Want to watch a Mass online? See the Buffalo Diocese’s list of livestream links here.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher has a message for anyone considering leaving home to attend Christmas services in the middle of the blizzard: “Do not attempt to attend Masses in person,” he said in a press release.

Travel remains impossible Saturday in the City of Buffalo and many surrounding towns. Blizzard conditions have impacted the region since Friday morning, forcing plows to come off the roads and stranding motorists who defied widespread travel bans. Tens of thousands of Western New Yorkers are without power and the storm has been connected to at least two deaths.

“Please respect the travel bans in our communities. Although it is Christmas, in these dangerous conditions, no one should put themselves or others at risk,” Fisher said.

The Bishop’s announcement did not appear to excuse Catholics from Mass but instead recommended they watch online. (The Diocese website has a list of livestream links here.)

“This Christmas, I have asked those parishes who have livestream capabilities to livestream their Christmas Masses,” Fisher wrote. “Use the livestream technology to spiritually connect with others in prayer as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Also, please check on neighbors who may be in need.”

The full statement from Fisher can be seen below.

Many areas of Western New York are facing heavy snowfalls and drifting along with extremely high winds, bitter wind chills, and power outages. These are dangerous and life-threatening conditions. Please respect the travel bans in our communities. Although it is Christmas, in these dangerous conditions, no one should put themselves or others at risk.

This Christmas, I have asked those parishes who have livestream capabilities to livestream their Christmas Masses. Do not attempt to attend Masses in person. Use the livestream technology to spiritually connect with others in prayer as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Also, please check on neighbors who may be in need.

I wish all a Blessed and Safe Christmas, especially our first responders, utility workers, hospital workers, and all those serving our communities during this historic storm.

Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher, Bishop of Buffalo