July 24, 2020
My Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Savannah,
As we move into August, we are still cautious and concerned for the health of everyone in our diocese. Therefore, after consultation with Bishop-elect Parkes and the College of Consultors, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday mass through the last Sunday of August (8/30/20).
Most of our parishes are opening up slowly, although some have suffered setbacks due to priests, staff, and/or parishioners becoming infected with COVID-19. Yet we press on in faith, caring for each other through prayer and by providing safe and healthy environments in which we worship Almighty God, glorify Him, and continue to build His kingdom.
All of the guidelines and best practices that were implemented to keep our places of worship safe and healthy remain in effect, and we continue to work to decrease any possible risk to you and your families.
Additionally, after extensive planning and the implementation of new safety procedures, our parochial schools will begin opening in August. We are doing everything to keep our children, teachers, staff, and families safe as we welcome everyone back to school.
I would like to remind everyone that if you are ill, do not come to church or school. Any parishioners who are uncomfortable about attending Sunday Mass due to the coronavirus or the safety measures implemented at your local parish are excused from their obligation to attend. In addition, if parishioners are in the higher risk category due to current illness, age or suffering a chronic health condition or compromised immune system, they are also asked to remain at home. Anytime we go out – no matter where we go – we take a calculated risk. May the Lord grant each of us wisdom and prudence as we go forward!
Please take whatever precautions you deem necessary to be safe during the crisis.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
With love and prayers, I remain,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Very Reverend Daniel F. Firmin, J.C.L.
Diocese of Savannah