DENVER -- Colorado bishops announced the the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy Days was set to be restored on Sunday, May 23.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the obligation to attend Sunday service was lifted.
Six weeks ago, the bishops of Colorado gave parishes notice of the restoration of obligation so they could prepare parishioners.
"The bishop's felt that now is the time to lift that dispensation and then return to the normal practice of the Catholic church. Catholics are invited and encouraged and welcomed to participate fully in the Holy Mass and receive the Eucharist and be together in community," said Mark Haas, with the Archdiocese of Denver.
Among the many Catholic churches in Denver welcoming all parishioners back is Saint Cajetan Catholic Church.
Father Angel Perez-Lopez, the Pastor of the church, told Denver7 he didn't see an impact in the number of parishioners Sunday morning. He said that was mainly because most of his churchgoers showed up throughout the pandemic.
"It has been difficult, especially people were craving for Mass, for confession, in the very early stages of the pandemic," he said.
In order to accommodate all his parishioners safely, Father Perez-Lopez has held seven masses on Sunday. He plans to return to his regular six masses, like he was doing before the pandemic.
"I'm thrilled. As pastor, I consider myself their spiritual father, so it's like a dad welcoming his children," he said.
Father Perez-Lopez sad he expects to see more parishioners attending Sunday Mass in the coming weeks.