May 22, 2020 Coronavirus Update
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ Here at Immac,
Yesterday afternoon, we received information from Bishop DiMarzio regarding the process of reopening the parishes of the Brooklyn Diocese. This information laid out a four-phase plan of slowly opening the Churches until we are able to celebrate Masses in community again. The first phase, the restricted opening of Churches for private prayer only, can begin on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. After careful consultation with our staff, and working closely with the guidelines set by the Bishop, we have determined that we are unable to open on that date. There is a great deal of work that needs to be done to prepare the Church for opening it to the public so as to make it follow proper sanitary guidelines. We believe, however, that we can complete this work and have the Church ready to open on Monday, June 1st, 2020. Please understand that the experience in the Church will be very different compared with what it was before we closed. Please note the following changes that have been implemented by us and the Bishop:
- The Church will be open for private prayer only from 7AM to 11AM daily, including Sundays. It will be closed at all other times.
- The number of people allowed in the Church will be carefully monitored at all times so as to remain within government and diocesan regulations.
- Only the Main Entrance doors (on Ditmars Blvd.) and the 29th Street door will be open. Please do not attempt to use any other door for entry or exit.
- No public Masses will be celebrated until further notice; our current streaming Mass schedule will continue as usual, but from a different location.
- All people entering the Church must wear a mask or face covering at all times. Those not wearing a mask or face covering will not be allowed in the Church at this time.
- Markings will be placed on the pews where you are able to remain and pray. No other pews and areas will be available for use.
- Missalettes, Bulletins, Tablets, and other paper periodicals will not be available until further notice. Our Bulletin can be found on our website. Daily Mass readings and prayers can be found on the USCCB website.
- There will be no Holy Water present in the fonts. Those who wish to take Holy Water should bring a bottle from home and approach the Sacristan on duty.
- Due to the difficulties in maintaining their cleanliness and socially distancing, all the bathrooms in the Church will be closed.
- Volunteers will be in the Church to monitor your safety and the safety of others. Please listen to their instructions at all times.
- The elderly and those who are health-compromised are seriously advised to remain at home until it is safe to engage in public. Your prayers at home and Spiritual Communions are most needed at this time!
- Those who are sick or feel sick must stay home. Those who are observed to be sick while in the Church will be asked to leave for their safety and the safety of others.
- At this time, hand sanitizer cannot be provided by the Church. Please try to bring and use your own before and after your visit.
- For your safety most importantly, and the safety of others, please do not touch or kiss any statues or public devotional images in the Church. We understand the great devotion many of you have to our powerful Saints, but they too want you to remain safe! The candles at the images and statues will remain operational, though. Your prayers are most needed and welcome!
We know these rules and guidelines are tough, but this represents the first step on the way to normalcy. Please abide by them so that we can quickly return to enjoying our community experience in our wonderful Church! God bless you and keep you safe!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. Fernando Ferrarese, Pastor