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As the coronavirus scare sweeps the United States, bishops are responding in different ways, and they affect every Catholic in the country.
Earlier in the week, Seattle Abp. Paul Etienne was the first U.S. bishop to suspend public Masses, and as the situation escalates, the archdioceses of Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. followed suit.
But while the uncertainty of the future is gripping U.S. Catholics and more people are being blocked from the sacraments, there are bishops who are taking spiritual as well as sensible physical measures.
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas is encouraging his priests to conduct eucharistic processions after Mass before March 19 — the Solemnity of St. Joseph.
He lays out his reasons, saying it's to ask "Our Lord's protection from the coronavirus and healing for those who have already been infected; mercy and eternal rest for those who have died."
It's also to petition "Our Lord for strength for our families and the fortitude to be guided by the truths of the Deposit of Faith and the ethical and moral truths they represent," asking for the guidance and protection of St. Joseph.
He further lays out the following guidelines for processions:
To hear more about the how Church leaders are responding to the coronavirus scare, watch The Download—Catholic Reaction to the Virus.