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March 19, 2021

General Dispensation Lifted for Chaldean Diocese

“I hunger for the bread of God, the flesh of Jesus Christ… I long to drink of his blood, the gift of unending love.” -St. Ignatius of Antioch

We’ve missed you and we welcome you back! During this time of distancing and isolation, we’ve seen that people need Christ today more than ever. Just as our bodies need physical food and drink for nourishment, our souls need spiritual nourishment. Let us again physically partake in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, made present during Holy Mass.

Beginning Saturday, March 27, 2021 (Palm Sunday weekend) the general obligation of attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will be reinstated for the entire Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle (including Michigan and Illinois churches).

Masks are still mandatory and parishes will be doing their best to accommodate social distancing, however, it may not always be possible due to capacity constraints. Palm Sunday, Easter, and Sunday Masses moving forward will have socially distanced Masses available as well as open seating Masses (at select parishes, please check with your parish for more details). While the general dispensation is removed, there are specific instances where the dispensation will continue. You do not have an obligation to attend Mass in the following circumstances:

  1. You are sick or your health would be compromised if you were to get sick.
  2. You have flu-like symptoms.
  3. You have reason to think you might be asymptomatic of an illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for COVID).
  4. You care for the sick or homebound.
  5. You are pregnant.
  6. You are 65 years of age or older (per the CDC’s recommendation of high-risk individuals).
  7. You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (for example, no Mass is offered or your church was at capacity).
  8. If you have significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass.

If you choose not to attend for any of these reasons, we strongly encourage you to still participate virtually.  For questions about the application of any of these, please contact your pastor. May God Bless You!

Mar Francis Y. Kalabat
Bishop of the Chaldean Diocese
of St. Thomas the Apostle U.S.A.

You can view all diocesan COVID-19 policies and updates at