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By Eric Sammons, Crisis Magazine, March 18, 2021

Eric Sammons is the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine. His upcoming book Deadly Indifference (May 2021) examines the rise of religious indifference and how it has led the Church to lose her missionary zeal.


One year ago today, darkness engulfed the United States. On March 18, 2020, the final holdout American dioceses suspended public Masses, making it impossible (or at least disobedient) for a lay Catholic in this country to attend Mass.

I followed the shutting down of public Masses closely, creating maps on Twitter so Catholics could see which dioceses had shut down, and which remained opened. Although looking back it seems like the process took a lifetime (March 12-19 last year in general packed a decade’s worth of news into one week), the process was actually quite rapid. On the evening of March 16, 2020, I made my first map: ….

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