Diocese of Brooklyn Churches Can Begin to Re-open for Private Prayer on May 26
Funerals, Baptisms, and Weddings can Commence Following Safety Guidelines
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, is pleased to announce that churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn can re-open for private prayer and devotion beginning Tuesday, May 26. Masks will be required of all who enter a church. Funerals and limited celebrations of Baptisms and Weddings can also begin.
“It has been a challenging few months for Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens. We know many people have eagerly been awaiting the day our churches would open. While we cannot celebrate Mass just yet, it is so important that we can now enter for prayer. It is my hope that this will give many of our faithful great comfort during this difficult time,” said Bishop DiMarzio. Mass continues to be streamed online and broadcast on the Diocesan cable channel, NET-TV.
Beyond the requirement to wear masks, the Diocese urges anyone who feels sick in any way not to come to church for prayer. Entry to the church will be limited to ten people, as per New York State guidelines, and all who enter the church must maintain the six feet social distancing regulation at all times. Funerals, Baptisms, and Weddings will also be limited to ten people, with everyone required to wear a mask.
Additionally, the faithful are being asked to check with individual parishes for the specific hours their church will be open for prayer. Ushers and/or volunteers will be present to assist with social distancing.
Diocese of Brooklyn churches have been closed since March 20 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The reopening of churches is Phase 1 of a multi-phase plan that will ultimately lead to the resumption of Mass when there are no longer the government requirements limiting the number of people at a service to 10. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains in effect until further notice.
The Diocesan Committee on Re-opening Churches is being led by Joseph Esposito, the former New York City Emergency Management Commissioner, who brings 45 years of experience in the New York City Police Department, including his role as Chief of Department.
“We are consulting with medical and health professionals to ensure the safety of all priests and parishioners who enter Brooklyn and Queens churches. In my nearly 50 years of service to the city, this is one of the hardest issues I have had to deal with. The risks are great which is why we have to get things right the first time,” said Commissioner Esposito.
“As we begin the process of reopening our churches, we must understand that we will not be able to resume church life as we enjoyed it before. There will be a series of changes designed to keep everyone healthy and safe during prayer and worship. I am confident that we will respond, as faithful People of God, to the challenges placed before us,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
A MESSAGE TO OUR FAITHFUL SUPPORTERS | Monday, March 24
Now is a time for prayer!
We face unprecedented and unsettling times as the news regarding COVID-19 changes, seemingly by the minute. What remains steadfast is God’s love for us and how it shines through as we are there for each other with acts of kindness and love. The good in our hearts always prevails and the challenges we face across our globe will draw us closer to each other and to the Lord.
We are saddened by the drastic effects of this pandemic on our Brooklyn and Queens Catholic community, especially the suspension of Mass. We will pray often for your intentions. You may click on the link below to leave a special intention at any time: Cfbq.org/Intentions.
If you or a family member need pastoral care, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local pastor for assistance. If you are elderly or know of an elderly person, please let your pastor know and he can call to check in. If you would like to connect with our office staff, please call (718) 965-7375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since our staff is working remotely, we ask that you please leave a message and you will receive an immediate call back during business hours.
As faithful donors, whether it be to the Annual Catholic Appeal, Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens programs or Futures in Education scholarships, we know how committed you are to the mission of the Catholic Church. Our responsibility is to continue to fund and support that mission, even through these challenging times.
As we continue to ascertain the urgent needs within our Diocese, we will keep you informed. At this time of the suspension of Masses, is a way to continue your stewardship is through e-giving for your parish’s weekly offertory – if you are in a position to help. You may also consider supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal and sponsoring a student in our Angel scholarship program.
In these uncertain times, let’s help make the certain love God has for us shine through by loving and supporting each other in our Brooklyn and Queens Catholic Families. God bless you.
Please remember me in your prayers – I will remember you in mine. If you need me for any reason, please call the office staff. They will let me know immediately.
Sincerely in Christ,