Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released the following statement, Sept. 26, 2020, to the people of the Diocese of Little Rock as a follow-up to his announcement that he was lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass (in person) on Oct. 1, 2020.

"A reminder due to questions that have arisen with the lifting of the suspension of the obligation of in person Sunday Mass attendance: There has been no change in the protocols in place for protecting our people from the spread of COVID-19 on church property and at church functions. All requirements of mask wearing, 6 feet physical distancing and hand sanitizing remain in place.

"Indeed, with increased attendance these requirements need to be enforced more strictly than ever and not only at Mass, but also for all other activities on church property. Above all, no one should be allowed to enter the church without wearing a mask or be allowed to remain at Mass if they remove their mask once inside, the only exception being during the time when a person serves as lector or cantor or otherwise has a speaking role at Mass, exercised at least 12 feet from the rest of the congregation." 

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Following the mandates ordered throughout the Diocese by the Most Reverend Anthony B. Taylor, Bishop of Little Rock, our parish is implementing these preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus):

If you attend a public Mass at St. John Catholic Church, you must abide by these rules:


  • If you are running a fever or exhibiting any of the signs of COVID-19 or other contagious illness, do NOT come to Mass.


  • If you are in an at-risk age group or health group of the following, we ask you to consider NOT coming to Mass.  The risk groups that are at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 are those over 65 year of age, those with chronic or immunosuppressed conditions at any age, such as diabetes, cancer, cancer survivor, COPD, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity, and heart disease.


  • If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, do NOT come to Mass. 


  • Upon arriving at church: Do not congregate outside your vehicles. Exit your vehicle swiftly and move quickly towards the check-in table in front of the church. Do not stop to greet or approach other parishioners. Please maintain social distancing guidelines while in the parking lot.

  • You must stay a distance of 6 feet away from other people at all times (You can, of course, be within 6 feet of your immediate family/household) including while sitting in pews and while in line for Communion.

    • Your Immediate family/household constitutes the people currently living in your house. If your grandparents, parents, children, siblings, or relatives do not live in the same house as you, do not sit with them during Mass. 

    • If sitting in one of the center rows, you must leave at least a 3 feet space, in the pew, between you and the center aisle of the church.


  • The number of people admitted to Mass will be limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy of the Nave of the church, in order to maintain the required 6 feet of physical distancing between family groups or individuals. The Nave of our church, operating at a 25% occupancy with 6-feet social distancing, can hold 125 people per Mass.


  • You must follow directions of all church staff and officials while attending Mass. If an usher or personnel authorized by Father Mauricio or Father Martin, asks you to move pews or other relative tasks, you must do so. Directions given by these individuals are in the best interest of your health and safety.


  • All participants, including children over 10 years of age, must wear masks or other covering of their mouth and nose. All participants must wear their masks throughout the entire Mass, except at the specified time below.

    • Once you reach the front of the communion line, but after you receive the Eucharist in your hand; you may remove your mask long enough to eat the consecrated host immediately. Afterward, but before walking back to your pew, you must cover your face with your mask again.


  • All participants must use hand sanitizer upon arrival at the check-in table before the start of Mass. 


  • No holding hands at Lord’s Prayer.


  • No handshake or other sign of peace that involves physical contact. Please make a simple bow at the waist, towards those around you. The sign of peace is optional, so the invitation of the faithful to exchange a sign of peace can be omitted if the priest so desires.


  • No Precious Blood for the congregation.

  • No Communion on the tongue; those who are unwilling to receive on the hand make a Spiritual Communion instead. While some may view Communion on the tongue to be a “right,” these are extraordinary times and attention to the common good takes precedence over personal preference. The only exception is those who attend the traditional Latin Mass for whom reception on the hands is not an option.

    • When it is one’s turn to receive, the communicant should lower their mask briefly, extend their ungloved hands, one on top of the other, receive the host which is “dropped” carefully without touch into your waiting hand, place the host in your mouth and then raise their mask before returning to their pew. Communion cannot be distributed with gloves, nor be received by a member of the faithful if they are wearing gloves--the risk of mishaps with the Eucharist is too great. Ungloved sanitized hands will be used.

    • No one comes forward for a blessing in lieu of Communion, all are blessed together at the end of Mass.


  • A collection basket will be placed at the entrance of the nave, in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue, where the entrance processional normally begins. 


  • Paper bulletins will not be distributed. Please click "here" for a digital edition:

  • Maintain 6’ distancing in the exit line as people leave Mass. Please proceed directly to your vehicle in order to avoid crowding at the exit.


Below are steps our priest/deacon will take to be safe at Mass:


  • The priest/deacon will maintain 12 feet physical distance from the congregation—as stipulated by Governor Hutchinson—unless he is distributing Communion. 

  • The priest/deacon does not have to wear a mask except when distributing Holy Communion. 

  • The priest/deacon will not greet people before or after Mass.

  • No priest or deacon in a risk group will distribute Communion unless there is no alternative.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor is lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass (in person) for the people of the Diocese of Little Rock on Oct. 1, 2020.


This means after Oct. 1, you are required to attend Sunday Mass in person.


There are still some exemptions to the obligation as stated in the letter below:


Effective 8/8/20, the

COVID-19 Mass Schedule is as follows.

Saturday Vigil:

  • 5:00 PM - English



  • 7:00 AM - Spanish

  • 11:00 AM - English


Live-stream Masses:

  • 11:00 AM Mass - English

    • live from St. John Catholic Church

Christmas Mass Schedule:

  • Christmas Eve: Dec. 24​

    • 5:00 PM in English

    • 8:00 PM in Spanish (live-streamed)


  • Christmas Day: Dec. 25

    • 11:00 AM in English (live-streamed)​

Mass Schedule

Live-stream Mass:

Click the button to the right for more information

© 2019-2020 by James Freeman for use by St. John Catholic Church, in Russellville, AR.

1900 West Main Street, Russellville, AR 72801                 Phone #:  (479) 967-3699

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