It’s a beautiful feast, a lovely day, and a happy occasion. I have the fortunate task of writing to you about the resumption of public sacramental life in our parish. Our last public Mass was at 9 AM on Saturday, March 14, the next will be at 7 AM this Monday, June 22. Fr. John Devaney saw this letter and reminded me that the Friars first put out their shingle in this neighborhood on this day in 1867.
Since New York City will enter Phase II of its reopening on Monday, the Archdiocese will follow suit. Given how well we have learned how to take care of each other in the weeks of lockdown I invite you to take up with confidence the regular practice of Mass and Confession. That said, the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday remains suspended and if you find yourself in a vulnerable group or you simply are not ready to be a large group then please remain home and we will continue to connect with you through our streaming ministry.
The regulations allow us to have gatherings in church at 25% capacity. Since it is summer, and since many have left the city, we think we will be safe having our regular schedule of Masses with proper precautions observed (See below). Likewise, regular confessions can now be heard as usual, provided we maintain social distance in the confession line.
During the months of pandemic the streaming apostolate did great work at keeping us connected and we think it has a role to play in our future. Our plan for July and August is to live stream parish Masses as follows:
Monday – Friday – 12:10 PM
Saturday – 9 AM
Sunday – 12 Noon
20 minutes before each of these masses we will live stream the Rosary.
The Wednesday evening Holy Hour at 7:30 PM at St. Vincent Ferrer will resume this week. At the present time the Dominican Community at St. Vincent Ferrer will continue to celebrate the Divine Office in the church. This will include Sunday Vespers.
For Mass we need to observe the following:
- We need to wear a mask, or its equivalent, in church.
- We practice social distancing as indicated by the markers.
- We make frequent use of the hand sanitizer provided.
- The churches will be cleaned between masses.
- Please follow instructions for the distribution of Holy Communion that will be given at the Mass. (I assume that before the lockdown you weighed the options and reached a conclusion about the most appropriate way to receive.)
Our plan is to assign two Friars to each Mass, weekday and Sunday. These Brothers will set up for Mass, and take care of the all the liturgical needs. I hope our dedicated lay ministers can simply rest in the liturgy. I hope that September will see you back in action.
Sadly we may not greet at the end of Mass.
I hope that the joy of Mass and Communion will outweigh the effect of the restrictions. Certainly I am profoundly grateful that we have reached this moment.