Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie asks that Masses be suspended during “Stay at Home” Directive

Effective today, January 16th, 2021, until the end of the Stay at Home order, the Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie, Thomas Dowd, has asked that all public celebrations of the Mass in the churches of the Diocese be suspended in order to permit all diocesan parishioners to comply with the provincial Stay at Home directives.

“I know this is a huge sacrifice for our people. This difficult decision was made after consulting with the public health authorities as well as our diocesan College of consultors and regional leaders,” Bishop Dowd explained. “We want to do our part to help protect the public.”

Bishop Dowd noted that the government decree does allow for church gatherings in limited circumstances. Other worship services, such as baptisms and confession, can continue. “The priests are also still encouraged to celebrate masses for broadcast from within their churches, whether online or via FM radio,” said Bishop Dowd.

“The pastoral care of the people of our diocese must continue despite the stay at home order. Parishes are exhorted to continue to provide, via telephone or online means, services such as pastoral counselling, catechism, times of fellowship and faith sharing, pastoral visits and outreach, opportunities to pray together, and so on.”

These directives are subject to modification as the public health situation evolves.

This Media Release