Catholic Bishops of Ohio Suspend

All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies

By Matthew Pecchia, Diocese of Youngstown, March 16, 2020

After serious consideration of the grave health risk in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effectively immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebration of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective diocese and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.


Coronavirus Update from the Catholic Bishops of Ohio

                               By Matthew Pecchia, Diocese of Youngstown, March 13, 2020

Yesterday, March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order regarding the avoidance of large mass gatherings to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio.

Even though religious gatherings are expressly excluded in the order, the Catholic bishops of Ohio, out of concern for the common good and the physical as well as spiritual well-being of all of the people of Ohio, have agreed to cooperate with the governor’s direction to create “social distance”.

To that end, we dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in Ohio and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of March 14-15, March 21-22 and March 28-29.


Out of charity and concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we encourage all the faithful, in particular those who are sick, experiencing symptoms of illness, or are at risk of illness seriously to consider refraining from Mass attendance.  As much as possible, we would like to see parish Mass schedules remain unchanged to allow the faithful to offer worship to almighty God and receive the great grace of the sacraments during this trying time; however, we recognize that this may not be possible because many of our senior priests may themselves be at risk. We ask for understanding and flexibility in this regard.

Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from illness or disease of any kind, and for an easing of the tension caused by this situation. May Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick and Mother of Mercy, intercede for us, and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us all.

Health and Safety Measures During the Flu Season

                                                   Diocese of Youngstown, March 3, 2020

Dear Members of the Diocese of Youngstown,

Below are a number of prudent steps that are to be taken to protect you, the faithful, at Mass and

at other liturgical events in light of the flu and the Coronavirus. These are temporary measures that will be reviewed before Holy Week.

Effective March 7-8, the Second Sunday of Lent:

  1. If you are sick, do not come to Mass.  Watch it on TV.

  2. Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze at Mass or anywhere.

  3. Use hand sanitizer if you cough or sneeze at Mass or anywhere.

  4. Acknowledge others at the Sign of Peace without shaking hands.

  5. All ministers of Holy Communion, priests and deacons and laypeople, MUST use hand sanitizer before distributing Holy Communion.

  6. The distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion is suspended.  The one exception is for people who must receive from the cup due to severe cases of celiac disease.

  7. If you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, please be careful not to touch the minister’s fingers with your tongue or mouth.

  8. Intinction (dipping the host in the wine) is not to be utilized as a means of distributing Holy Communion.

  9. Holy Water fonts are to be drained or regularly cleaned and disinfected.  Parishes should make available small, personal bottles of Holy Water for parishioners who want them.

Both the flu and the Coronavirus are serious health hazards. Please take all common sense steps as well as those outlined above to prevent the spread of these diseases. If you have any questions, contact Father Balash at the Office of Worship: 330-744-8451.