In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on March 24, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki sent out additional guidance regarding cancellations and the suspension of services and events to priests, deacons, parish directors and directors of administrative services.

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

“Please know of my prayers for you and the people entrusted to your care at this very difficult time,” he wrote. “Also, know of my pastoral concern for each of you as you experience a sense of reduction in your capability to minister to your people. This is a genuine and real feeling, and an unprecedented one.”

He reiterated his decisions were based on the safety of the people in the archdiocese and the responsibility to be good citizens as part of the larger community.

“It’s easy to say we should keep public Masses and other sacramental and devotional practices, but at what cost?” Archbishop Listecki wrote. “We have free will, but our choices impact many others. How many others do we put at risk, from caregivers and medical personnel to family, friends and others we would come into contact with before we even knew we were infected?”

In light of that, several major liturgical events that happen during Holy Week have been postponed or canceled. The Chrism Mass has been postponed, and when the health crisis abates, it will be rescheduled and he will call for the faithful to gather in thanksgiving. Public celebrations of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil are canceled in all parishes; the archbishop will celebrate those services at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and they will be live-streamed. Bishop James T. Schuerman will offer the Easter Mass in Spanish and that will be available to be live-streamed.

The baptisms of the Elect and the receptions into full communion across the archdiocese are postponed until a later diocesan-wide, common date. In addition, confirmations and first communions are now postponed until a later date.

The suspension of public daily and Sunday Mass throughout the archdiocese continues in place. Priests may continue to celebrate Mass without a congregation. Streaming of Mass is possible and has been successfully adopted by some parishes.

The distribution of Holy Communion is permitted only as Viaticum. Other practices of “private” distribution may not take place. This diminishes the Eucharist from its proper liturgical and theological context.

April 1 was designated as a day for 12 hours of the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the archdiocese. This will be postponed. While private reconciliation is allowed, the archbishop urges pastors to consider the risk before scheduling confessions. Formational material about how to make a good examination of conscience and a meaningful act of contrition will be provided, he said.

The Via Crucis and Spring Assembly of Priests have also been canceled.

Parish or school building projects should be put on hold. In general, this will be a building freeze. Proxy requests will still be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with regard to individual circumstances.

With the new restrictions from Gov. Evers, it will be a challenge to celebrate funerals the way people might like. Families are encouraged to delay the rituals if at all possible. If there is no way to delay, they need to be cautious about keeping the number of people to a minimum and maintaining the proper social distancing between people. This is especially difficult at such a sensitive time.

“We cannot make decisions out of fear and we must use common sense in making decisions for the pastoral care of our people without taking unnecessary risk,” Archbishop Listecki wrote. “I know that you want information sooner rather than later, even though some of (this) information will not be applicable for a few weeks, and much could change.

There are also a variety of resources on the archdiocese website, including a new series of evangelization tools under Courageous Catholic. Visit All updates to parishes and schools are always posted on the website at