Dear Friends in Christ,
Earlier this week, I informed the clergy of my decision to continue the suspension of public Masses, including through the upcoming Holy Week. The suspension will remain in effect until further notice. This decision was based upon recent clarifications regarding social distancing practices that have been provided from our elected officials and those competent in public health that contributed to their development. For your reference, an outline of the directives and clarifications regarding liturgies to be celebrated during Holy Week which I provided clergy has been posted on the Diocesan website and can be accessed here.
Even though this decision is intended to protect each of you, most especially the most vulnerable among us, it is nonetheless a very heavy decision. As Catholics, our spiritual lives are fed in a very particular way through the liturgies the Church offers us during this most solemn week in the liturgical calendar.
I am so appreciative of the many ways that pastors and laypersons have found creative ways to make your participation in these sacred liturgies possible through technology. While in our homes in front of a screen is not the same as gathering together in churches as families in faith, I invite you to participate through technology as we approach Holy Week services which will be livestreamed. Let us, together, remain united in prayer during these difficult times.
May God be with you and bless you during these holiest of liturgical seasons. Know of my prayers for you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood
Bishop of Sioux Falls