MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki in a letter to Archdiocese of Milwaukee parishes and schools Thursday, May 14 announced Sunday Mass will resume on Sunday, May 31. This, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state's coronavirus stay-at-home order Wednesday, May 13 -- essentially reopening the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants.
The decision let stand language that had closed schools, however, and local governments can still impose their own health restrictions.
Following the ruling, Archbishop Listecki said in his letter to parishes and schools the Milwaukee Archdiocese is using a phased approach "in the gradual return to ministry," writing that "We remain in the “Safer at Home” phase until Tuesday, May 26."
Below is Archbishop Listecki's letter to parishes and schools:
Dear Father, Parish Director, Deacon and Parish and School Staff
May the Peace of the Risen Lord be with you!
As we continue to move toward the gradual return to Sunday Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, the question naturally arises about the full resumption of parish and school activities. With the ruling of the State Supreme Court yesterday overturning the Governor’s Emergency Order, you may begin to feel pressure to restore various Sacramental, prayer, ministry and other parish activities to their pre-Covid-19 state. Even though the Governor’s order was overturned, we don’t know what restrictions will come next from the State legislature or local government.
To assist you in the gradual return to ministry, I have asked my staff to develop The Catholic Comeback matrix that follows my directive of a phased approach based upon current health conditions and recommendations. The matrix is available here. Using this phased approach will guide us regardless of what actions are taken at the state or local level.
We remain in the “Safer at Home” phase until Tuesday, May 26, when we will move into Phase 1. Sunday Mass will resume with Masses on Sunday, May 31 (including Masses of Anticipation on the evening of May 30).
Other Sacramental and ministry activities are listed on the matrix. If you have questions, please contact the archdiocesan central offices for guidance in the appropriate ministry area.
I know people are anxious to return to normal. However, we must also acknowledge that people are anxious about returning to public activities and crowded spaces. Following the matrix is a prudent approach and a reasonable and responsible way to resume Catholic life in our archdiocese, without taking unnecessary risks. The safety and well-being of our people is a top priority. Please continue to communicate to your people about your plans for returning to Mass and other activities.
I am so proud of the way you have handled ourselves and your pastoral responsibilities during this pandemic. I am proud to be your archbishop. Prayer and patience must continue to mark our actions. God is with us; He does not abandon us. In everything we do, may the praise and glory of God be our motivation.
With assurance of prayers during this glorious Easter season, I am,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
CLICK HERE for a look at the Milwaukee Archdiocese's "Catholic Comeback" matrix.
Meanwhile, FOX6 News will continue to air/stream Sunday Mass until in-person Mass resumes: