COVID-19 Moving Forward

Updates Regarding the Covid-19 Reopening Plan


Diocese of Lafayette

Bishop Deshotel Statement on Urgent Need to Wear Masks

Bishop Douglas Deshotel released the following open letter to Catholics throughout Acadiana on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, urging everyone to wear masks while in public, including while attending Mass:

The last week has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19. The Acadiana area, which includes the Diocese of Lafayette, is among the highest areas in the State of Louisiana.

I wish to remind all the Faithful of the Diocese that we are still in Phase II of the guidelines for reopening set forth by the State of Louisiana and the Center for Disease Control. Measures to prevent the spread of the virus remain the same: Good hygiene, especially frequent hand washing, staying home if you experience any symptoms, social distancing of six feet, and wearing a mask when in public gatherings.

When we gather for Mass, Funerals, Weddings, etc., we are in a public gathering. While not mandated by the State of Louisiana yet, I join with my fellow Bishops in Louisiana to strongly urge everyone to wear a mask in Church. This is protection for you and those around you.

Infection rates have been spiking in younger adults. While they may not feel sick, they are nevertheless carriers. Many complain that wearing a mask is uncomfortable and bothersome. The temporary inconvenience is worth bearing to protect ones’ own health and those of others.

We don’t need a law or mandate to tell us of our Christian calling to Charity and care for the well-being of our neighbor. I therefore, appeal to everyone to wear a mask in public including during Church gatherings. All are still dispensed from the obligation of Sunday Mass, but if you attend please wear a mask.

Most Reverend J. Douglas Deshotel,
Bishop of Lafayette +JDD


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5/18/2020 - Update from Father Sensat

After consultation with the central offices, the diocesan guidelines will be clarified to state that masks are strongly recommended, but not required. We still strongly recommend you to wear masks, and will still offer one if you do not have one, but at this point no one is required to wear one to attend Mass. Social distancing is still required.

We know this news will delight some of you, and perhaps cause apprehension to others. As always, we try to stick obediently to the guidelines of our bishop, and we shall do so here. Please help keep people informed about the clarification.


5/15/2020 - Update from Bishop Deshotel

We have received updated guidelines from the Diocese prohibiting the opening of our St. Thomas More offices to the public at this time. We will keep you updated of any changes as they arise.


5/13/2020 - Message from Fr. Sensat

1. We are returning to our normal Mass schedule. Only 115 people will be allowed in every Mass. Everyone must enter through the side door to the North, the one closest to the office. No one will be able to enter through any other door. If you have to be turned away, please accept this graciously, in a spirit of Christian patience and obedience.

2. Masks are required. “Mask” includes any piece of cloth that covers your mouth and nose. Children 2 and younger do not have to wear any face coverings. If you do not bring a mask, one of our ushers will hand you one.

3. Every other pew will be marked closed. After that, it is up to you to keep 6 feet of separation from each family. This includes communion and the parking lot. Please be respectful- what may seem silly to you is very serious to others.

4. If you have serious medical issues, you really should not come. If you are over 65, you are discouraged from coming, but it is up to your best judgment. No one is obligated to attend Mass. We WILL attempt to stream Mass on Sunday at 10, but we don’t know if we’ll have enough of a connection.

5. Confessions will be in the cry room, in order to allow as close to six feet of separation as our facilities permit. Other than for confessions, the cry room will be closed.

6. The church must be disinfected after each Mass. Therefore it will be locked at all times except for Mass. The doors will open 30 minutes before each Mass. No one is allowed in the church before then. Our chapel will reopen. However, no more than ten people can be in it at a time.

7. For Pentecost, we will do a normal Sunday schedule, instead of the more solemn schedule we normally do. Adult Confirmations will be at the 5pm Pentecost Mass. If you are interested in being confirmed and have not yet contacted us, you must do so before the end of this week.

8. First Communion will be on June 20th. We will have 2 Masses, one at 9:00 and one at 11:00. Mrs. Yolanda will contact each family to inform them at which Mass they will participate. If you are not directly invited by one of the families, you should not come. They will each have a limited number of invites.

9. The office will be reopening next week for essential business only. No appointments will be taken at this time. Our hours will be Mon-Wed, 10am-12pm.

We know this is a lot of information. Trust us, it’s even more complicated for us. But it is truly worth it in order to celebrate the wedding banquet of the Lamb in our church once again. Please be patient. Please be cooperative. We love you, and we’re doing the best we can.