Just over a week ago, Bishop DiMarzio announced the reopening of Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens according to four distinct phases or steps:
- Opening of churches for private prayer and devotion. Restricted funerals, baptisms, weddings, and confessions according to specific norms.
- Limited celebration of weekday Mass.
- Limited celebration of Sunday Mass.
- Celebration of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
We are now in the first phase, which began last Tuesday. The dates of the subsequent stages are not yet determined, and will depend on how the previous stages play out.
St. Raphael’s opened for the first phase this week. Parishioners showed up daily for personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Our first funeral in church will take place this coming Friday. The specifics of our procedure are elsewhere in this bulletin, both in English and in Spanish. Please read them if you are planning to “make a visit”.
The full diocesan plan for the reopening of our churches is on our parish website, and more information will be found in The Tablet, available in hard copy and online.
We have announced in this bulletin that we are updating our parish email file, and again request that you let us know (either for the first time or again) your current email (either in writing or by email or by phoning the parish office). Earlier this week, we were able to send a heads-up email on the reopening to those who have submitted this information, and we hope to continue to use this platform for future communication with parishioners.
Happy feast of the Holy Spirit! As Pope Francis has said, “Without the Spirit, our Christian life unravels, lacking the love that brings everything together”.
-Father Jerry Jecewiz