Bishop Peter Baldacchino has announced that all Catholics in the Diocese of Las Cruces are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Mass will, however, continue to be celebrated in parishes as regularly scheduled.
The Diocese encourages the faithful to stay home if they are ill, elderly or if they have compromised immune systems. People with infants and young children are also advised to avoid large gatherings, as are those who may be fearful of possible contagion for themselves and/or their families. Those not attending Mass are asked to find the Mass on TV, the radio or on-line and make a Spiritual Communion. Where that is not an option, it would be appropriate to pray the Liturgy of the Hours or the Rosary.
In addition, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Las Cruces will follow the statewide school closure. The closure will take effect on March 16, and students will be allowed to return to school on Monday, April 6.
The Diocese is closely monitoring the situation and will post updates every Thursday, or as necessary.