I know many of you are anxious to see our normal parish life begin again, just as we priests are. The Archdiocese of New York, in coordination with steps outlined by the State of New York, has outlined a plan for the gradual resumption of parish life, as follows.
Level I – Churches Open for Private Prayer and Confession
Level II – Celebration of Baptisms and Marriages (with Limited Attendance, and appropriate social distancing)
Level III – Celebration of Daily Masses and Funeral Masses (with Limited Attendance, and appropriate social distancing; at this time Holy Communion will be in the hand, only)
Level IV – Celebration of Sunday Masses (with Limited and Supervised Attendance, with appropriate social distancing)
Resumption of Full Parish Mass Schedules and Sacramental Activities
As you can see, this process will take a number of weeks spread out through June, July, and August (maybe even September).
Presently, we are at Level I. Our daily Mass chapel remains open during the day Monday through Saturday until 5pm for your personal prayers and devotions. On Sundays the main church is open from approximately 7am until 5pm. I am hoping we will advance to Level II very shortly, and we can reschedule Baptisms and the Sacrament of Matrimony (without a Mass), with limited attendance.
Confessions are being heard on Saturdays from 4pm-5pm in the chapel, in the open in the sanctuary by the altar.
I want to thank you all for your prayers, patience, support during this difficult time. You have been an example of love and Christian life for us all.
May our Lord, Jesus, continue to bless us, intercede for us at the right hand of his Father. May He protect us, heal us and console our families and all those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Fr. Steven Clark