WASHINGTON, D.C. – Beginning this Sunday, May 10, 2020, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, will livestream a weekly 9:00 a.m. (EDT) Sunday Mass from the main chapel of the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center in Washington, D.C., home base for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS).
The faithful may participate virtually on the AMS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/milarchusa/. The weekly livestream will continue each Sunday at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) on Facebook until civil and/or military authorities ease orders banning large gatherings including religious worship to promote social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a May 7 letter, Archbishop Broglio reminds the faithful the Church calls them to “full and active participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass at least once a week on Sundays, the Day of the Lord. Full and active means being in the place where the Mass is celebrated.”
In reference to his March message granting broad dispensation from physical presence at Sunday Mass because of the pandemic, Archbishop Broglio reiterates Church teaching that “virtual presence is never a substitute for physical presence,” nor does it abridge the right of qualified Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
Looking ahead to the eventual reopening of chapels on United States Military installations, U.S. Navy warships, and in VA Medical Centers, His Excellency offers guidance on how to resume, safely, the public celebration of Holy Mass:
“In most instances, the space available for Sunday Masses would certainly allow for social distancing. I think particularly of the Naval Academy and current use of a theater at the Air Force Academy, but there are many other installations that have very large chapels. There is also the possibility to celebrate Mass out of doors in the warmer weather. That adds yet another option to help Catholics fulfill their obligation and exercise their right to freedom of religion.”