As of today, May 22nd, the following situation is in effect with regard to public Liturgies in this Parish. They follow the latest Diocesan instructions as of today.
Funeral Masses in church may be celebrated. However, a maximum of 10 people may attend ( with face masks), with no distribution of Holy Communion or Sign of Peace.
Baptisms are permitted to be scheduled: 10 people maximum in attendance
Weddings: the same limitation of attendance.
Confessions may be scheduled again. They will be heard here at St. Matthew’s on Saturdays 3 to 4 pm. Appropriate physical arrangements will be made respecting “social distancing” of six feet.
We are only “permitted” to celebrate public Mass with 10 people (including priest) maximum according to both New York State and the Diocese.
This requirement is clearly unworkable in any Catholic parish, much less a large one like St. Matthew’s; as well as “parking lot” Masses which pose many logistical and technical problems. The Diocese has directed that even if such Masses were to be celebrated at this time, NO distribution of Holy Communion would be possible as it stands now.
As the Bishop’s directives allow individual pastors leeway to make prudential decisions for each parish, I have decided that for the time being we will not be celebrating public Masses given these conditions here in St. Matthew’s until or unless conditions become more manageable and practical.
Please bear in mind that the Obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is still dispensed and not binding at this time.
With every best wish and prayerful remembrance,