When will we be returning to church for public celebrations of the Mass?
At the present time we do not have a definite date to return to and reopen the Church. Please note the announcement that has appeared in our weekly bulletin (see below). At the present time there is a great deal of construction and enhancement going on in the church. All of the pews are being regrained and refurbished by the Keck Corporation, master craftspeople who did the original work on our pews over 30 years ago and, more recently, did restoration work at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. This work is very labor intensive and will take considerable time - but we know you will be happy with the results. New burgundy kneelers will be installed and new burgundy cushions have been fabricated for the pews. All of the carpeting is being replaced. Gentile's Carpeting will be covering the sanctuary with a plush gold carpet - very similar to what you have known over the years. And the entire church will be carpeted with a burgundy patterned high grade commercial carpet. In addition, our building committee has contracted to have the ceiling in the choir loft repaired and restored. (You may be aware that it was damaged by a leak in the roof). We contracted to do all this work during this time because we thought that the churches were to be reopened as part of Phase 4 in New York State. That would have occurred approximately in late June. We dot not plan to reopen the church until all of this work is completed - hopefully sometime in early August. The Diocese is aware of these plans and is supportive of our timeline.
Will the Church be safe to reenter when we return?
A committee has been formed to plan the safe reentry into St. Mary's. Our Pandemic Safety Officer and Chair of the Committee is Bob Wolfgang. He has assembled a panel of parishioners who possess unique expertise and personal experience in helping to get us reopened. Members of the committee include Joanne Maloy, Mary Nash, Rich Hendrick, Jim Elaqua, Cate Doyle, Bruce McBride, Dr Eugene Hoffert, Rich Sleasman, Arlene Rappoccio,Deacon Walter, Fr Moyna, Holly Hayes and Fr Provost. (Please feel free to be in touch with any of these committee people to express your thoughts or share ideas). Following the guidelines posted by the Diocese, the Committee is formulating specific plans for St. Mary's that will insure proper social distancing when entering and exiting the church - also while seated in church. A group headed by Fr. Moyna is planning the best way for us to celebrate the liturgy given the restrictions that have been set forth by the Diocese. This committee will address matters pertaining to the celebration, the music, the collections, reception of communion and other necessary aspects of the mass. Still other members of the committee are addressing how to deal with disinfecting the church after each mass and how to be sure that hand sanitizing and masks are available for all. Masks will be required to be worn by all who wish to enter the church. All will be required to follow the directions of the ushers at mass. This is a massive undertaking and will require the cooperation of all of us.
When will Confessions be scheduled?
New Diocesan guidelines require confessions to take place in a private area where social distancing of 6 feet can occur. Therefore Confessionals will not be used until after this pandemic is over. At present no confessions are being regularly scheduled while construction and refurbishing occurs in the church. In the meantime, parishioners may call the office to schedule a confession by appointment.
When will Father Flannery be back?
At present we do not have a definite date for his return but we are hopeful he will be back by late July. This is not a definite date - but we are hopeful - and ask you prayers for his complete recovery and quick return.
What about mass intentions?
All masses that were scheduled in March, April, May and June have been said privately by the priests of the parish. If you wish to have a mass rescheduled for any reason please contact our secretary, Holly Hayes.
How can I keep myself better updated?
You can check this webpage. It will give a link to our weekly bulletins - and you can subscribe to that bulletin service which makes the coming week's bulletin available days before publication/distribution. We also have a Facebook page that has information that is helpful. However the best way to be notified of what is happening is to be sure we have your email address on file. We are able to notify anyone immediately as to our plans if we have your email on file. Please contact Holly Hayes at 518-462-4254 x102 to be sure we have your listing. We do not make these email addresses available to anyone else.