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April 30, 2020

Dallas Diocese Announces Incremental Reopening Plan


The Diocese of Dallas has released a decree outlining the way in which its 77 churches will incrementally open to welcome back the 1.3 million Catholics in the 9 counties it serves. Taking into consideration the recent guidance of civil and health authorities, and with the unanimous support of the bishop’s priest leadership council,  the Diocese of Dallas will begin the process of opening in phases, allowing for the ability to re-evaluate the process as necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of the community. This process will occur in four phases, with each phase building upon the last.

“The health and safety of our faithful, clergy and our community are our utmost priorities during this difficult time, and it is our goal to continue attending to the physical and spiritual welfare of our parishioners,” said Bishop Edward J. Burns.  “I ask all in the Catholic community to please recognize the need for patience and prudence during this challenging time, and that we join in prayer for all those who are affected by this virus.”  

Phase One will begin the opening process by resuming scheduled confessions and Eucharistic Adoration with strict social distancing guidelines; the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for those who were unable to be brought into the Church due to the pandemic); and religious celebrations for families with guidelines that limit attendance (Weddings, Ordinations, Funeral Masses and Quinceañeras). Phase One became effective with the signing of the decree and will be in effect until at least May 18.

Specific requirements will apply to all limited gatherings and to the church buildings. Groups may not exceed 25% of total listed capacity for church buildings and all social distancing requirements (six feet of separation) must be strictly followed when individuals are present in church buildings. If a liturgical celebration or event cannot maintain the capacity and social distancing requirements, it may not take place. The decree also states that all local safety orders specifically relating to proper face coverings should be followed in church buildings. All church buildings will also be diligently disinfected.

Daily and Sunday Masses will remain temporarily suspended but will resume in future phases. Diocesan schools will remain closed, and e-learning is to continue until further notice. A decree from Bishop Burns will accompany Phase One and each of the future phases and provide specific details.

View April 29th Decree from Bishop Burns

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