Based on the guidance from the Office of the Governor, the celebration of liturgies with the people may resume in the Diocese of Tyler on May 1, 2020, provided that health protocols and other measures are observed in order to protect the vulnerable and mitigate the risk of resurgence in our communities. Taking proper precautions to protect others is a Christian obligation of both justice and charity

Bishop Joseph Strickland has written a letter encouraging pharmaceutical companies to use ethical methods in the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus and encouraging all to support and pray for this.

The Church continues to stand in clear opposition to the use of cell lines derived from aborted children. 

Read the Bishop's Letter (PDF) - English

 Read the Bishop's Letter (PDF) - Spanish

On March 17, 2020, I issued a decree suspending the public celebration of Mass and enacting other measures in support of the effort to keep our communities safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. I also noted that I would provide a brief, general update to the diocese on April 1.

Because we must continue to remain isolated and do our part to slow the spread of this terrible disease, and following the guidelines and orders from our local, state, and national leaders, the measures taken in the March 17 decree remain in effect until further notice.


On Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, I offer this statement concerning the “Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources” issued by the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops” on March 27, 2020.  I offer it out of prayer and with a sincere heart. I appreciate the effort of my brother Bishops in Texas to apply sound bioethical principles, as well as their concern that health care professionals are not held to an impossible standard in these challenging times.

March 17, 2020

My Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler,

I pray that you and all who are dear to you are greatly blessed during this Lenten season as we walk with Our Lord in His Passion in unprecedented ways.

I find it to be providential that we find ourselves facing challenges that we never would have imagined only a few weeks ago while, at the same time, journeying through our diocesan Year of the Eucharist and seeking to be a teaching diocese that is more fully steeped in the beautiful truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we approach Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, I ask all of us to spiritually unite our concerns and fears about the coronavirus to Our Lord’s journey to his cross. I pray that we can embrace the sacrifices and challenges from a perspective of supernatural faith and deep commitment to Jesus Christ.