ST. LOUIS — The Archdiocese of St. Louis has suspended all public masses until at least April 6 over coronavirus concerns.
In a statement, Archbishop Robert Carlson said the decision was made after conferring with his advisory team and health and government officials.
Earlier in the day, President Trump and health officials advised Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people to help fight the spread of the virus.
The Archdiocese's full statement is as follows:
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has suspended all public Masses immediately. This decision from Archbishop Carlson follows many conversations with his advisory team, and health and government officials. Pending further updates on the spread of COVID-19, parishes within the Archdiocese of St. Louis have preliminary plans to resume Masses beginning April 6; however, the archbishop will re-evaluate at a later date.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis offers live-streamed and televised options for Holy Mass. Some other parishes also have the capability to live-stream Masses, and parishioners are encouraged to check with their parish offices. The Office of Communications and Planning will share live stream Mass times on archdiocesan social media accounts.
Our churches will remain open for prayer and confessions. Holy Communion may be distributed outside of Mass at times determined by the pastor; however, all ministers—ordinary and extraordinary—need to be in good health. Parish priests will make the decisions regarding available times for prayer and sacraments.
The decisions to continue with baptisms, weddings and funerals will be made at the parish level with the understanding that the celebration of these sacraments are to include only immediate family members.
All fish fries that remain open will offer either drive-through or pick-up options only.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to support the needs of the greater St. Louis community through its parishes and charities. The archdiocese understands the economic impact that this emergency is having on our community as a whole. However, in times like this, it is even more urgent for us to pray for and assist our brothers and sisters who are in the most need. We encourage you to consider supporting our parishes through online giving, mail-in or drop-off donations, and also organizations that are responding to this crisis, such as Catholic Charities of St. Louis , The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis and the Annual Catholic Appeal.