Suspension of Masses and Other Gatherings in Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu in Face of Covid – 19 Pandemic – Effective from Mar 14 , to April 1 , 2020

KOTA KINABALU : Archbishop John Wong of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu announced this evening a temporary suspension of all Masses and other gatherings in the archdiocese effective from tomorrow, Saturday, Mar 14 to Wednesday, April 1, 2020 due to the Covid-19 that has now been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic.

Archbishop Wong said in a statement that this measure has been taken in accordance to advice his church has received from State officials of the Ministry of Health that had earlier issued a recommendation that all mass gatherings are to stop.

He noted that the Sabah State Government has also issued a statement today saying that all gatherings involving more than 50 people must be postponed until further notice.

He said that the temporary suspension of church gatherings is also taken as one of the measures to contain massive outbreaks of Covid – 19 in the State of Sabah where there are confirmed cases.

Hence, effective from tomorrow, all Masses, meetings and gatherings such as catechism classes, RCIA sessions, Penitential services and Stations of the Cross on Fridays during this season of Lent, and other programmes and activities of the church in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu shall no longer be held.

In the case of weddings and funerals, they may be conducted privately with guests limited to the immediate family members and close friends and those concerned are to contact and seek further details and advice from their respective parish priest.

As for any other Sacraments, the faithful are advised to contact the parish office and parish priests are required to take necessary health precautions in administering the Sacraments.

He disclosed that various parishes shall make arrangements for Live Broadcast of Masses in various languages. Catholics in the Archdiocese may follow any of such broadcasts via the Internet. An example of such service is provided by St Peter Claver Parish in Ranau, going by the call name of Cahaya Kinabalu.

Archbishop John Wong called on his flock, at this moment in time, to be united and continue to pray in their respective family, seeking God to show mercy by bringing an end to the spread of Covid-19.