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Some Catholic churches to resume public mass on Tuesday

(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 7:23 PM CDT
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Parishes in the Austin Diocese, which include Brazos, Washington, Burleson, Milam and Robertson Counties, may resume public celebration of Mass Tuesday.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez notified parishes Thursday and asked them to follow protocols consistent with earlier guidance from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Baptisms, reconciliations, and funerals may also resume.

Vásquez granted a dispensation for those 65 and older, those advised by health care providers not to attend Mass and those who think their health or the health of others will be jeopardized by their attendance.

"Brothers and sisters, I am grateful for your continued prayers, fidelity, and patience during this unprecedented time in history. Throughout this difficult time, God continues to accompany us; let us turn to Him to strengthen our faith and have confidence in his compassionate love for us," Vásquez said in a letter.

"This has also been a trying time for our priests, so I ask you to please join me in praying for them as they continue to serve you faithfully and in creative ways. Let us also remember in our prayers those who care for the sick and for those who are providing necessary services for the common good."

Safety protocols

• All attendees should maintain six feet of distance between each other, except for members of the same family or household.

• Those who are sick or over the age of 65 should not attend Mass.

• Parishes should continue to broadcast or livestream at least one Mass each weekend for those who are unable to attend or promote another broadcast or livestream Mass.

• Hand sanitizing stations are to be provided at entrances and for liturgical and altar ministers.

• The faithful are encouraged to wear facemasks during the liturgy.

• Pews and regularly touched surfaces should be disinfected after each Mass.

• Liturgical and hospitality ministers should be trained to follow new protocols and signs should be posted to remind parishioners of the hygiene protocols.

(Source: Diocese of Austin)