LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – The Diocese of Las Cruces has lifted the diocesan ban on the public celebration of Mass.
However, church officials are reminding Catholics in the Diocese of Las Cruces that they are still dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Masses.
The diocese said that it is encouraging all individuals who are at risk for COVID-19 to remain at home and view the various live stream Masses made available to them.
According to church officials, priests are allowed to celebrate Masses in the presence of the faithful while maintaining all current health precautions set forth by the state and federal government.
Mass celebrations in the Church will take place with less than five people present, church officials said.
When the celebration has concluded, pews, chairs, or other often contacted surfaces will be sanitized, church officials said.
The Diocese said parishioners will be seated at a minimum safe distance of six feet from each other.
Bishop Baldacchino has also made a provision for priests to resume weddings and funerals while maintaining state and federal government regulations.
Church officials said that the decision was made in response to various news outlets stating there has been an increase in divorces, drug use, and alcohol abuse.
The Diocese of Las Cruces said that in the midst of financial uncertainty, fear for one’s health, pandemic induced anxiety and confinement to their homes, people need a word of hope and that the Church offers the essential hope.