Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama thanks the faithful for their social media comments, emails and phone calls that showed support and understanding for him and the diocese.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with sadness, but more importantly with the gift of hope, that I share this news with you. Based on new guidance from state and national officials regarding the great need to further limit the numbers of people gathered, so as to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I have asked that all public daily and weekend Masses in the Diocese of Raleigh be suspended at this time until further notice.
This is an exceedingly difficult decision as your Bishop, given my love for you and more, what I know of your love for Our Lord. Yet, at this time, it is clear to me that as Catholics we need to make this sacrifice together with so many others out of our stewardship of the common good and out of our care to our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.
Please join me in continuing prayer for all who in this moment are suffering, displaced, or experiencing fear, as well as all their family members, friends and healthcare professionals that care for them.
Most of all, let us together also seek the intercession of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Diocese of Raleigh and our nation, that in us Her faith in God may be confirmed, whose power forever seeks to cast down the mighty, lift up the lowly, and fill the hungry with good things.
With my gratitude in Christ,
+ Luis R. Zarama
Bishop of Raleigh