Bishop Flores to meet with church leaders to discuss reopening of churches

Bishop Daniel E. Flores and other church officials conduct the Easter Mass Sunday for worshipers at home watching the livestream at Immaculate Conception Cathedral.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

Bishop Daniel E. Flores, of the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, said he will be meeting with the deans of all eight deaneries in the diocese, as well as with Diocesan Consultors, to discuss when churches in the diocese can reopen.

Flores announced his intentions in a letter posted on the diocese’s Facebook Page Monday evening.

The bishop said he has been following the latest advice and directives from the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and local officials, regarding under which conditions “we can, in some form, safely resume the public celebration of Masses in the Diocese of Brownsville.”

Although Flores didn’t say exactly when he expects to meet with the deaneries and the Diocesan Consultors, he did say he will be in communication with local officials to prepare for when and under what conditions the churches can reopen.

“I, more than anyone, wish to see the Catholic faithful present for Masses and other Church celebrations, but it must be an orderly and phased reopening that protects the elderly, those with chronic illnesses and the wider community.”

The last day Masses were celebrated in Catholic Churches in the Rio Grande Valley with parishoners in attendance was on March 19 and March 20. Flores on March 17 ordered that churches be closed until further notice at noon March 20.

Flores has been celebrating Mass every Sunday at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville, where the faithful could view the Mass either on the diocese’s Facebook Page or on Somos Del Valle.

The bishop closed his letter writing “I ask for the prayers of the Catholic Faithful as we make these decisions, and your assistance as any new protocols are put into effect.”