Suspension of Public Celebrations of Mass (March 18, 2020)

CARDINAL TOBIN SUSPENDS ALL PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS OF MASS INDEFINITELY DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Churches Remain Open For Private Prayer, Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings Limited to 10 Family Members
NEWARK —Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, Archbishop of Newark, announced that all public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass will be suspended until further notice, effective today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. This difficult decision is an extension of the Archdiocese’s recent announcement, in which Cardinal Tobin dispensed the faithful of the Archdiocese from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice.
“This decision comes after exhaustive discussion and with an especially heavy heart,” said Cardinal Tobin. “It is critical that all comply with this directive to protect the health of all throughout the archdiocese and beyond. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you and for the communities we serve. During this challenging time in the life and mission of the Archdiocese of Newark, I ask for your cooperation and leadership as we mobilize the resources and support needed to care for all in our communities. Our Eucharistic fast continues, as we pray for its quick end.”This decision was made out of deep concern for the well-being of the faithful and wider community, especially those most at risk of serious illness or death, and in cooperation with statewide mandates. The Archdiocesan Coronavirus Task Force carefully assesses the situation each day and is comprised of clergy, religious, lay leaders, and medical professionals. The Task Force evaluates statements and direction from state and local official to determine the most appropriate course of action in maintaining safe and healthy environments.

Under Cardinal Tobin’s directive, all public celebrations of the Sacraments and other public forms of worship are also suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, previously scheduled Confirmations, celebrations of First Communion, penitential services, Communion services, and Liturgies of the Word.