Coronavirus Update – March 17, 2020

Grove, Calif., (March 17, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Kevin Vann today announced that starting Tuesday, March 17, all daily and Sunday in-person Masses in the Diocese of Orange will be temporarily suspended. However, churches will remain open for parishioners and others who wish to pray and seek spiritual assistance. All Catholics in the Diocese of Orange are dispensed from the obligation of attending Mass. A decision on when Masses will resume will be made in coordination with state and local public authorities.

Parishioners will be able to view Sunday Masses via livestream at in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Christ Cathedral has plans to livestream daily Mass in English at 6:30 a.m. and Vietnamese 5:30 p.m. St. Edward the Confessor will livestream its 8:15 a.m. morning Mass from Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday at

This prudent step Bishop Vann is taking today is in helping to stop the virus from spreading and one more step in keeping OC Catholics healthy.

“I have grown deeply troubled by the rapid spread of the COVID0-19 pandemic,” said Bishop Vann. “While the doors of the church are always open and will never close for individual visits and devotions such as the Rosary and visits to the Blessed Sacrament, I encourage parishioners to follow the protocols communicated by the health professionals.”

On March 12, Bishop Vann announced steps to reduce attendance at individual services to less than 250 people and to make Mass simpler and shorter. He dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass for the ill and those wanting to avoid crowds.

The closure of diocesan Catholic schools was announced Friday, March 13 as students shift to online learning. Schools will remain closed until Monday, April 20. However, if there is improvement in stopping the spread of the virus, the school administration may revise the date to return to class earlier than April 20.  Parents should watch for continued messaging from their school’s leadership.