Archbishop suspends all Sunday and weekday Masses

Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes (PNC file photo)

All Sunday and weekday public Masses (as well as all other parish events) have been suspended in the Archdiocese of Agana, effective Tuesday, March 17 until Saturday, April 18, 2020.

In a pastoral letter, Archbishop Michael Byrnes said the decision was not taken lightly as the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.

Byrnes said priests will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day in private, that is, alone or with only one or two servers so as to continue to draw upon, and direct the graces contained therein.

The Archbishop is also entrusting to priests the prudential discretion of celebrating baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Gatherings are not to exceed 50 people in attendance in accordance with the directive given by the local government so that the number of cases of those infected with COVID-19 does not spike.

Holy Communion, except as Viaticum, will not be distributed to the faithful.

“Also, at the discretion of pastors, churches may be open for private prayer so that you can approach Our Lord who is fully present in the Tabernacle. Please also receive direction from the pastor (or the one whom he designates) as to the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please contact your parishes directly for more information,” the Archbishop said.

He added: “I encourage everyone to watch and participate in the Mass through radio, KOLG 90.9 FM and via TV {KUAM}, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook Live. These links along with other resources and prayers during this time are also provided on our archdiocesan website. As you participate in Mass in this way you and your family are encouraged to pray the “Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer.”