FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2020
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 3-18-20
As a follow-up to the directive to suspend all Public Masses until further notice, the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, has issued a number of additional guidelines, governing the practice of the faith as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, to all parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens.
To comply with the government recommendation to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, the following has been implemented in the Diocese of Brooklyn effective immediately:
PALM SUNDAY AND HOLY WEEK SERVICES
- There will be no Masses open to the public on Palm Sunday. Priests throughout Brooklyn and Queens will bless palms and will be asked to leave them on tables in the back of the Church for pickup.
- Reconciliation Monday, a special time devoted to confession at the start of Holy Week, has been canceled. However, Priests will be available for individual confessions throughout the remainder of the Lenten season and during this period of crisis.
- The Chrism Mass will not be celebrated publicly. The Bishop will celebrate the Mass from the Cathedral and the oils will be available for distribution at designated sites around the diocese. Further information will be released at a later date.
- The Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion (Good Friday) the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, will not be celebrated publicly. A broadcast schedule of the services with no congregation, to air on NET-TV, the cable channel of the Diocese of Brooklyn, will be announced at a later date.
- All Confirmations and Communions have been postponed until May 15, 2020.
- All intentions will be satisfied in private Masses.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
- The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick may be administered to individuals as needed, with Priests visiting those with COVID-19 taking extra precautions.
- Priests will try to make Communion calls, adhering to necessary health precautions.
- Parish food pantries may remain open, but those in need are asked to contact their specific parish for schedule and procedural updates.
- Alcoholics Anonymous groups will continue to meet but only with less than 10 people and adhering to the social distancing practice.
- Churches may remain open for silent adoration but in adherence to capacity guidelines.
- All parish meetings and parish events will be canceled.
- Bulletins will be posted on parish websites.
- The Diocese of Brooklyn’s administrative offices will be closed to the public due to the Coronavirus beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, for an undisclosed amount of time. The diocesan staff will be working remotely. You can reach the Diocese by calling 718-965-7300.
“In the days and weeks ahead, let us ask God to watch over the people of our Diocese and all of His people; those who are sick, those who will fall ill, and those who are caring for them,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.