The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Donald Kettler, has issued new directives to pastors for dealing with the pandemic. The suspension of public masses remains in effect until May 18th. All Catholics are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

In Morris, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but they are asking parents with small children to visit the church after 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. The church is reserving the special time of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the elderly and the medically vulnerable.

Sanitizer will be available on entering the building. No more than 10 people will be allowed in the church at one time, and individuals and families are asked to sit at least 10 feet apart from others while in church. Wearing a mask is recommended, but not required. After 7 p.m. the pews will be sanitized and prepared for the following day.

For the time being, baptisms, weddings and funerals are to be celebrated outside of the Mass, meaning they are done with the Liturgy of the Word only and without the celebration of the Mass. The baptism, wedding or funeral is celebrated inside the church building, but only a maximum of 10 people may be in attendance.

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