May 8, 2020

Letter from Archbishop Charles C. Thompson on Reopening Churches

(En Espanol)

(Related details: Plan for Reopening of Churches and Resuming the Celebration of Public Sunday and Weekday Masses and the other Sacraments in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis)

Most Reverend Charles C. ThompsonDear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

These few weeks of staying in place to fight the coronavirus, although a very short time frame in the grand scheme of things, has felt like ages for many. Though it has been difficult on practically everyone, as previously stated, the decision to close churches was made out of an abundance of caution.

While we continue to take great care and utilize the recommended precautions, we will soon begin the gradual process of reopening our churches and resuming the celebration of the Sacraments publicly.

Reopening our churches for private prayer and devotions and for the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance will be a part of our first phase, and this will be possible beginning on Wednesday, May 13. In the following week, beginning on Tuesday, May 19, the offering of weekday Masses and some other smaller celebrations may begin. Finally, we will return to the celebration of Masses for Sunday and the remainder of most of the postponed celebrations of the Sacraments. A decision has not been made regarding the postponed celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation. As of now, all confirmation celebrations through May 31 are postponed. More information will be forthcoming.

Please understand that I am allowing, not mandating, that churches reopen on next Wednesday, May 13. In fact, local directives in some places may limit the reopening process of some churches. For those who need more time, that is understandable. For those who prefer to provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation outdoors rather than inside, that is acceptable as well.

Some provisions for resuming public liturgical celebrations of Mass and other Sacraments are provided with this letter. To be very clear: The dispensation from the obligation to participate at Mass remains in effect until August 15. Those who are 65 years of age and older as well as all vulnerable and sick persons are strongly encouraged to stay at home during this time. With assurance of my prayers and best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson
Archbishop of Indianapolis

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