Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Releases Guidelines to Resume Public Celebration of Mass
WHEELING, W.Va.—Most Rev. Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling- Charleston, has released a set of directives for the resumption of public Masses in the Catholic churches in West Virginia. “When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, “the Bishop said, “we entered a Phase I, suspending the public celebration of Masses and closing our churches to protect the health and safety of our people. This new Phase II is a transitional phase, requiring the full cooperation of clergy and laity so that public Masses may be celebrated in the safest manner possible, until we can enter Phase III, the return to normal practice in our liturgical life.”
The directives were developed by a committee of clergy and lay leaders headed by Msgr. Eugene Ostrowski, the diocesan Vicar General, with input from pastors from around the State. They respect Catholic liturgical and pastoral principles as well as the guidance given by the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and Governor Justice’s recommendations. They are formulated with great care to preserve the reverence due the Eucharist and its spiritual value for the faithful as well as our people’s physical wellbeing. The complete list of the directives is posted on the diocesan website: www.dwc.org.
Bishop Brennan said, “I am grateful to Msgr. Ostrowski and his team for their careful work on this plan to keep our faithful and our clergy as safe and healthy as possible as they ‘go rejoicing into the house of the Lord’ to celebrate together the sacred mysteries of our faith.”