The Catholic Diocese of Richmond continues to follow the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines relating to mask wearing.
Information for the Faithful
The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation for all the faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond ceased effective June 26, 2021. At that time, the dispensation was lifted and the obligation to attend Mass was in effect. The decision to remove the dispensation was made by the archbishops of Baltimore and Washington, and by the bishops of Arlington, Richmond, Wheeling-Charleston and Wilmington for their (arch)dioceses.
This obligation does not apply to those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions.
Mass celebrated by Bishop Knestout will continue to be livestreamed from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on diocesan communication platforms Sundays at 9 a.m.
Those with questions regarding the lifting of the dispensation should contact their pastors.
Returning to Mass Guidelines
Per the VDH, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks; however, masks should be worn in indoor public settings in areas of substantial and high transmission. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals, to include ages 5 and older, should wear masks in indoor public settings. Any person not wearing a mask shall not be required to produce documentation that they are vaccinated or that they have an underlying medical condition.
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 within VDH guidelines. Contact your local parish for specific details.
The Office of Catholic Schools remains committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for our teachers and students. Thanks to the success of last year and the hard work of our school administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents, diocesan schools will be open five days a week for in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Office of Catholic Schools has coordinated guidance for the new year in consideration of CDC and VDH guidelines.
Diocesan Programs and Campus Ministry Programs follow CDC guidelines relating to mask wearing.