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Bishop's Directive for the wearing of face coverings

July 15, 2020

Bishop Austin A. Vetter’s Directive The Wearing of Face Coverings in the Diocese of Helena

To help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, Bishop Austin A. Vetter has issued new directives regarding the wearing of face coverings or masks for all parishes, ministries and organizations of the Diocese of Helena.

Face coverings or masks are required to be worn:

  • In any Montana county in the Diocese of Helena that has four or more active Coronavirus cases

  • By every person aged five years or older

  • Indoors in all Diocese of Helena Churches-including parish-related indoor spaces

  • Outdoors when groups of 50 or more are gathered and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible

Face coverings or masks are not required:

  • By persons for whom wearing a face covering or mask is prevented for health reasons

  • Briefly, when an individual is receiving Holy Communion

  • When an individual is engaged in public speaking and a social distance of at least six feet is maintained. This includes Lectors, Homilists, Prayers at the Altar and Parish Announcements


  • Diocesan organizations are to post the requirement of masks in a visible space at each building entryway used by the public

  • Organizations should make every effort to provide masks for those who may not have one

  • The obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be dispensed

  • Social gatherings after Mass and parish events remain canceled

  • For details on diocese-wide operational changes due to the Coronavirus, visit: Recognizing that, although this may be difficult, there are those in our community for whom the Coronavirus poses a serious threat. Our Christian Charity towards them at this time, especially offered in peace and humility, is a gift of great value.


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