Frank J. Dewane, bishop of the Diocese of Venice

VENICE — Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop announced Catholic Mass can resume in its parishes starting Monday — with certain considerations.

According to a news release from Susan Laielle with the diocese, other “non-liturgical activities” remain suspended “until it is determined that these activities can safely resume.” Non-liturgical activities include Knights of Columbus and other men’s and women’s groups at the parishes in the diocese.

The decision to reopen public Mass on Monday came “after much prayer and discernment and having consulted with the priests on the Presbyteral Council,” the release said.

But there will be some changes to Mass.

“Out of concern for the safety of all involved, Diocesan pastors have been asked to follow established directives and guidelines,” it said. “These limit the size of the congregation to 25% of occupancy, maintain social distancing guidance, and ask the faithful’s cooperation to wear face masks and bring with them hand sanitizer for their use. The faithful are also asked to receive Communion in the hand. Further, schedules may need to be adjusted and some priests or liturgical ministers may not be able to participate publicly because of age or health conditions.”

The news release said live streaming of Masses will continue to assist people with “underlying health conditions” or those who are not comfortable attending Mass in public yet.

The diocese reminded people the “obligation” to attend Sunday Mass remains dispensed through June 28.

“The Faithful of the Diocese have been very patient and understanding during this pandemic,” Dewane said. “There is great anticipation for a return to normalcy, however we must take measured steps with resuming Masses with a congregation and additional kindness is encouraged for Parish Priests, staff and volunteers.”

For more information, parishioners can visit their parish websites for updates and guidelines.


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