COVID 19 RESPONSE

PARISH EVENTS AND SERVICES DURING COVID 19 RESPONSE

 

UPDATE

(as of September 12, 2021)

Out of a concern resulting from an increase in COVID 19 cases throughout Brooklyn and Queens, the diocese has implemented the following guidelines to parishes until January 2022:

There are to be no large gatherings in parish buildings, including school auditoriums, pariah halls, gyms and cafeterias.

This includes:
• All indoor sporting events (including CYO)
• Parish receptions of any kind
• Large Parish meetings

The prohibition does not include Religious Education Classes, the safety protocols for which are being implemented as outlined at each parish.

Small gatherings can be held with the necessary safety protocols in place to create enough social distancing. This capacity is based on the total number the space can accommodate with allowance for social distancing. Masks are required and there must be no shared objects (utensils, etc.).

For celebrations of the liturgy in church, please note that the same protocols remain in place, that is, masks are highly encouraged (even for those who are vaccinated), social distancing (especially for the unvaccinated) to the extent possible is to be practiced and there should be no physical contact.

 

 

 

 

Parish Cleaning

All parish facilities of Sacred Hearts – St. Stephen Parish have been professional cleaned and the floors have been resurfaced. This includes: The Main Church, Chapel, Cabrini Hall, Rectory Hall & Rectory offices/common spaces.

 

Ways to Continue to Stay Connected

If you do not currently receive our monthly parish e-mails, please sign up for our e-newsletter on the parish homepage (HERE). This will allow us the ability to communicate with you.

If you are on Facebook, please “Like” the Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen Catholic Church public page (HERE) and also join the Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen Parish Brooklyn group (HERE). This will allow you to view Facebook live Masses and Services as well receive messages and updates.

 

Virtually Attending Mass & Services

All weekday Masses (Monday – Saturday) will continue to be celebrated at 8:30 AM and streamed Live for everyone to attend virtually on our Facebook pages.

Sunday 10 AM Mass will continue to be streamed Live for everyone to attend virtually on our Facebook pages.

The Rosary will be prayed every Thursday at 7 PM live on Facebook from the Church for all to participate in. Follow along with the text (Here).

 

Funeral Services will be permitted but are to be strictly limited to 50 people. Persons attending the funeral must be seated using social distancing norms (Six [6] feet apart) and everyone must wear a mask or face covering. Funerals will  begin with the casket in place in front of the altar with the family seated. There is no procession into or out of the church. No worship aids or memorial booklets can be distributed or used in the church.

Baptisms can take place with social distancing guidelines being enforced and limited to 50 or fewer participants. The water will be changed for each baptism.

Weddings take place with social distancing guidelines being enforced and limited to 50 or fewer participants.

Anointings will be celebrated with the usual safety measures in place. Priests will wear mask and gloves and the anointing will take place with the use of a cotton ball which is to be reverently disposed of after each anointing. Any guidelines that are in place in hospitals or other institutions must be respected. There can be no celebrations of communal anointings in church.

Confessions will take place with the priest and penitent both wearing masks and remaining at least six (6) feet distant from one another. Appointments must be made of confession to assure that no lines or groups form. You may call the rectory and make an appointment with Msgr. Massie directly at 718-596-7750. Please note that Confessions may take place in the church yard at the rear of the rectory or some other agreed upon large private space which allows the 6 foot separation.

 

Church Office Hours

The Diocese of Brooklyn has asked that all Rectory offices be re-opened with 50% of staff . You may always call the rectory at 718-596-7750 or email info@sacredhearts-ststephen.com if you would like to speak to a priest or need help.

 

Financial Stewardship

For those who are financially able to continue to support the parish during this time we encourage you to sign up for e-giving (HERE) so that we may be able to continue the ministry of the church during this critical time.

Parish Religious Education and Catholic Schools

Regular parish CCD classes held on Sundays and Wednesdays are postponed for the time being.  Likewise, all activities related to our children’s faith-formation program such as the Sunday 7th grade seminar, Stations of the Cross practices, Confirmation mentoring sessions, and Child Lures training are also postponed for the time being.

 

What to do when entering the Church for Private Prayer or Mass 

When will the Church be open?
The Church continues to be open for private prayer everyday, Monday – Sunday from 12 Noon till 2 PM (2 Hours) & During the celebration of Mass starting June 29th.

How many people are allowed inside the church at the same time?
Only 50 people can be in the church at the same time…if you arrive at the church and there are already 50 people inside please wait outside until someone leaves to enter.

Must I wear a mask in order to enter the church?
Yes. Please bring your own mask from home, masks are not available for you at the church.

Must I disinfect my hands upon entering the church?
Yes. Hand-sanitizer dispensers will be available to you as you enter the church. Please disinfect your hands before and after entering the church.

Where can I sit while I am in the church praying?
You may sit in one of the pews that is not tied off with a yellow rope but only in the spots marked with the blue cross.

Should I wipe down the area where I was sitting before I leave the church?
Yes. Sanitizing wipes will be available to you as you enter the church. You should take one upon entering the church so that you can use it to clean the areas you have touched in the church before you leave. Please only use the wipes provided by the church so as not to damage any o the wood or delicate surfaces in the church accidentally.

May I light a candle while at the church? 
No. While annual memorial candles are lit and candle stands are on, the touching of these stands would only help spread Covid-19 potentially. Therefore, the Candle Stands and the statues in the church are roped off from people.

I am not sure if I should come to the church…who should not come? 
The elderly and all who are health-compromised are advised to stay home. Anyone who feels sick in any way must stay home. Parishioners should take their temperature before leaving their home and should stay home if the temperature is over 100 degrees.

If I need to use the restroom while I am visiting the church or at mass will it be open?
No. We are fortunate to live in an urban community where we most can walk from their home to the church. Since we do not have a maintenance staff we are currently unable to ensure that the restroom will be cleaned each time it is used.

Can I get a bulletin while at church?
No, no paper handouts or booklets will be available at the church. you may access the weekly bulletin on our website at http://sacredhearts-ststephen.com/category/bulletins/

Will I be able to bless myself with Holy Water upon entering the Church? 
No. In order prevent the potential spread of Covid-19 all Holy Water fonts are empty at this time. The faithful should still bless themselves upon entering the church acknowledging the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

 

The health of all the faithful of our parish 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 through the intercession of His Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

 

 

Phase 2 & 3 reopening Guidelines