Given the forecast of the potential impact and severity of Hurricane Irma, Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop Palm Beach, has granted a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation for this Sunday, September 10, to all Catholics living within the five counties of the Diocese of Palm Beach or those who are traveling through the diocese. The dispensation is to assist the safety and conscience of the faithful, regardless of the parish within the diocese they reside. The dispensation also remains in effect regardless of the weather situation as it develops over the weekend in the area.
In making the announcement the Diocese of Palm Beach stated it is up to the pastor at each of its 53 Churches or Missions to decide when or if Masses will be held over the weekend. The diocese encourages parishioners and visitors to contact their local parish to find out the times Mass will be held or will not be held. Some parishes have already made such announcements on their websites, social media and other communication methods.
Said Bishop Barbarito “We encourage the faithful to exercise prudence in determining whether or not to venture out in any storm and to contact their local parishes for specific changes. We also join in prayer with people of all faiths in praying for the safety of everyone through this storm.”
The dispensation from Bishop Barbarito is not a directive for a pastor to cancel or curtail Masses but gives the pastors the ability to make a judgement with regard to the availability of Masses and to address safety concerns.
The Diocese of Palm Beach is posting on its website any cancellations and updates of diocesan offices and weekend events. Visit www.diocesepb.org for more information. All of the diocese’s 19 schools are closed Thursday and Friday, September 7 and 8.
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its schools.