Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Wis., reinstated the Sunday Mass obligation after a six-month dispensation period due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The archbishop explained his reasoning in a recent blog and video announcement. He said the dispensation expires on Sept. 14, 2020–the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Bishop Donald E. DeGrood of Sioux Falls, South Dakota also reinstated the obligation in August.
Along with several bishops throughout the United States, Archbishop Listecki dispensed the Sunday obligation in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The dispensation was made for the safety of all and to alleviate the burden of those conflicted by the obligation to attend Mass due to the coronavirus threat,” he said.
After Sept. 14, however, he says “those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin.”
The archbishop adds that one must “weigh their own circumstances through an examination of their conscience” as to “whether or not they are excused from the Sunday obligation.”
He said fear is not a reason to miss Mass, unless the fear “is generated because of at-risk factors.”
“If a person is at risk because of age, underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system, one would be excused from the obligation,” Archbishop Listecki explained. “Now is the time for Catholics to examine their consciences, remembering that a well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.”
“Our Sunday worship is a joyful obligation,” the archbishop concludes.
“It is a witness to God as the priority in our lives. We place our trust in Him and His Church. We, together, recognize Him in the breaking of the bread as He offers himself to us in Communion so that, in His name, we might LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”