Gradual Re-Opening of Church
PLAN FOR THE REOPENING OF OUR CHURCHES
(Edited for the St. Matthew Community)
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is pleased to announce the Diocese of Brooklyn will slowly work towards going back to normal by opening the doors of the churches on May 26, 2020 for private prayer and devotion as well as for funerals and limited celebrations of baptisms and weddings. The following directives will apply in general and individual churches should prepare further directions which the faithful must adhere to when visiting a church.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CHURCHES MAY OPEN THEIR DOORS ON MAY 26TH.
Stage 1: Opening of Churches for private prayer and devotion, Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings (May 26th)
Stage 2: Limited Celebrations of Daily Mass (No date has been set yet)
Stage 3: Limited Celebrations of Sunday Mass (No date has been set yet)
Stage 4: Celebration of First Holy Communion and Confirmation (No date has been set yet)
- After the churches reopen for private prayer and devotion, the full reopening of the churches for liturgical celebrations will begin after the order for reopening of large gatherings has been given. This is important because of the danger of gathered crowds and the possible spread of the virus.
- The churches will be marked off with tape to show areas that adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- The elderly and all who are health-compromised ARE ADVISED to stay home. Also, In the past 14 days if you have you experienced: fever (temperature of 100.4), cough, shortness of breath, chills/repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, you ARE ASKED TO STAY HOME. If you tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, YOU ARE ASKED TO STAY HOME. This is for the safety of others in the community.
- There will be NO holy water in the fonts.
- Hymnals, missalettes and any other worship aids will be removed from the pews and stored away.
- Bulletins are not distributed.
- Parishioners must wear masks, which they will bring on their own from home. No one should be in church without a mask.
- Parishioners are to be encouraged to bring hand sanitizer from home.
- Restrooms are open and available but used by one person at a time.
- For the foreseeable future, parishes may not schedule any events which will draw crowds and make social distancing difficult.
PRIVATE PRAYER AND DEVOTION
- The church will be open 4 hours each day. These hours will not coincide with the time a Mass is celebrated in the church.
- There is to be no congregating of people (e.g. gathering to say a rosary together). There should not be more than ten (10) people in the church and there cannot be a group gathered.
- The faithful cannot touch statues or other devotional objects in the church.
The directives indicated above apply for funerals as well.
Funeral services will be permitted but are to be strictly limited to 10 people. Holy Communion will not be distributed at these services.
Persons attending the funeral must be seated using social distancing norms (Six  feet apart) except for members of the same household and everyone must wear a mask or face covering.
Baptisms will take place with social distancing guidelines being enforced and limited to 10 or fewer participants. Baptisms can be celebrated only with prior consolation with the Office of the Chancellor.
Weddings will take place with social distancing guidelines being enforced and, at first, limited to 10 or fewer participants. No Nuptial Masses will be celebrated at this time. Holy Communion should not be distributed at this time. Weddings can be celebrated only with prior consultation with the Office of the Chancellor.
No gatherings of more than ten (10) persons is permitted. Outdoor services can only take place with the prior approval of the Vicar General of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Anointings will be celebrated with the usual safety measures in place. Priests will wear mask and gloves and the anointing will take place with the use of a cotton ball which is to be reverently disposed of after each anointing. Any guidelines that are in place in hospitals or other institutions must be respected. There are to be no celebrations of communal anointings in church.
Confessions will take place with the priest and penitent both wearing masks and remaining at least six (6) feet distant from one another. A space other than a traditional confessional might need to be used. A larger space will be needed. Care must be taken to assure that no lines or groups form for confessions.
All public masses are currently suspended
With the suspension of Public Masses until further notice, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s cable channel, NET-TV, has added new services on Sunday and weekdays in multiple languages. The expanded lineup begins Sunday, March 22, 2020. Feel free to download the schedule below by right-clicking on the image and share it via social media or text with your friends and relatives.
NET-TV can be seen in the New York City area on Spectrum (Channel 97), Optimum (Channel 30), and FIOS (Channel 48). The Masses can be accessed on our website https://dioceseofbrooklyn.org/masses/
During this time of separation, we hope you will tune in so we can still celebrate the Holy Mass together as a Diocese united in prayer for those who have died from Coronavirus, those who have fallen ill and the brave doctors, nurses, and caregivers on the front lines taking care of the sick
Most Rev. Raymond F. Chappetto, DD, VG, VE
Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn
Vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life
|The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn released the following video recorded from the Chapel in his residence, on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, for the members of the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens.
Bishop DiMarzio speaks about the practice of spiritual communion which has long been part of the Church. The practice is something the great saints implemented when they could not receive the Holy Eucharist during times when communion was not as available as it is today. He also addresses the Sacrament of Reconciliation, encouraging like the Pope, to make a good act of contrition to prepare for when we have the chance for confession. The Bishop also encourages the faithful to do a personal natural penance, especially in this time of isolation, where there are many things we don’t like but have to do.
The link of the full video can be found on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Vimeo page at https://vimeo.com/399651056 or click on the image below.
Most Rev. Raymond F. Chappetto, DD, VG, VE
Food Bank Personal Shopper Home Delivery
We would like to share the following information regarding Food Banks. Hopefully, this will be of assistance to you personally or perhaps you can share the information with someone you know is in need.
It is free, they do not ask for personal or financial information.
The local Food Banks and their contact phone numbers are as follows:
- Bedford Stuyvesant Food Bank – 732-771-9663
- Crown Heights Food Bank – 917-341-7675
- Flatbush Food Bank – 718-732-7196
To find a Food Bank in an area other than those mentioned above, please contact the Main Food Bank of New York City at 212-566-7855.
The process is as follows:
- Contact the Food Bank in the Borough and area where you live.
- Leave your Name, Address, Cross Streets and Phone Number.
- Someone from the Food Bank will return the call and at that time you will need to provide a moderate list of essential groceries needed. (The MODERATE grocery list should be prepared ahead of time.) The Representative from the Food Bank will also ask when would be a convenient time to make the delivery.