Church of the Holy Rosary

Diocese of Nashville News

A letter from Bishop Spalding

My Dear People of God,

Over the past several weeks we have all faced unique and unprecedented challenges. In addition to the general stress and anxiety of the current health crisis, we have also had to go without the consolation of the public celebration of Mass. Recognizing that the nature of the situation has necessitated this decision, does not make the pain and sorrow any less real. The temporary cessation of public Masses I announced on March 17th was one of the most difficult decisions of my time as bishop. In saying this, I want to express my gratitude for the kindness, patience, and understanding of those who have embraced this decision with humility and trust.

As restrictions on public activities and gatherings begin to ease, it is my great joy to announce that we will begin a journey to resume the public celebration of Mass beginning on Monday, May 18. While a cause for celebration, it is important to recognize at the same time that these first steps are not simply an open call to return as normal. The risk of COVID-19 remains significant, especially to seniors and persons with existing health concerns. As we return to Mass, we must continue to embrace the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all in our community. With that in mind, although parishes may resume public Masses beginning May 18th, some pastors may prudently decide to wait a few more weeks. We are blessed with a great variety of parishes in this diocese, and that diversity allows for a certain adaptability. We especially do not want to put anyone at undue risk from a hasty or ill-prepared reopening. Our return to church must be measured, prudent, and gradual, as we responsibly respond to the situation.

As we embark on this joyful and yet challenging new journey in the life of our diocese, there are a few points I would like everyone to keep in mind:

  • The ongoing risk of COVID-19 will necessitate some adjustments to the way we are used to celebrating Mass. This may at times lead to discomfort and frustration. The patience and charity of all involved will be essential to handling these changes well. In the coming weeks, let us not lose sight of what a blessing it is to be able to be able to celebrate Mass as a community.
  • As we come together, we should be respectful of the norms and guidelines concerning social distancing. These policies are most effective when we work together and are all on the same page. Expect guidance from your parish about strategies for monitoring the capacity of the church and for maintain proper spacing in the pews. Your attentiveness to these measures will help everyone in the community feel more comfortable and peaceful when returning to church.
  • The dispensation from Sunday Mass remains in effect through June 30th. Those who have an active ongoing illness (including infection, flare of a chronic illness, etc.), anyone over the age of 65, those with a history of heart failure, lung disease, diabetes, ongoing malignancy, any immunosuppressive disorder, those on steroids or other immunosuppressive medications, those who have been advised by a health care professional not to attend Mass, and those who live with anyone with any health vulnerability, are strongly encouraged to remain at home at this time and refrain from attending Mass. Additionally, anyone who is worried that attending Mass would add undue stress or jeopardize their health or the health of a person with whom they live, are also encouraged to remain at home. I encourage pastors to continue the practice of live-streaming Masses in order to provide for the spiritual nourishment of those remaining at home.
  • Similarly, I am encouraging pastors to offer special Masses on weekdays particularly for those 65 years of age or older. If you are a member of this vulnerable age group and wish to attend Mass, I strongly encourage taking advantage of these special Masses, even if you are in good health.
  • Finally, please continue to pray! God is with us in this time of trial, and we should never lose sight of that. The inability to attend Mass has meant that many families have introduced new practices of family prayer into their homes. This has been an unexpected grace that has come in the midst of the current crisis. As we return to the communal celebration of Mass, I encourage you to preserve these new practices.

Thank you all for your continued support and cooperation. Please keep our diocese, our churches, and our schools in your prayers in this challenging time. You are all in my prayers as well.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville

Livestream: Renewing the Consecration of the United States to the Care of Our Blessed Mother

A message from Bishop Spalding:

The bishops of the United States and Canada have made plans for the renewal of the consecration of the United States to the care of the Blessed Mother Mary.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ prayer service will be broadcast at on Friday, May 1, 2020, at 12 pm PDT / 3 pm EDT. The service will also be livestreamed via the USCCB’s website at   
Please know that this has my support and I encourage those who can to participate.

I have attached the Order of Worship for this service in both English and Spanish. 

Sincerely in Christ,Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding
Bishop of Nashville.

UPDATE: Here is the broadcast of the livestream

Letter and decree from Bishop Spalding

My Dear People of God,

For the last five weeks, we have been experiencing an unprecedented time of modified ministry necessitated by the worldwide health crisis, and I have rejoiced in the faithfulness that you have shown in continuing to foster your relationship with Christ and his Church. As you know, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and the cancellation of all public celebrations of Mass and other gatherings are currently effective through today, April 24.

In order to permit all of you to exercise prudent care over your health and wellbeing and charity towards others, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation through June 30. Even when public Masses have resumed, I encourage those who are vulnerable, sick, or otherwise at risk or concerned about contracting or spreading disease, to refrain from attending Mass. Those who do choose to return to Mass should observe all guidelines concerning social distancing and diligent hygiene. We will also be continuing to provide resources for growth in your life of Faith, and opportunities to watch celebrations of Mass online.

No doubt you have heard some of our civic leaders discussing the possibility of restarting public activities in Tennessee in the coming weeks and months. In light of those intentions, I would like to announce to you today that we have begun developing plans to phase back in the public celebration of Mass and other church activities here in the Diocese of Nashville. This is a fluid and rapidly changing situation with ongoing developments that are hard to predict. While it will not be possible to resume the public celebration of Mass immediately, we hope to consider beginning modified celebrations of Mass open to the public in mid-May. I will be discussing the specific dates involved, health and safety precautions, and any necessary modifications to the Liturgy, with the Council of Priests in our meeting next week. Once this discussion has taken place, further details of when and how we will resume our public liturgical life will be forthcoming.

As I have assured you throughout this time, please know of my sincere love and concern for all of you and your families. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Let us pray together that this time of renewed optimism for an end to this time of crisis may soon be brought to fulfillment by the power of God’s loving care and providence.
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville

A Parish update from Fr. Steiner

Dear parishioners and friends of Holy Rosary,

I pray and hope you are staying healthy and safe in the midst of the Coronavirus. We enter into Holy Week today through Palm Sunday. Jesus mounts the donkey and begins His journey up to Calvary. I invite you to continue to pray for the bishop, one another, and my brother priests and I. Hopefully in this time of Lent we have found time to take and spend with the Lord in prayer, deepening our relationship with Him.

This will truly be a Holly Week none of us will forget, since we will not be able to publicly gather during the week or on Easter itself. We may feel alone but rest assured my brothers and sisters in Christ, God is right by our side. He will raise us up in these times of challenge to show His power and glory! I encourage you as you enter into Holy Week to reflect on the loneliness Jesus felt, and if you have felt lonely you may unite your loneliness to Christ on the Cross so that Jesus may lift you up in His glory.

This past Tuesday, Bishop Mark Spalding updated his degree cancelling public Masses and gatherings until April 24 and dispensing Catholics from their Sunday obligation through that day. A further determination will be made at a later date as the current public health crisis unfolds.

In the interest of public health, I have decided not to hand anything out to the public at this time, including blessed palms, rosaries, etc., that involve people handling things or leaving their homes without real need. I will make blessed palms available at a later date once public masses have resumed. I will participate with the Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies with my brother priests at Cathedral of the Incarnation. Click to view live-stream here. Celebrate Easter Sunday Mass at 11 am with Bishop Spalding on Fox 17.

As we journey to Calvary with our Lord let us keep especially in prayer those who have passed from this virus, all who are sick, those who work in the medical field, and our world. And we always return to the words of our savior Jesus Christ to find comfort and hope as we hear Him say, “and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12:32) Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ may we gain a deeper trust and desire to truly be His servants in His vineyard.

In Christ, through Mary,
Father Steiner

Important Message from Bishop Spalding

Members of our Holy Rosary parish family, please read this important update from Bishop Spalding.

My Dear People of God,
We continue to receive new and updated guidance from civil authorities and experts regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Throughout this time, we have taken appropriate and prudent steps to ensure the wellbeing of you and your loved ones. Following the latest advice of the CDC, in conjunction with the bishops of Tennessee and Kentucky who are making similar provisions, I am announcing the following:

Effective immediately, I have dispensed all the faithful of the Diocese of Nashville from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, up to and including April 3, 2020.

All public celebrations of Mass and all other gatherings are canceled through the same date, April 3. We will continue to monitor the situation and may extend this timeframe if necessary. Weddings, funerals, and baptisms may proceed in consultation with your pastors, but you will be asked to limit attendance to immediate family only.

Since we have an ongoing obligation to honor the sabbath day, I ask all to refrain from unnecessary work on Sundays and to offer prayers such as reciting the Holy Rosary, reading the readings from Sunday Mass, and/ or praying the Stations of the Cross at home. In addition, I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to watch celebrations of Holy Mass online.
In spiritual union with other dioceses throughout the world, I would like to encourage you to join me in a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer, to take place this Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Our Catholic schools will also be closed through the same date and will be in direct contact with parents concerning provisions for the ongoing instruction of our students during this time.

Please know of my sincere love and concern for all of you and your families in this uncertain time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as with the sick, the elderly, and those who are especially vulnerable.

Your priests will continue to offer Mass in private for you and your intentions and are available for your pastoral needs. Let us continue to entrust ourselves to the Blessed Mother who enfolds us in her protecting veil.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Nashville


IN LIGHT OF the Interim Guidance.for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the federal government of the United States of America on 15 March 2020, and

IN LIGHT OF the consideration given by the Church to legitimate and reasonable directives of civil authorities (c. 22 CIC), and
HAVING solicitude for the wellbeing of all the Christian faithful in my care (c. 383 §1 CIC),

I, therefore, DISPENSE (c. 87 CIC) the faithful of the Diocese of Nashville from the obligation to participate in Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation (c. 1247 CIC), until 3 April 2020.

I further DIRECT the clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese of Nashville to have due regard for any instructions ( c. 34 § 1) for ongoing religious activity during this time, as published on the diocesan website,