Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel
BISHOP CLOSES LAFAYETTE DIOCESE OFFICES
LAFAYETTE — Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel has announced new directives for Catholic church parishes throughout the Diocese of Lafayette that became effective at 5 p.m. Monday, in accordance with the “Stay At Home” order issued Sunday by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Deshotel urges everyone in our area to heed the governor’s order, both in what it requires and in what it seeks to accomplish in order to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Central Offices of the Diocese of Lafayette closed at 4:30 p.m. Monday and will remain closed until further notice, and Central Offices staff members will work remotely and will be available via email.
Deshotel says that Catholic church parishes in the Diocese may remain open during times specified by each individual pastor, Monday through Saturday. Churches are to remain closed to the public on Sundays, in order to discourage large groups of people from gathering. This directive will remain in effect indefinitely, unless keeping churches open becomes a public health hazard or if social distancing is not practiced by those present.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be discontinued in the church parishes. Deshotel says this action is taken with great regret, however, it is done so in order to discourage the faithful from gathering in close proximity to one another. Funerals will continue as graveside services only, with a total of only ten people or fewer present.
Finally, Deshotel urges everyone in Acadiana to keep in prayer all those on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 and all those who have been affected by it.