Bishop McKnight’s Message to Stewards

March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020: Most Rev. Bishop W. Shawn McKnight’s message to stewards in the Diocese of Jefferson City.

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Online giving options for parishes

March 20, 2020

We know that parishes are bringing vital services online as quickly as possible to ensure that the day-to-day tasks they perform for the community continue. Our Communications Office is working to build the capacity of parish services online, including online giving.

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Marriage preparation during a pandemic

March 18, 2020

Due to COVID-19 diocesan regulations, a number of events are being canceled. This may affect the way we handle marriage preparation within the coming months, especially for those couples who were planning to attend a conference or a retreat as part of their marriage preparation.

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Anointing of the Sick during the pandemic

March 18, 2020

When celebrating the Anointing of the Sick, it would be most prudent to adopt practices that limit to the greatest extent possible the spread of COVID-19 from one recipient to…

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SSM Health offering free ‘virtual visits’ for COVID-19

March 18, 2020

SSM Health — the Catholic health system of which the St. Mary’s Hospitals in Jefferson City and Mexico are a part — is offering a free Virtual Visit for individuals who are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of or been exposed to, Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Guidance from Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools regarding COVID-19 Break

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020: An update from Kenya Fuemmeler, Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools Office for the Diocese of Jefferson City on commonly asked questions from teaching staff regarding the COVID-19 break.

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UPDATED: Liturgical Protocols for Public Health Safety

March 17, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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Public Masses suspended, beginning March 18, 2020

March 17, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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Five ways your parish can increase digital access to Mass amid COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Practical tips for parishes to provide live-streamed Masses to parishioners, point to shared resources online and offline, and notes on how to best communicate with parishioners amid extensive social distancing.

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Diocese of Jefferson City to close Catholic schools March 18 – April 3

March 16, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s

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Knights of Columbus (COVID-19) Guidelines for Fraternal Leaders

March 16, 2020

The Knights of Columbus is carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation and its impact on the Order. Since the virus is spread by personal contact, containment efforts stress social distancing by restricting travel, meetings and other gatherings.

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Online Masses and Liturgical Resources

March 14, 2020

UPDATE: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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MAKING CONNECTIONS — Responding in Mercy to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 13, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

Read More

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