Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Health Updates

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to monitor the health situation in the 10 counties within the Archdiocese.

Spiritual Resources: An Online prayer guide
Faith Formation at Home Resources

Cardinal Dinardo calls Catholics back to Mass in the New Year - Dec. 28, 2021

We have entered the season of Christmas, the time of the Church year when we focus our meditations and prayers on the great gift of the Incarnation, God taking on human flesh for our redemption.  This is a season of hope, a season when we hold fast to the reality that God is faithful.

For nearly two years now, we have lived through the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic. At the outset of the pandemic, I enacted several protocols for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in order to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 at our parish churches. Over time, I have adjusted some protocols or given discretion for local pastors to use their best judgment.

In the spring of 2020, I decreed a general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. I did so in order to instill peace of mind among all the faithful, especially those who would sincerely desire to fulfill their Mass obligations while also harboring serious concerns for contracting the coronavirus.

Just as I have made changes to other protocols, I now announce a change for the dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation. Effective Jan. 2, 2022, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, this dispensation is removed for all Catholics within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The faithful should fulfill their Sunday and Holy Day obligations joyfully and conscientiously.

At the same time, I remind everyone that, from the Church’s law itself, the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation is not morally binding for those who find it impossible to attend Mass, e.g., due to illness, advanced age, caring for a sick person, or being at high-risk for contracting COVID-19 (cf. Canon, 1248).  These persons should fulfill their obligations at home through some act of prayer or meditation upon the sacred scriptures for the Mass of the day.

When there was great uncertainty about the manner of transmitting COVID-19, I suspended the use of holy water in our churches. I have recently directed pastors to resume the use of holy water beginning on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. 

May the peace that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ fill your hearts now and always.

Archdiocese adapts current COVID-19 health protocols - May 19, 2021

In a May 19 letter to the faithful, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo announced new modifications to current COVID-19 protocols at parishes within the Archdiocese regarding Liturgical celebrations and parish gatherings in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cardinal DiNardo modified liturgical celebrations and non-liturgical parish gatherings within the Archdiocese to prevent community spread. “These modifications were aimed at the common good of all who live within our communities,” he said in the letter. “The local pandemic situation is greatly improved.”

Beginning May 22, social distancing is no longer required during liturgical celebrations, and parish churches and chapels may be filled to 100% of the building’s occupancy load, according to the letter. Masks and face coverings will also not be required, but they are encouraged, the letter said.

Also starting May 22, the temporary suspension of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is removed. Holy Communion may be received on the tongue, or in the hand, at the communicant’s discretion. However, the temporary suspension of receiving Holy Communion under the appearance of wine from a common chalice remains in effect until further notice.

Cardinal DiNardo continues to encourage unity in prayer for the faithful of the Archdiocese with this Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus.

Vaccine concerns - Dec. 8, 2020

In two statements, the first on Dec. 8, 2020, and the second on March 2, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo addressed the moral permissibility of several COVID-19 vaccines. 

In his March 2 statement, Cardinal DiNardo discussed the newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said: "The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19 do not involve abortion-derived cell lines in the manufacturing process, and are morally permissible since the connection to abortion is remote. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is morally compromised because an abortion-derived cell line was used in its development, testing, and production. However, according to Catholic moral teaching, it is permissible to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when it is the only vaccine available in a given place.  Where there is an option, Catholics should choose the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decision to receive a vaccination for COVID-19 is one of personal conscience."

To read his statement about Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccines, click here.

Further Reading: U.S. Bishops Conference Statement on the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine


Harris County Health Information

The Archdiocese shares the following Harris County Publish Health information links.


Influenza & Coronavirus information links

Stay Healthy

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern, according to the CDC. The faithful can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses with these simple actions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Why? Read the science behind the recommendations.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Source: Centers for Disease Control ( 

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated to COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has now spread to a number of countries including the United States, where several states have reported cases. The list of these confirmed cases can be found here.

While most people are at low risk of contracting the virus, it can spread through close contact with someone who is already infected. Learn more about how coronavirus is spread on the CDC website.

Is there Mass?

Public celebration of Mass resumed in May. In March, the public celebration of all weekday and Sunday Masses were suspended in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Churches are to remain open for individual and private prayer observing their normal hours, as discerned by the pastors. Read the full March message here.

Is X, Y or Z event still happening at my parish or school?

Many parish events have been canceled or postponed. Please contact your parish for details. For parish contact information, including websites and phone numbers, use the Parish Locator.  At schools, classes and all extracurricular activities were canceled. For more school information, visit the Catholic Schools Office.

I'm feeling nervous about all of this, what can I do?

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. 

The Archdiocese stands in solidarity with those who are experiencing the consequences of COVID-19. The prayers and celebrations of Holy Mass are with the Universal Church. This time may be stressful for people. The Archdiocese recommends visiting the CDC website for information on mental health and managing anxiety and stress.

Additionally, Studies have shown prayer and religious beliefs complement health and wellness. To this end, the Archdiocese continues to offer online Spiritual Resources and Prayers during this time. A document on the site, A Faith Response to the Coronavirus, includes several tools to handle our reactions and how we feel during this time.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

All of the parishes in the Archdiocese gladly accept prayer requests. Many chapels and prayer spaces offer a place to submit prayer intentions, and a growing number of parishes accept prayer requests online, such as Prince of Peace, Christ Our Light, St. Ambrose and St. Albert of Trapani, among many, many more. Contact your parish to learn how to share your prayer request. For parish contact information, including websites and phone numbers, use the Parish Locator.


Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider immediately. If you're unsure, call the Memorial Hermann Nurse Health Line at 713-338-7979 (or toll-free 855-577-7979) and they'll help you decide. Registered nurses are available 24/7.  This free Health line is open to anyone living in Houston or surrounding counties, with or without insurance. 

The Houston Health Department has a dedicated call center at 832-393-4220 to answer COVID-19 related questions or concerns, available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


¿No te sientes bien? Consulte a su médico inmediatamente. Si no está seguro, llame a la Línea de Salud de Enfermeras Memorial Hermann al 713-338-7979 (o al teléfono gratuito 855-577-7979) y ellos le ayudarán a decidir. Las enfermeras registradas están disponibles las 24 horas del día, 7 días de la semana. Esta línea gratuita y bilingue está abierta a cualquier persona que viva en Texas con o sin seguro médico.

El Departamento de Servicios de Salud del Estado de Texas tiene un centro de llamadas al 1-877-570-9779 dedicado a responder a preguntas o inquietudes relacionadas con COVID-19, disponible de lunes a viernes de 7 a.m. a 6 p.m.

Need assistance?

211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE
The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is a 24/7 multilingual helpline that 
provides information about community resources and connects people to basic needs assistance and other social services. You can also search the 211 database online at 211 is not the number to call for emergencies or questions about COVID-19.

COVID-19 Archived Updates

Mar 8 - St. Cecilia Church Update and Information

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) epidemiologists have notified St. Cecilia Catholic Church in West Houston that an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 attended mass at the church at 5:30pm Wednesday, Feb. 26th. Persons who sat approximately within 6 feet of the individual could have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. The individual sat in the very last row on the left side of the church as you face the altar.

As part of the investigation, HCPH recommends that those who sat in the last three rows on the left side (as you face the altar) at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, Feb. 26, contact Harris County Public Health at 713-439-6000 and contact their healthcare provider immediately (call before going) if they experience any symptoms. Also, any parishioners or church attendees experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 are not obligated to attend Mass in person and are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance. As a reminder, the symptoms include: fever, cough and/or shortness of breath.

Since being notified, and with the support of Harris County Public Health, St. Cecilia has taken safety measures to clean and sanitize the area, including sanitizing pews and touchpoints throughout the church, draining and sanitizing baptismal fonts, and providing hand sanitizers at all entry points. 

Mar 8 - Santa Cecilia Iglesia de actualización e Información

Harris County Public Health (HPNC) epidemiólogos han estado en contacto con la iglesia católica St. Cecilia, en el oeste de Houston como parte de su investigación de contactos. Un individuo que dio positivo por COVID 19-masa asistido en la iglesia a las 5:30 de la tarde del miércoles, 26 de febrero Personas que se sentaba aproximadamente a 6 pies del individuo potencialmente podría haber estado expuesto a-19 COVID. El individuo se sentó en la última fila en el lado izquierdo de la iglesia, según se mira el altar. (Esto no es un nuevo caso de COVID-19, pero esta investigación es parte de diagnóstico existentes COVID-19 casos positivos de HPNC relacionados con el grupo de viaje en Egipto).

Como parte de la investigación, HPNC está recomendando que los miembros del público que se sentaba en los últimos tres filas en el lado izquierdo (según se mira el altar) en la masa 17:30 el miércoles de febrero 26 de contacto del Condado de Harris Pública salud en el 713-439-6000 y en contacto con su proveedor de atención médica de inmediato (llamada antes de ir) si notan algún síntoma. Además, cualquier asistente feligrés de la iglesia o que experimentan síntomas asociados con COVID-19 deben quedarse en casa, lejos de otras personas, y contactar con su proveedor de salud para obtener orientación adicional. A modo de recordatorio, los síntomas incluyen fiebre, tos y/o dificultad para respirar.

Desde que fue notificado, y con el apoyo del condado de Harris Salud Pública, Santa Cecilia ha tomado medidas de seguridad para limpiar y desinfectar la zona, incluyendo la desinfección de los bancos y de los puntos de contacto en toda la iglesia, drenaje y saneamiento de las pilas bautismales, y proporcionando los desinfectantes de manos en todas las entradas puntos. 

CDC Resources

Local Resources