The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Catholic churches to halt Mass after Sunday


Last updated 10/24/2020 at 2:19pm

SANTA FE — Citing rising COVID-19 infections across the state, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Sunday would be the final day for regular Mass until further notice.

The archdiocese has oversight of Catholic churches throughout the state, including St. Helen in Portales and Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Clovis.

A Thursday letter from Archbishop John C. Wester included a half-dozen directives on the archdiocese website at, including a request to inform elderly residents who might not otherwise hear of the decision. He also announced the delaying of weddings with Mass and funerals if possible. Funeral rites without Mass are limited to 10 persons attending in the church or graveside.

Parishes are encouraged to offer livestreamed or prerecorded services on their websites and social media accounts.

On Sacred Heart Church’s Facebook page, Father Michael Niemczak said the church will remain open in other ways, and encourages anybody to reach out to him with questions. He did add a qualifier that many of the questions may be answered with, “I don’t know yet.”

Wester said Catholic schools may remain open in accordance with the judgment of the pastor, superintendent and principals, as schools have seen no significant COVID-19 increases. However, he advised schools to prepare for online classes should the need arise.


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