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St. Petersburg Diocese To Resume Public Catholic Masses Next Week

Catholic Masses will resume on Mondays through Saturdays starting May 11. Churches must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
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Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Some Catholics across Tampa Bay will soon be able to attend public Masses again. Just not on Sundays.

Bishop Gregory Parkes, with the Diocese of St. Petersburg, issued a statement saying the churches can slowly begin the process of returning to public worship.

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"My prayer is that whether you join us in person for Mass or stay at home for health reasons, we will all be joyfully united and present to the Lord in prayer, worship and service," Parkes said in a statement

Churches can gather from Monday through Saturday starting May 11. They must adhere to social distancing guidelines, and only allow for 25 percent capacity.

Parkes urged the elderly and those ill or at risk to stay home.

Parishioners are encouraged to wear face coverings, and physical contact will be prohibited. Hymnals and collection baskets will not be used.

"If everyone does their part, we can be joyfully present, even as we adjust to these changes," Parkes said. "For this moment in history, this is what we are called to do, as we honor each life given to us by God and show charity for the well-being of our neighbors."

For now, Sunday Mass will not be held until further notice. But Parkes is hopeful they can return by Pentecost at the end of the month.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.
Carl Lisciandrello
Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.