Bishop Strickland and the Diocese of Tyler has made what it calls a 'difficult decision' in suspending holy mass in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The suspension covers all 33 counties in the diocese.

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In a letter from Bishop Strickland, he says that the priests and deacons will continue to hold daily and Sunday masses privately, and pray for the faithful.

"I have made the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend public Holy Masses in the diocese. Your priests will be praying for you as they celebrate daily and Sunday Masses privately," says Bishop Strickland. "Due to the concerns about the virus and the prudent directives regarding social distancing, I believe this is a necessary step. Please pray with me that these steps will help to minimize the impact of this disease on our communities."

The suspensions remain in place until further notice, but the diocese says it will provide an update on April 1.

Bishop Strickland's full letter can be read here.