Statement announcing suspension of Mass and Parish Ministries through April 30

Dear Friends in Christ,

The current and anticipated surge of diagnosed COVID-19 infections in Mississippi and throughout the nation compels us to extend the ban on all public gatherings in our churches in the Diocese of Jackson through April 30, 2020. This is a critical time in our fight to flatten the curve of infections and this weighty decision gives witness to our commitment to the common good of our families, communities, state and nation.

It is disappointing to accept the reality that we will not be filling our churches throughout Holy Week, Easter, and early on during the Easter season. Yet, there are many positive signs that our mission to “proclaim Jesus the Savior by living the Gospel, so that all may experience the crucified and risen Lord,” is alive and well even in the throes of the current austerity.

For full statement CLICK HERE.

Please visit our Public Health Concerns for Announcements and Resources during this crisis.


Statement from Catherine Cook – Superintendent of Education – Catholic Schools to Close through April 17

March 20, 2020

Dear Catholic school families:

Bishop Joseph Kopacz and I conferred today regarding the recent executive order of Governor Reeves to close public schools across the state. We decided that it is in the best interest for the common good in our communities across the Diocese of Jackson that our Catholic Schools remain closed through April 17th. We will continue to monitor information regarding COVID-19, as well as the recommendations and directives of national, state, and local government officials. You will be notified as additional decisions are made regarding our schools.

CLICK HERE for full statement on Catholic School Closures

Statement From Bishop Kopacz on COVID-19 Regarding Suspension of Mass And Parish Ministries Effective Immediately

In Solidarity with the Archdiocese of Mobile and the Dioceses of Biloxi and Birmingham, I announce today that Public Masses in every parish, school and institution in the Diocese of Jackson are suspended effective immediately until further notice. This decision was guided by health experts, the Center for Disease Control and the Mississippi Department of Health and in light of the announcements from President
Trump and Governor Reeves. The situation will be reassessed at the beginning of April in regards to the Sacred Triduum ceremonies.



Notice: suspension of the distribution of the Precious Blood during the Eucharist

Until further notice, Bishop Joseph Kopacz asks all parishes, missions, institutes and schools to discontinue distribution of the Precious Blood from the chalice to the congregation at all Masses; and urges communicants to receive the consecrated host  in the hand if at all possible due to concerns over the ongoing flu season and uncertainty over the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that is starting to show up in this country.

This is a temporary action to determine the severity of the outbreak. It is diocesan norm to distribute Holy Communion under both species and this should be followed normally.

Additionally, the exchange of the sign of peace is to be offered without any physical contact, if possible. Instead of a handshake, parishioners may bow or nod to persons nearby. Hands are a prime location for viruses to be shared.

Once more knowledge is shared and the concerns have abated we will re-institute the diocesan norm.