May 22, 2020

Arizona’s Catholic dioceses gradually reintroducing public mass

The Diocese of Phoenix has allowed pastors to resume services with limited attendance and masks.

After several weeks of streaming services online, Catholic dioceses in Arizona are taking initial steps toward offering public mass again.

Earlier this month, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix announced that pastors could celebrate mass publicly with limited attendance, frequent sanitizing and other precautions. The diocese also issued safety guidelines for parishioners that include recommending they stay home if they feel ill or have recently traveled.

At St. Mary’s Church in Chandler, a Tuesday morning mass was attended by nearly two dozen parishioners. The church requires everyone ages 3 and up wear a face mask, and capacity has been reduced to 25%. The church attached photos of the congregation’s members throughout its pews to indicate where people are not allowed to sit.

The Catholic Diocese of Tucson indicated it is moving in a similar direction to revive in-person services. According to its website, beginning the weekend of May 29, pastors can petition the bishop for permission to offer public mass with basic safety protocols in place.

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