Bishop Scharfenberger dispenses Catholics from Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation due to Coronavirus threat

Fri, Mar 13th 2020 11:10 am

Gatherings not to exceed 250 in compliance with Erie County Department of Health Guidelines
(Buffalo, NY) - In light of the serious health risks to vulnerable populations posed by the novel coronavirus, and to prevent widespread infection, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger temporarily dispenses the Catholic faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days during the coronavirus threat. Until further notice, Catholics of the Diocese of Buffalo should use their prudent judgment as to whether or not to attend Mass. Older adults, people with underlying medical conditions, and family members of such individuals should take special care in discerning the best course of action to avoid exposure to large groups of people. At this time, Mass will continue to be offered publicly as announced or scheduled, contingent on emergency governmental restrictions regarding larger gatherings.

All other parish events and larger celebrations, including Confirmations and Lenten penance services, must be postponed until the end of March out of an abundance of caution. Further guidance will be provided regarding April and May as developments become clear.

Those who wish to continue to attend Mass on weekdays and weekends are encouraged to seek smaller gatherings in order to adhere to emergency provisions issued by the County Executive and the Commissioner of Health of Erie County, NY that restrict assemblies to less than 250 persons. 

Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the Erie County Department of Health has issued the following guidelines: 

•    STRONGLY recommends cancelling all events with 250 or more people in attendance.
•    Recommends that people seriously consider avoid attending any event or location with 50 or more, especially if it involves individuals from outside of Erie County.
•    STRONGLY recommend that all people over the age of 60 and those with chronic medical conditions do not attend such events.
•    Length: for the next 2 weeks; reevaluate as needed.


A number of parishes of the Diocese offer live-stream liturgies on the internet.  The following is a list of those parishes and Mass times:  

Our Lady of Czestochowa Church

Livestream feed:
Saturday: 4:00 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am and 10:30 am
Monday-Friday: 8 am

St. Amelia Church
Livestream feed:
Sunday: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am
Sat: 4:30 pm

St. Leo the Great
Livestream link:
Monday-Saturday: 8:00 am
Saturday: 4:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am and 11:00 am

St. Gregory the Great
Livestream link:
Daily: 7:00 am, 8:00 am and Noon
Saturday: 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am, 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, & 4:30 pm

St. Martha Parish
Livestream link:
Daily: 8:15 am
Saturday: 8:15 am and 4:30 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am, 11:30 am and 7:00 pm

Our Lady of Pompeii
Livestream link:
Saturday: 4:30 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am, 10:00 am and 11:30 am

SS. Columba Brigid
Livestream link:
Sunday: 11:00 am
Saturday: 4:00 pm


Holy Family
Livestream link:
Sunday: 10:30 am



Bishop Scharfenberger encourages all to pray regularly for the health, care and safety of New Yorkers, residents of the United States and those internationally who have fallen victim to the severe effects of the coronavirus.
Further updates will be provided at the earliest opportunity as available.