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Diocese of Covington Suspends Masses, Fish Frys and Bingo

The Diocese of Covington has suspended masses and sacraments amid the coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic.

Bishop Roger Foys made the announcement on Wednesday, following similar announcements from other dioceses and archdioceses.

"We find ourselves in what for most of us will be a once-in-a-lifetime situation with the Coronavirus pandemic," Foys wrote in his letter. "Our lives have been and are being altered dramatically. It is as though every aspect of our lives is being affected and the situation seems to change almost hourly. This is also affecting our faith life, at least in terms of our worship."

Foys said that he met Wednesday morning with diocesan deans and vicars before making his announcement public.

The announcement includes the suspension of public weekday and Sunday masses in every parish church, in every chapel and oratory, effective Friday until further notice.

Public celebration of the sacraments and other public forms of worship are also suspended indefinitely, Foys wrote. That includes events like First Holy Communion celebrations and other communion services.

Confession and annointing of the sick are permitted on a private basis upon request.

Funerals, burial services, and already scheduled weddings are permitted but attendance will be limited to a maximum of ten, including the celebrant, Foys wrote.

Parish priests are advised to provide Catholics with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for a brief period each day, and attendees are directed to practice social distancing.

All parish office activity is suspended for a period of two weeks starting Friday. After that, parish office activity should be limited to a few days a week at most with a minimum number of staff, Foys wrote.

All parish meetings and socials, including fish frys (carry-out and dine-in, too) and bingo, of any kind are to be canceled. 

"To suspend the public celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments is the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my 47 years as a priest and 18 years as a bishop," Foys wrote. "I make it with a heavy heart and with profound sadness."

Read the bishop's full letter here.

-Staff report