The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has announced plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas day masses, as well as COVID-19 guidelines for parishioners on Wednesday.

The Diocese says Christmas masses will take place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, will celebrate his first Midnight Mass as Bishop of Youngstown on Christmas Eve at the Saint Columbia Cathedral.

"As I celebrate my first Christmas with you as Bishop of Youngstown, please know how grateful I am for the light and gift that you all are to this local church and to me," Bishop Bonnar said.

Bishop Bonnar will also be celebrating Christmas Mass with parishioners from Saint Patrick's Church in Hubbard as it recovers from a fire that occurred in January.

During this recovery, the community continues to celebrate Mass in the church's Parish Center with one Christmas Mass being celebrated in the Hubbard High School Auditorium. 

Additionally, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Warren will hold Christmas Mass in its gymnasium after a small fire impacted its church earlier in December. 

In addition, the Diocese also revealed its COVID guidelines for those attending Christmas Mass celebrations. The updated guidelines from August of 2021 are still in effect currently. 

These guidelines strongly encourage masks for fully vaccinated members and require them for unvaccinated members. 

"We all want to celebrate the joy of Christmas. At the same time, we need to be prudent and keep each other safe by wearing face coverings, staying home when sick and doing everything we can to care for one another," said Bishop Bonnar.