ALLOUEZ — Public Masses in the Diocese of Green Bay will begin on the feast of Corpus Christi, the weekend of June 13-14, 2020. The announcement was made by Bishop David Ricken on June 1. The Masses will be offered with moderate limits on public gatherings and moderate social distancing, according to a diocesan news release.
“As we begin our return to celebration of the public Mass, our guiding principles continue to influence our decisions,” said Bishop Ricken. “We will continue to balance bold faith and prudent safety, monitor data and provide measured responses, encourage collaboration between our diocesan monitoring team and local pastor/pastoral leader and continue to follow the process of a phased approach to ministry.”
According to the diocese, this Phase II plan will include the following:
- Return to Mass with up to 25% occupancy as the measured response;
- Consideration of any county health stipulations.
Diocesan Gateways must be in line before moving from Phase I to Phase II. Diocesan Gateways include:
- Tracking trajectory of COVID-like cases;
- Tracking trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests;
- Tracking that hospitals can treat patients without crisis standards of care.
Phase I safety protocols will remain in place for public Masses. They include:
- Safety protocols (temperature, masks, sanitization, hand hygiene);
- Monitoring current Communion services in parishes to examine attendance;
- Monitoring what is happening in other dioceses in Wisconsin;
- Each pastor/pastoral leader, in collaboration with the diocesan monitoring team, will monitor the state and local data and appropriate measured response.
“This approach acknowledges that each parish has the flexibility to go back and forth between returning to Mass with up to 25% occupancy, holy Communion outside of Mass, or livestream Mass only with spiritual Communion,” said Bishop Ricken, “depending upon the evolving circumstances related to the coronavirus in the weeks/months ahead and in consultation with the diocesan monitoring team.”
“Our return to Mass and ministry needs to take the health and safety of all God’s people into consideration as we move forward,” he added.
The diocese has posted online its “Phase II: Public Masses with Moderate Limits on Public Gatherings and Moderate Social Distancing” document at gbdioc.org/covid19.