Dioceses Offer Catholics Resources to Continue Lenten Journey
In response to unprecedented measures taken by California and the nation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), every Roman Catholic Diocese in the state has suspended the public celebration of Mass. Catholics around the world are in the season of Lent – in preparation for Easter, the most holy Feast of the liturgical year – making this necessary move particularly heartbreaking.
“This is an extraordinary step for the 11 million Catholics in the Golden State,” said Andrew Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. “Every Bishop in California recognized the public health threat posed by the infection but also appreciated the need for spiritual and emotional support in such a challenging time.
“While in solidarity with others around the world, suspension of Mass represents a deep loss for Catholics. When announcing the suspensions in their dioceses, Bishops also provided recommendations to participate in on-line Masses or broadcasts, together with resources for spiritual reflection and other ideas such a praying the Rosary to maintain spiritual health,” explained Rivas. (Samples of resources can be found here: https://www.cacatholic.org/covid-spiritual-resources.)
Holy Mass is the central act of worship for Catholics, with both an individual and community dimension. During the Mass, participants reflect on scripture and celebrate the Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life,” according to Catholic teaching.
California has two Archdioceses – Los Angeles and San Francisco – and 10 dioceses – Fresno, Monterey, Oakland, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton. Every Bishop has issued an statement for Catholics in their region, which can be found here: https://www.cacatholic.org/coronavirus/