Reigniting the Fire – Returning to Mass2021-06-21T08:38:55-06:00

A letter from Bishop Kettler

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

As the COVID-l9 pandemic continues to subside, the bishops of Minnesota have made the decision together to reinstate the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in all of our dioceses beginning the weekend of July 3-4.

Please read the accompanying document from the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which explains the importance of attending Mass in person and outlines the circumstances under which Mass attendance will still not be required for the time being. The document is posted in English and Spanish at

It is with great joy that we return as parish communities to the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith. It is an obligation rooted in our love for the Lord and our desire to celebrate this love together as one body in Christ. I join your pastor and fellow parishioners in welcoming you back to Mass. May God bless you and your loved ones.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Bishop of Saint Cloud

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should parishes that are livestreaming Masses continue to do so?2021-06-07T16:48:17-06:00

A: Bishop Kettler has asked pastors to be sensitive to those who are still not able to return to Mass and ensure that their pastoral needs continue to be met. Continuing to livestream Masses is one way of doing this.

Q: Does this mean there will no longer be any dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligations?2021-06-07T16:47:46-06:00

A: Although the general dispensation will no longer be available, the Church has always recognized that certain circumstances can excuse a person from the requirement to observe the obligation. Persons are excused from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays or Holy Days under the following circumstances:

1) You have reason to believe your health would be significantly compromised if you were to contract a communicable illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category).

2) You exhibit flu-like symptoms.

3) You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza).

4) You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.

5) You are pregnant or you are 65 years of age or older (per the CDC’s recommendation for high-risk individuals).

6) You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered; you are infirm; or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control, such as your ride did not show up).

7) You have significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.

If situations 1 through 3 apply to you, prudent concern for your neighbor should lead you to stay home.  If you fall within situations 4-7, please exercise good judgment, consider the common good, and know you would not be held to the obligation of attending Mass.  For further questions about the application of any of these situations, please contact your pastor.  These categories will be reviewed in due course and revised as needed.

Q: Why is attending Mass in-person so important?2021-06-07T16:47:00-06:00

A:  Attending the in-person celebration of Sunday Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist are vital to our lives as Catholic Christians. We were created for Communion. Whether you are returning to your home parish, or seeking a local parish on vacation, your participation in the Mass unites you with the Church — the Body of Christ. This communion transforms us as persons and enables us to make manifest the Kingdom of God in our world. The celebration of the Eucharist truly is the source and summit of our faith.

Q: When does the dispensation end regarding Mass attendance on Sundays and holy days of obligation?2021-06-07T16:46:26-06:00

A: The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation begins the weekend of July 3-4, 2021.

Parish resources for “Back to Mass”2021-06-17T15:27:24-06:00
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