As efforts continue to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is following guidelines established by public health and Church officials.
On March 16, the Catholic Conference of Ohio, which consists of Catholic bishops from throughout the state, amplified its March 12 announcement of a dispensation from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29. The bishops said no publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies are to be celebrated through Holy Week/Easter.
A video from Father Don Oleksiak, diocesan administrator, about the Mass dispensation can be viewed here.
Despite not having publicly celebrated Masses, there are many opportunities to view or listen to Mass online, on television, on Facebook or on the radio.
The Diocese of Cleveland presents a television Mass at 6 a.m. every Sunday on Fox 8 and at 11:30 a.m. Sundays on Cox Cable channel 45. Beginning the afternoon of March 14, that weekly Mass also can be viewed on the diocesan website. Father Robert Marva, OFM, pastor of St. Agnes + Our Lady of Fatima Parish, was the celebrant and homilist for the March 14-15 liturgy.
A growing number of parishes throughout the diocese also offer a livestreamed or taped Mass that can be viewed on the parish website, Facebook page or other platforms. Among those offering this opportunity are:
- St. Victor Parish, Richfield, streams the 5 p.m. Saturday Mass on its Facebook page and website.
- St. Raphael Parish, Bay Village, streams Mass live at 11 a.m. Sundays on its website. Archived videos of some previously streamed Masses also are available.
- SS. Robert and William Parish, Euclid, livestreams its 11 a.m. Sunday Mass on its Facebook page.
- St. Ladislas Parish, Westlake, livestreams a Sunday Mass that is available by 11 a.m. Sundays on its website.
- St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood offers a tape delay broadcast of a Sunday Mass on its website at 1 p.m. Sundays. The parish also plans to tape and broadcast stations of the cross and the Easter triduum liturgies.
- St. Patrick Parish in West Park also offers a taped Sunday Mass on its website. It is planning to offer Friday stations of the cross, as well.
- St. Ambrose Parish in Brunswick offers opportunities to view the 4:30 p.m. vigil Mass at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Sundays on its website.
- Church of the Gesu in University Heights began taping the Sunday Mass last weekend. It can be watched on the parish YouTube site.
Other parishes may provide a taped broadcast of the Sunday homily on the parish website, Facebook page, YouTube channel or another platform. Check with your parish for more information.
In addition, several other parishes are planning to offer taped or livestreamed Masses or are considering that option. Again, check with your parish for more information.
And with the March 16 announcement of no publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies in all dioceses throughout Ohio, some parishes will be taping or broadcasting additional Masses as well as stations of the cross. Check the parish website for updates
Also, check with your cable or streaming provider for other channels, including EWTN that offer broadcasts of a television Mass.
EWTN broadcasts the Daily Mass live at 8 a.m. from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on the EWTN campus in Irondale, Alabama. It is re-aired at noon and again at 7 p.m. Watch live on TV or via streaming here.
Listen to the EWTN Mass live on the radio, SIRIUS/XM, or listen online here.
If you missed the livestream, the entirety of the daily Mass can be found on demand here.
While these broadcast opportunities do not fulfill a normal Sunday Mass obligation, they offer the ill, elderly and homebound a chance to hear or see the liturgy and an opportunity for prayer.
In addition to dispensing with the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, all schools in Ohio are closed for at least the next three weeks at the direction of the state. This includes school-sponsored activities, events, clubs, athletics, etc. through at least April 3.
Gatherings of 100 or more also are cancelled until further notice, again at the direction of the state. This includes parish fish fries – unless arrangements can be made for drive-through orders that will abide by the guidelines established by the state. Some parishes offered the drive-through service beginning last weekend.
People are reminded to follow the established health safety protocols including hand-washing, sneezing and/or coughing into a tissue or your arm near the elbow and keeping a social distance of 6 feet from other people in order to help curtail the spread of the virus. Click here to review the steps to prevent illness.
Visit the public health page of the diocesan website for updated information on how the coronavirus is impacting the diocese and precautions to take to protect yourself and others from the virus.
This story was updated on March 16.