Sunday Mass obligation dispensation has been lifted

June 2, 2021 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — The Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop Emeritus and Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, has lifted the dispensation, thereby reinstating the Sunday and Holy Day Mass obligation for Catholics in the Diocese of Wilmington, effective June 26, 2021. The announcement was made today as part of a joint statement from the bishops of the Province of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington. The dispensation that went into effect on March 13, 2020, was put in place to help limit the spread of coronavirus, and allow the Diocese of Wilmington to conform to guidelines and regulations adopted by the States of Delaware and Maryland.

According to the statement, the bishops decided to lift the dispensation because, “The average number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline due to the observance of safety protocols and the increase of the availability of the vaccine.” The obligation does not apply to those who are ill, have been exposed to the virus, or have any serious underlying health conditions.

“We welcome and encourage the Faithful to return to full in-person participation of the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith,” the bishops said in the statement. “Let us continue to be united in prayer for one another and for an end to the global pandemic.”

The Province of Baltimore includes the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Dioceses of Arlington, Richmond, Wheeling-Charleston and Wilmington. The statement can be read in its entirety at

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 27 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. More information is available at

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Media Contact: Bob Krebs
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