Return to our Church
The return to our Church will occur through a three-phase gradual process. Each phase will be rolled out with specific dates and directives to follow determined by Archdiocese.
The specific date for the commencement of Phase One will be May 17, 2020. Consideration will be given to the policies of state and local authorities. Parishes and ecclesiastical communities should not take it upon themselves to implement these phases without prior authorization from the Archdiocese of Newark.
1. Cardinal Tobin continues to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday as well as from “Easter duty” (the obligation to receive Holy Communion during the season of Easter).
2. Churches may be opened solely for personal prayer during limited and designated hours. Individuals and families enter the church for quiet prayer only. During opening hours, a parish staff member must be physically present in the church to ensure social distancing and sanitizing. No gatherings are permitted.
3. In accord with national, state and local health directives, those who show symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to an infected person are not permitted to enter the church for 14 days.
4. Holy water fonts must remain empty until further notice.
5. Hand sanitizer should be made available throughout the church.
6. Public celebrations of liturgies, devotions, or other group prayer are not permitted at this time.
7. Masks must be worn by all individuals while in the church.
8. Gloves must be worn by all individuals while in the church.
9. Individuals and families must maintain social distancing (six feet) between each person while in the church.
10. The pastor will ensure that there is prominent notification within the church regarding the requirement of masks and social distancing.
11. Pews, door handles and knobs, restrooms and high traffic areas of the church should be wiped down and sanitized at regular intervals with the removal of trash and other items from the pews.
12. The Sacrament of Reconciliation can be offered at specified and limited times.
Confessionals are not to be used.
Social distancing must be maintained by those waiting for the sacrament and attention be given to maintaining the seal.
Masks must be worn by confessor and penitent.
Schedule for St. Catherine’s
Sunday’s Exposition and Prayer: 9 AM to 12:00 Noon
Monday to Friday: 3 to 6 PM
Saturdays: 9 AM to 12:00 Noon
There will be a risk to anyone who attends church. Even with best health practices and strict social distancing, anyone who enters a public space should recognize there is a risk of contracting the coronavirus. Improved cleaning will occur at our churches, but no one should expect that they will be any safer from germs that in other public spaces.