Diocese of Santa Rosa Response to the Coronavirus
1. Until further notice, the Diocesan Bishop hereby dispenses from the obligation to attend in
Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for all the faithful of the Diocese of Santa
Rosa. Those faithful who wish to avoid crowded areas, out of legitimate concern for their
health and/or the health of others, are encouraged to take advantage of this dispensation.
Those faithful who elect this additional precaution should set aside some time on Sunday for
prayer or an on-line experience of Holy Mass.
2. Mass-goers are encouraged to physically distance themselves from each other as much as
possible, use personal hand sanitizers before coming forward for Holy Communion and
limiting hand contact with others, with pews, pew missals or other items frequently touched
3. While acknowledging the legitimate desire on the part of some of the faithful to receive on
the tongue, in light of the serious risk of transmission, pastors are to instruct the faithful that
they are to receive Holy Communion in the hand for now. Moreover, Catholics are under no
obligation to receive Holy Communion every time they attend Mass (cf. canon 920).
4. Additional instructions for Holy Week liturgies, if necessary, will be considered and
communicated in due course.
In addition to encouraging fasting and prayer, priests should consider using the prayer offered
by His Holiness, Pope Francis, during the Wednesday audience held on March 11, 2020:
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin