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Some MN churches to resume services, Superior Diocese to offer communion

Updated: May 21, 2020 06:18 PM

The Diocese of Superior will be offering communion again. According to Bishop James Powers, this will be the beginning of the comeback plan. But he is not calling for the return to Mass just yet.

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"At this time, I do not believe most of our parishes are prepared to safely return to the public celebration of the Mass," Powers said in a statement.

In Minnesota, some churches will be allowing more people to worship in person, starting next Tuesday, the 26th. Leaders from the Catholic and Lutheran faiths were on a joint call on Thursday with Becket Law. They want equal treatment, saying if malls and retailers can open, they should be able to as well.  Governor Walz did not turn the dial for houses of worship for phase 2, saying they must stay limited to 10 people or less.

Reverend Dr. Lucas V. Woodford, the South District President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said, "Because we cannot abide by indefinite suspension of in-person worship, we have chosen to move forward in returning to worship. We do so humbly and respectfully, and are not wishing ill will on the Governor or state leaders."

This is a statement from Father James Bissonette, the Diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Duluth.

“It is unfortunate that this step was necessary. We have voluntarily lifted the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and suspended the celebration of Masses publicly. We have cooperated with the governor and his administration. The lifting of the obligation remains in force, but with our governor easing restrictions on non-essential businesses, it seems right to ease back into worship and church life, as well. We see that as essential for us. With the strict protocols we have put in place, we believe we can begin public Masses again safely, in a limited way. I am disappointed that despite our best efforts to work with the governor, we remain under severe restrictions for an indefinite period of time. This does not seem right. People are wanting to celebrate baptisms, weddings, and funerals. First Holy Communions and Confirmations are placed on hold, and the spiritual life of many is suffering. We are simply asking that we be allowed at least the same opportunities for gathering to exercise our religious beliefs as businesses around us have to conduct commerce.”

Leaders said there will be strict guidelines on how to hold the services, including closing off certain pews and no collection plates.

Churches are not required to hold larger services. And people are not required to attend.

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