My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We find ourselves in a time of confusion, fear, and tension. The range of thoughts and concerns which weigh upon each of us is vast, knowing that the pattern of our lives has quickly become very different than it was mere days ago. In the midst of all of this uncertainty, the Catholic bishops in the State of Ohio, in consultation with the governor and public health officials, have made the very painful decision to suspend the celebration of all public Masses throughout Ohio, at least through Holy Week and Easter. This is a step that I wish we did not feel compelled to take. I realize it is yet another source of suffering in an already trying time. However, given the grave health risks we are currently facing, especially with regard to public gatherings, I believe it is a necessary step in the interest of the common good that will help to curb the spread of this virus.

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