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Catholic church cancels mass across Northeast Iowa

Catholic church cancels mass across Northeast Iowa


DUBUQUE — The COVID-19 pandemic has led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque to cancel mass and many of its other religious activities starting Thursday.

Archbishop Michael Jackels posted the news Monday on the website for the archdiocese, which covers Northeast Iowa, including the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids metro areas.

The archdiocese joins many other faiths and congregations canceling services to limit the spread of the virus.

“After consultation and considerable prayer, it has been decided — out of an abundance of caution and with devotion to the common good — to take steps aimed at slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, to flatten the curve, as they say, so as not to overburden the health-care system,” Jackels said.

“All public celebrations of Holy Mass are canceled,” he added. “All Catholics in the Archdiocese of Dubuque are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.”

The archbishop will live-stream a celebration of Holy Mass each Sunday, along with the Chrism Mass, and will lead a rosary each Thursday. Visit for more information about the streamed events.

Meanwhile, the existing schedule for confirmation has been canceled and will be rescheduled. Funerals, weddings and baptisms may be held, but will limited to the immediate family, or at least no more than 50 people, per the current Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The Iowa Funeral Directors Association is also asking those it services to be cognizant of the 50-person gathering limit for funeral services.

“Our sympathies go out to anyone who has the additional burden of grief and loss during this time, and we are here to guide each family with their particular needs on an individual basis,” Charles Yoder, president of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, said in a news release.

“We encourage bereaved families to work with their funeral director to create meaningful services that fall within the governor’s emergency order of limiting large public gatherings,” Yoder added.

Individuals with symptoms that could be COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend funeral services to avoid potentially spreading the disease.

Black Hawk County health needs assessment:

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Shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, the Iowa Legislature approved suspending its session, waiving K-12 school requirements and giving the governor authority to dip into emergency funds to provide resources needed to react to the anticipated spread of COVID-19.

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