On March 17, 2020, I issued a decree suspending the public celebration of Mass and enacting other measures in support of the effort to keep our communities safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. I also noted that I would provide a brief, general update to the diocese on April 1.

Because we must continue to remain isolated and do our part to slow the spread of this terrible disease, and following the guidelines and orders from our local, state, and national leaders, the measures taken in the March 17 decree remain in effect until further notice.

All of our priests feel a great sorrow that our communities cannot be together for our public worship, especially for the special celebrations of the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection during Holy Week. Yet, we know that on Easter morning, in our homes, we will celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death and that this is our source of joy even now.

Please continue to be comforted knowing that priests here in the diocese are praying for you and celebrating Mass for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good, and the good of all his holy Church.

Let us remain united in the love of Jesus, praying for the sick, the lonely, and for those who are working to keep our communities safe, particularly the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

Finally, I once again strongly encourage everyone in the Diocese of Tyler to listen to and follow the directions of our state and local authorities. Our president has told us that tough days are ahead. It is our behaviors that will change the course of this pandemic. Whether you are sick or not, please stay in your homes except for essential needs. In doing this, combined with our prayers, we will be helping to bring this crisis to an end so that we can once again come together.