Area Catholic churches may reopen if they follow safety protocols

Catholic churches in the New Ulm Diocese will reopen for Mass this week, as soon as they can make the changes required under Gov. Tim Walz's executive order.


NEW ULM — In response to Gov. Tim Walz’s new executive order, parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, which includes Willmar, will be able to open May 27.

However, churches have been advised to comply with all safety protocols before they open, according to Bishop John M. LeVoir. Guidance will be provided by the diocese.

“If a parish is not confident that they are ready, they should not open. Period,” LeVoir wrote in a letter to priests and parishes over the weekend. “And if the faithful feel safer at home, the dispensation from the Sunday obligation continues to be dispensed. We also strongly encourage those over the age of 65 or who are especially vulnerable not to attend.”

LeVoir praised the clergy who have been on the front lines of the pandemic, ministering to the sick in hospitals and care facilities while putting themselves at risk.

He praised church members, who have found many ways to live their faith and help their communities while churches were closed. And he thanked the parishes that continue to offer Mass electronically.

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