News and Updates
3/16: The celebration of Mass has been suspended until further notice.
Statement of Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., Suspending the Celebration of Masses in the Fall River Diocese
Out of concern for the health and well-being of all who reside in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands and in response to the direction of public officials, I am suspending all public Masses and other liturgical services in the Diocese of Fall River effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and continuing until further notice. This includes Masses of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
At the same time, I am issuing a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to all Catholics of the Diocese.
Exceptions are granted for the celebration of weddings and funerals, but attendance must be limited to immediate family members only, not to exceed 10 persons. Every effort must be made to follow precautions already announced in previous communications from the Diocese along with recommendations of public health officials.
I am asking that churches be open for a limited time during the day to the extent possible and at the discretion of the pastor to provide the faithful who still wish with an opportunity to visit for private prayer. Parishes should provide this information on their websites.
I strongly encourage our Catholics to pray at home and to seek out opportunities to participate in Masses available on television or online instead. Information is available on our website, www.fallriverdiocese.org.
The Mass is our central act of worship, the source and summit of our Catholic faith, and it goes without saying that this difficult decision was not made lightly. It was done after prayerful consideration of the critical health threat that now confronts us. The gravity of it demands that we take whatever action is needed, despite the hardship, for the good of the protection of all especially those who are most vulnerable at this time.
Please join me in prayer in these challenging days for all who are impacted by COVID-19 and in a special way for those who are sick and for those who work to combat the disease.
I wish to entrust all of our people especially our sick and elderly to the protection of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Assumption the patroness of our Diocese, so that under her motherly care we all may persevere in faith to support one another. Let us all pray that this may come to a quick end and normalcy may be restored.
3/14/2020: Response to the Corona Virus:
The Bishop has issued the following as of 3/14. PLEASE READ IN ITS ENTIRETY. Please also see fallriverdiocese.org for more information. We will continue to keep you updated here and on our Facebook page as well.
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
Out of concern for the avoidance of large gatherings and for the protection and well-being of parishioners, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass this weekend, March 14-15, for all Catholics of the Fall River Diocese.
Members of the faithful who are considered at greater risk for the coronavirus because of age or underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to take advantage of this dispensation. As announced in previous communications, anyone who is feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of illness is urged to stay home as well.
This dispensation is in effect for this weekend. Bishop da Cunha and his advisors will meet on Monday to assess the situation to determine the appropriate steps to be taken at that time with regard to the obligation to attend Sunday Mass going forward.
Those who are not attending a parish Mass this weekend are encouraged to watch Mass on television or via live streaming on the Internet and to pray at home. Please visit www.fallriverdiocese.org for a listing of available Masses. (See Participating in the Mass from Home.)
Bishop da Cunha asks all to join him in praying for all those in this country and around the world suffering from the coronavirus, that the Lord may grant them strength and healing in the days ahead.
3/13/2020: The Bishop has issued the following directives:
Those at particular risk by reason of age or underlying health conditions, or anyone who may be feeling ill, are excused from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and are asked to remain home. You are encouraged to watch Mass on TV or via live streaming on the internet and to pray at home. Please visit fallriverdiocese.org for listings;
We are also directing that Communion be given only on the hand and not on the tongue;
The Sign of Peace during the Mass is to be replaced by a moment of quiet prayer or by wishing peace without physical contact.
Holy Water fonts will be removed.
We have also instructed our cleaning company on CDC guidelines, and have added additional cleaning and sanitizing measures.
We have also cancelled ALL group meetings, including non-parish groups, book clubs, etc.
3/11/2020: We have suspended all visits to nursing home and the homebound. This does not apply to the Sacrament of the Sick by a priest.
3/10/2020: We welcome Fr. Sudhir Nayak, who will be assisting at Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Assumption parishes in the interim as we await the assignment of a pastor. Please join us in welcoming him to our Family of Faith!
3/4/2020: In response to current health concerns, we have added sanitizer to the offices, churches, and public spaces. We ask that if you are sick, you remain home. We have also instructed our Liturgical Ministers, clergy, and staff on proper handwashing and sanitizing procedures. At the Sign of Peace, we will greet with a nod and discourage handshakes.