A Recap of Suspensions and Dispensations in Effect in the Diocese of St. Augustine Until Further Notice

March 24, 2020

From the Office of Bishop Felipe Estevez: 

  • All public Masses are suspended in the churches and chapels of the Diocese of St. Augustine (i.e., no weekday or Sunday public Masses, no communion services, or Masses in homes).

  • Priests will still offer the Sacrifice of the Mass daily (but without participation by the faithful) for the needs of the Church and the world, especially as we face the present realities of the pandemic. 

  • Indefinite dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for three categories of people for as long as the specific condition below continues: 

    •  All who are sick and those who are caring for them

    •  Those who because of age or infirmity are at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus

    •  Those who have been exposed to the coronavirus because of travel or other circumstances 

 To further protect public health and calm fears, Bishop Estévez has also dispensed all the Catholic faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until the suspension of Mass is rescinded. 

  • By his authority as the diocesan bishop to dispense from universal ecclesiastical laws, Bishop Estévez has also dispensed all Catholics from the prohibition during Lent this year to abstain from meat on Fridays.

When families and individuals take advantage of this dispensation, they are asked to consider other acts of penance or charity that they might carry out in its place.

Spiritual Communion
In the absence of Mass and the Eucharist, the faithful are encouraged to make a “Spiritual Communion” through the prayer of the Most Holy Redeemer (Anima Christi), the prayer of Self-Offering (Suscipe), or by praying the prayer below:

My Jesus,
I believe that You
     are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
     and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
    receive You sacramentally,
    come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.