From the In My Backyard Desk…the following statement was released Friday morning by the Diocese of Brooklyn:
CHURCHES & LITURGY
In an effort to be proactive in our response to the spread of the Covid 19 Virus, Bishop DiMarzio has dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice.
Public Masses will be celebrated; however the faithful are urged to exercise caution and try to limit the numbers of persons gathered. This is in an effort to be in compliance with the State’s regulations about large public gatherings. This dispensation remains in effect until further notice.
Weekday Masses, too, will continue as usual with the normal precautions people should take when gathering in public places. Other celebrations (such as weddings and funerals) may take place but attendance should be limited. Celebrations such as Confirmations, First Penance, etc. may take place but attendance should be strictly limited, perhaps including only family members. There is an option for an Order for Confirmation without Mass, if this is desired. In these extremely difficult and challenging times, our primary duty is to keep the faithful safe and healthy.
When gathering, the faithful are urged to take the necessary precautions including hand washing, remaining at a safe distance from others and other safe practices, such as the reception of Holy Communion in the hand.
The elementary Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn will close next week, Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20. Monday will be used as a professional day for teachers to develop their distance learning plans. We anticipate that beginning Tuesday, children in the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Academies and Schools will have access to online learning.
In addition, the leadership of all Catholic Academies and Parish Schools are committed to following CDC guidelines regarding deep cleaning and sanitization of buildings.
This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing situation and after consultation with city and state agencies. Please continue to monitor your Catholic Academy and Parish School websites next week for further updates.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS
All in-person parish religious education classes, all youth ministry classes and group meetings (including all CYO activities) and all adult faith formation sessions (including RENEW and other small faith sharing groups) will be cancelled until further notice. As previously stated, all Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis classes, events, workshops, and other gatherings are also canceled during this period.
The health of all the faithful of the Diocese is of utmost concern, so let us continue to pray to the Lord Who is a healer to protect us and bring about quickly an end to this present crisis.