On March 17, 2020, I issued a decree suspending the public celebration of Mass and enacting other measures in support of the effort to keep our communities safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. I also noted that I would provide a brief, general update to the diocese on April 1.

Because we must continue to remain isolated and do our part to slow the spread of this terrible disease, and following the guidelines and orders from our local, state, and national leaders, the measures taken in the March 17 decree remain in effect until further notice.

A STATEMENT FROM BISHOP JOSEPH STRICKLAND OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER, TEXAS

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, I offer this statement concerning the “Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources” issued by the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops” on March 27, 2020.  I offer it out of prayer and with a sincere heart. I appreciate the effort of my brother Bishops in Texas to apply sound bioethical principles, as well as their concern that health care professionals are not held to an impossible standard in these challenging times.

March 17, 2020

My Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler,

I pray that you and all who are dear to you are greatly blessed during this Lenten season as we walk with Our Lord in His Passion in unprecedented ways.

I find it to be providential that we find ourselves facing challenges that we never would have imagined only a few weeks ago while, at the same time, journeying through our diocesan Year of the Eucharist and seeking to be a teaching diocese that is more fully steeped in the beautiful truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we approach Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, I ask all of us to spiritually unite our concerns and fears about the coronavirus to Our Lord’s journey to his cross. I pray that we can embrace the sacrifices and challenges from a perspective of supernatural faith and deep commitment to Jesus Christ.

JOSEPH EDWARD STRICKLAND
BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND THE APOSTOLIC SEE
BISHOP OF TYLER

DECREE
Suspending the Public Celebration of Mass and Enacting Other Measures

Considering that it is my responsibility to show concern and act with humanity and the charity of Christ toward all those entrusted to my care as Bishop of Tyler (c. 383, §§1, 3), and recognizing my duty to direct, promote, and guard the liturgical life of the diocese (c. 835, §1); and

March 13, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we continue to monitor the situation and follow best practices regarding the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and recognizing that this is a dynamic and evolving situation, I am announcing the following measures which are intended to limit the possibility of local transmission of the disease and keep our parishioners and the wider East Texas community healthy. These measures are effective immediately and are to be communicated to the faithful by the pastors of the diocese. The continuation or modification of these measures will be announced on April 1.