Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Health Updates
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston continues to monitor the health situation in the 10 counties within the Archdiocese.
Updated May 19, 2021
Archdiocese adapts current COVID-19 health protocols
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.
The obligation to attend Mass remains dispensed until further notice. Read the March 2020 dispensation message here.
Cardinal DiNardo continues to encourage unity in prayer for the faithful of the Archdiocese with this Prayer in the Time of the Coronavirus.
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.
Harris County Health Information
The Archdiocese shares the following Harris County Publish Health information links.
Online Masses and Liturgies
Though parishes in the Archdiocese are continuing regular Mass schedules, a Catholic parishes continue streaming weekend Masses. For more information, visit this dedicated webpage.
Influenza & Coronavirus information links
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 (cdc.gov)
- Center for Disease Control
- CDC Resources for Community- and Faith-Based Leaders
- Checklist for Community and Faith Leaders
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)