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

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

With the generous support of the Conrad H. Hilton Foundation, we were able to produce a series of videos explaining the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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 enública.

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Clergy Protocols for Public Health Safety

March 13, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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School Directives for Public Health Safety

March 13, 2020

After consultation with Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services regarding COVID-19, the Diocese of Jefferson City Schools Office has formulated the following directives to ensure the health and safety of administrators, staff and students in our local Catholic Schools.

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UPDATED: Liturgical Protocols for Public Health Safety

March 13, 2020

UPDATED APRIL 1, 2020: These protocols have been replaced by a new decree of Bishop McKnight’s.

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What you can do to stay healthy in flu season

February 28, 2020

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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