For all who serve in our community as first responders: that God may protect them from all harm, and that we be grateful for the sacrifices they make for the common good.
Decree lifting general dispensation
Lifting the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on days of precept, and abrogating requirements, restrictions, and special allowances of previous DECREES for the COVID-19 pandemic
Whereas the number of COVID-19 positive cases has reportedly stabilized at low numbers throughout our region, and that there are reportedly sufficient medical resources to treat patients who become sick; and
Whereas the availability of government-approved vaccines for the novel coronavirus are reportedly sufficient to inoculate those desiring it; and
Whereas the State of Missouri and the officials of the various counties throughout the diocese have lifted or sharply reduced their requirements and restrictions with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas the importance of the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life, demands in-person attendance on days of precept whenever possible (cf. canon 1248 §1); and
Whereas having consulted the Bishops of the St. Louis Province on this matter at our meeting of 4 May 2021;
I therefore declare, as the Diocesan Bishop, the following:
All other requirements, restrictions, or special allowances contained in previous decrees regarding the pandemic are hereby abrogated.
This decree is effective from 1 June 2021, unless otherwise indicated.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
W. Shawn McKnight
Bishop of Jefferson City
May 23, 2021
Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Jefferson City,
With the great feast of Pentecost here, I ask you to prayerfully consider supporting two special collections which fund modern-day efforts to spread the Good News, similar to how the outpouring of the Holy Spirit encouraged the first Christians to proclaim Christ’s salvation “to the ends of the earth.”
During our liturgies on the weekend of Pentecost, May 23, we will take a special collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign and The Catholic University of America.
During the pandemic, many Catholics turned to radio, television and the Internet to remain connected to their communities, around the world. For many in developing countries, the only news they could trust regarding health measures, the only way for their children to be educated, and the only way they could participate in Mass and prayers of the Church was through modern communications. The Catholic Communication Campaign supports these efforts, and half of your donations remain in our diocese to support our efforts to be missionaries on what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Digital Continent.”
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. shares the Good News by engaging its students to discover knowledge and truth through excellence in teaching and research. With its 12 schools and 23 research centers, the University provides an exceptional Catholic education to almost 7,000 students annually. By way of its many programs, such as those in ethical business practices; classical architecture; intelligence studies; neuroscience; nursing; Spanish language and Hispanic ministry; social service; and Catholic bioethics the University prepares students to respond to the many issues facing the Church and society today. Again, some of your donation supports students from our diocese who attend CUA, including three of our priests who are studying canon law.
Your generous support for the Catholic Communication Campaign and for The Catholic University of America ensures that many people, from villagers on remote islands to the next generation of lay leaders being educated at CUA, can receive the Gospel and have their lives transformed. Thank you for your prayerful support of these two special collections.
With my prayers that God bless you richly with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
W. Shawn McKnight
Bishop of Jefferson City
Last winter, Bishop McKnight requested all parishes to discern their own plans for carrying out the Church’s vision for parish life within their geographic territory. The bishop and his advisors gave a timeline and process for praying, discussing, and assessing each parish’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of:
· Cultivating a spirituality rooted in the Catholic understanding of stewardship;
· Promoting effective co-responsibility among ordained ministers and the laity; and
· Helping every parish become universally recognized as a center of charity and a sanctuary of mercy within the larger community.
Pastors and lay leaders turned parishioners’ suggestions into doable, measurable objectives for carrying out the three goals over the next three years.
The diocesan staff received parish pastoral plans from 70 parishes.
Throughout the summer, a group comprised of Diocesan Pastoral Council member Rick Nichols; LeAnn Korsmeyer, Diocesan Director of Parish and Charitable Services; Father Jason Doke, Moderator of the Curia; Father Stephen Jones, Director of Stewardship, and Bishop McKnight reviewed and tabulated each of the plans.
Teens took part in online gatherings to give additional input.
Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council met in August to ascertain themes and patterns among all of the parish plans. Their observations formed the basis for a working document presented at a September assembly of lay representatives throughout the Diocese.
Participants discussed the working document in small groups — specifically, the aspects that ignite their passion, items that need clarification, and any concerns.
Their insights figured into creating a revised working document of the diocesan plan.
Bishop McKnight consulted with the priests of the diocese during their annual Fall Institute before casting a final draft. He said the plan will shape how the diocese “coordinates and leverages its resources over the next three years, to assist the parishes in fulfilling their own goals and their own activities to which they are holding themselves accountable.”