Pastoral Letter on Sunday Mass Obligation

Dear Faithful of the East River South Dakota (i.e. Diocese of Sioux Falls),

Thankfully, the anticipated magnitude of the serious effects of COVID-19 have not been as extensive in South Dakota as was initially projected. These past months have caused hardship not only for those who have had serious effects from the virus and their families, but also for those who have been in isolation and health care workers. Also, I am mindful of those who attend to those who are vulnerable in their families. To varying degrees, I sense we have all been affected physically, psychologically and spiritually by the various measures implemented to limit the spread of the virus.

Throughout this experience, I have kept close to mind the risk to those most vulnerable to harm and also my duty to provide for the care and nourishment of all souls, including those who can reasonably attend Mass. Therefore, it was a great joy for me to permit the resumption of public Masses beginning on May 15, though then leaving the Sunday Mass dispensation in place.

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