When will we be returning to church for public celebrations of the Mass?
Great news!! We have reopened for weekend masses (a Saturday mass at 4pm) ( Sunday masses at 8am & 10:30am). Doors to church will be opened 1/2 hour prior to mass beginning. All of the pews have been 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 has taken considerable time - but we know you will be happy with the results. New burgundy kneelers are installed and new burgundy cushions have been fabricated for the pews. All of the carpeting has been replaced. Gentile's Carpeting has covered the sanctuary with a plush gold carpet - very similar to what you have known over the years. And the entire church is now carpeted with a burgundy patterned high grade commercial carpet. In addition, our building committee had 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 - but church gatherings were subsequently moved to Phase 2. Thank you for your patience. Now that the work is completed, we look forward to seeing you again.
Will the Church be safe to reenter when we return?
Many thanks to the committee that has planned the safe reentry into St. Mary's. Our Pandemic Safety Officer and Chair of the Committee is Bob Wolfgang. He assembled a panel of parishioners who possess unique expertise and personal experience helped 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, Phil Minnisale, Ford Oxaal, Holly Hayes and Fr Provost. Following the guidelines posted by the Diocese, the Committee has formulated 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. Communion will be distributed at the end of mass as parishioners leave the church. This procedure has been established and approved by the Diocese because there is no traffic pattern to and from the altar area that allows for proper social distancing and one-way flow of parishioners in the aisles. No matter how we looked at the possibilities- people still would be bunching up and having to squeeze by one another in the aisles. 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 at all times by all who wish to enter the church. As you enter you will be invited to give your name (first name is enough) and phone number so that we can provide contact tracing (if necessary). This information will be kept in a secure locked safe for 2-3 weeks - and then will be destroyed. 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. Only the downstairs of the church will be be available for seating. This rule is in place because the entire church must be sanitized after each use of the church and this process can best be expedited by utilizing only the downstairs seating. The sacristy will be off limits and only the upstairs rest room will be available (emergency purposes only please). Because of social distancing requirements those wishing to have candles lit will be asked to bring their candle intention/donation to church in a regular envelope and place it in the collection or hand it to an usher. We will light candles for those who request them. Most importantly - follow the directions of the ushers who will assist you in finding a seat, arranging for candles to be lit, receiving communion and exiting church.
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. Parishioners may call the office to schedule a confession by appointment.
When will Father Flannery be back?
Great news!! Father Flannery is back on a limited basis. He is regularly offering a weekend mass. He can be reached by contacting Holly Hayes at the Parish Office.
What about mass intentions?
All masses that were scheduled during the closure of Church 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.