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 March 5, 2021
Archdiocese to maintain current COVID-19 health protocols
The Archdiocese announced March 5 that, in recognizing the needs of this local Church, particularly the need to protect the most vulnerable among us, all current COVID-19 protocols will remain in place until further notice, including the requirement for face coverings at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. This announcement comes after Governor Abbott issued an executive order, to be effective March 10, 2021, allowing all Texas businesses to reopen at 100%. Archdiocesan officials have engaged in a series of consultations regarding the order, which included input from clergy and medical professionals. Read the entire March 5 statement here.
The obligation to attend Mass remains dispensed until further notice. Those who may be ill; suffer from chronic health conditions; have a compromised immune system; are over the age of 60; or are uncomfortable attending Sunday Mass due to concerns due to COVID-19 are encouraged to remain at home and not attend Mass. Read the March 2020 dispensation message here.
Since November 2020, parishes have been open to at least 50% capacity in the second step of the Archdiocese's phased parish reopening, provided the parishes, and parishioners, observe health guidelines when attending Mass set by the State of Texas.
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.
Since May 2020, the Archdiocese permitted the parishes to begin a "Phased Reopening," with an emphasis on social distancing, masks, and sanitation. Each parish is empowered to choose if they wish to celebrate Mass, and how to comply with state guidelines. Elderly and vulnerable parishioners are encouraged to continue to livestream Mass for now. - Read the full announcement here.
In an April 2020 letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese, Cardinal DiNardo addressed the re-opening plan.
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.
- Are you at higher risk for infection?
Source: Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov)
- Center for Disease Control - Español
- CDC Resources for Community- and Faith-Based Leaders
- Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
- Checklist for Community and Faith Leaders
- CDC - Fact sheets, handouts and posters - Español
- What to do if you are sick - Español
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC) - Español