On April 2, Gov. Mike DeWine extended his executive statewide stay-at-home order through May 1 as the coronavirus continues to impact Ohio.
In addition, the Catholic bishops of Ohio extended the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies at least through – and including – Sunday, May 3. The bishops said their move was made “out of deep concern for the common good, as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio.”
This means that the bishops are continuing to dispense the Catholic faithful who live in all dioceses of Ohio and all other Catholics currently in the state from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time period.
In a letter released the afternoon of April 2, the bishops said their decision was not taken lightly and that they “recognize the sacrifice we are called to make by being physically distanced from the Holy Eucharist and from one another.”
The letter continued, saying, “Trusting in the graces flowing from the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord, we remain mindful of the hope that does not disappoint. As your bishops, we continue to encourage you to keep holy the Lord’s Day by participating in Sunday Mass by way of televised, livestreamed, or radio broadcast options and making a spiritual communion. Keeping in mind the gift of plenary indulgences offered to us by the Church, we encourage all the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer, praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours and Stations of the Cross, etc.”
The bishops also asked the faithful to join them in praying for all who are suffering from COVIC-19, for all health care workers and first responders and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by the pandemic.
The letter was signed by Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr; Cincinnati Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer; Cleveland Diocesan Administrator Father Donald Oleksiak; Columbus Bishop Robert Brennan; Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton; Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas; Youngstown Bishop George Murry, S.J.; Bishop Michael Botean, Romanian Eparchy of Parma; Bishop Bohdan Danylo, Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josaphat; and Bishop Milan Lach, S.J,, Byzantine Eparchy of Parma.
Click here to read the complete letter.