THE coronavirus pandemic has forced the immediate suspension of all Catholic masses across the diocese.
Bishop Michael McKenna made the announcement late on Friday and spoke of the daily new developments in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
"Only a short time after my last announcement, I regret that we shall have to make another change, based on the latest regulation from the commonwealth government," he said.
"The celebration of all public masses in the Diocese of Bathurst will cease from tomorrow, Saturday, March 21," he said.
"Churches will remain open every day for private prayer.
"The priests will continue to be available for the other sacraments, especially the anointing of the sick and penance as needed."
Bishop McKenna urged all Catholics to increase their time in personal prayer and reflection on the scriptures as "we journey through these difficult days".
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"In particular, Pope Francis is encouraging us to pray the rosary," he said.
"I urge those who are younger and healthier to be available to help your neighbours who may be confined to home.
"Put all your trust in God, who made us and invites us to share the fullness of life in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of death."
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