In consideration of Governor Northam’s Executive Order 72, effective Monday, December 14, 2020, here’s what you need to know:
Information for the Faithful as Masses Resume
Currently, Bishop Knestout continues to grant a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days for all the faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond until further notice.
Mass celebrated by Bishop Knestout will continue to be livestreamed from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on diocesan communication platforms Sunday mornings at 11 a.m.
Returning to Mass Guidelines
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond moved to Phase III on Friday, July 10, 2020.
Further details on returning to Mass can be found below.
Most parishes are open for Masses on Sundays and Holy Days. Additionally, most parishes are open on a normal schedule for private prayer, individual meetings for pastoral care and reconciliation with a priest, some gatherings and meetings, and social ministry efforts with restrictions. Contact your local parish for specific details.
Out of an abundance of care and caution, any individual who enters a diocesan facility, including parishes, are required to wear a face covering (ages 5 and older) and acknowledge their temperature is under 100.4 degrees, that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms with no alternative diagnosis, that they have NOT had a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the prior 10 days, and they have NO known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days; exposure being less than six (6) feet for greater than a cumulative 15 minutes over a 24 hour period, without wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place in all diocesan facilities according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The Pastoral Center will remain closed to outside visitors until further notice. All Pastoral Center personnel can be reached by their regular email addresses and phone numbers.
Diocesan Catholic Schools
In early June, the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) established a “Reopening Our Schools Team” to assist and provide guidance to diocesan school leadership with reviewing and planning for the reopening of schools for the Fall 2020-2021 school year. The team constituted of teachers, principals, parents, school nurses and other diocesan personnel.
Classes began the week of August 24, 2020, for Diocese of Richmond Catholic Schools. Our schools will be offering in-classroom instruction five days a week for all students. In conjunction with the Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools announced by Governor Northam, each diocesan Catholic school has been submitted a variance to the Phase III guidance on distancing. The variance will allow physical distancing in the classrooms to vary between 3ft and 6ft.
In addition, each school has submitted a mitigation health plan to outline procedures detailed in CDC guidance. The plans include information to foster healthy environments/operations and behaviors to reduce the spread of and alleviate risks associated with COVID-19. All adults and students of all ages are required to wear masks while inside the school regardless of distance and outside on school grounds when they are not able to maintain a 6ft distance. Temperature checks are conducted daily for all employees and students prior to entering the building.
Most parish formation activities, programs and gatherings have resumed either in-person or virtually. Contact your parish for specific details.
Campus Ministry Programs
Most Campus Ministry programs have resumed and are offering in-person and/or virtual programs in accordance with the local university’s guidelines. Contact your campus ministry for specific details.
Additional worship-related resources can be found at www.cdrworship.org/coronavirus.
As information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, this information will be updated as necessary. Please continue to educate yourself on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
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