June 5, 2020 — Bishop Kettler’s letter to pastors

June 5, 2020

Dear Pastor,

Today, Gov. Walz announced that faith communities may hold worship services at 50% capacity (a change from the current 25%) with a 250-person limit, whichever is less, starting June 10. We will update our diocesan protocols to be in line with this change.
Thank you for observing all of our diocesan protocols/guidelines as we’ve started to resume public Masses in our diocese. I am grateful for all of your efforts to ensure the health and safety of our parishioners as well as your own. Please let me know if there are ways that I or my staff can be helpful to you during this time of transition.

Once you resume Masses for a time, I’d like to know how things are going regarding attendance, the protocols, and how parishioners are responding to them. You can send a brief note to Colleen Haider in my office at chaider@gw.stcdio.org. In July, we’ll be doing our usual Mass counts as well, and this also will give us valuable information about attendance across the diocese in light of the pandemic.

In my letter to you last Friday, I briefly addressed the death of George Floyd and the circumstances surrounding his death. I have written a longer statement regarding the matter for the people of our diocese. It is attached to this email, and I ask you to please read it.

Finally, please pray for the three men I will ordain to the priesthood tomorrow: Deacons Brady Keller of St. Gall in Tintah, Thomas Skaja of Annunciation in Mayhew Lake, and Patrick Hoeft of St. Louis in Paynesville. As you know, out of an abundance of caution for everyone’s health, attendance at the ordination is limited to family members and invited guests. I encourage you to view the livestream of the Mass at stcdio.org/ordinations/ at 10:30 a.m. as a way joining together virtually with one another and with Brady, Tom and Patrick. May God pour out abundantly his gifts on these men.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Donald J. Kettler
Bishop of Saint Cloud