Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May the Lord give you peace.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon us! As we recall Jesus’ words in Holy Scripture, “Behold, I make all things new,” I am pleased to announce the lifting of the general dispensation from Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, and I welcome all of you back to your faithful Catholic family beginning the weekend of June 26-27, 2021. Only those who have reasonable cause for a continued absence from Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation shall continue to be dispensed.
The Mass is our intimate encounter with Jesus. We offer our lives together with Jesus to God the Father. We receive the fruits of the sacrifice. And we hear and obey His command to “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”
There is a necessary connection, then, between the reception of the sacraments and our call and obligation to be Christ’s agents for good in the world. All of us have learned this painful lesson during the past 18 months. With the onset of the COVID pandemic, the limitations of the public celebration and participation in the Mass, and the slow return of the faithful to the regular reception of the sacraments, the world has felt the loss of its soul—of Christians alive for God. Our families testify to anxiety and fear; our communities bear the marks of sickness; and the daily news of our nation reports a life and culture far from God. So that we might begin again to live more fully as the soul of our wounded world, it is necessary that we return to a regular reception of the sacraments, especially the Sunday Mass, the foundation of our lives as faithful and vibrant Catholics.
It is with open arms and a grateful heart that you are welcomed back to your Catholic family!
God always wins! We are saved! It will be good to have you back!
In the heart of Jesus and Mary, I am,
+Bishop William Patrick Callahan
Bishop of La Crosse