COVID-19 Update – Supreme Court Ruling
For immediate release via: www.WNYCatholic.org
Late on November 25, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in the case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York vs. Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York. The 5 to 4 decision pertains to the state’s ability to restrict capacity in houses of worship. See: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20a87_4g15.pdf
In keeping with the Diocese’s priority to mitigate risk of infection and protect those most vulnerable, parishes must continue to: Follow all CDC guidelines and advice of medical professionals, including continuing to observe six foot physical distance; Continue to require the use of face masks at all liturgies and follow other well-established diocesan policies for the celebration of Masses.
Individual parish capacity will be determined by the size of the worship space and the required social distance requirements. The dispensation regarding the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and other Days of Holy Obligation is still effect. Those wishing to attend liturgy in person are obligated to maintain six feet social distance from others while in attendance.
The Diocese’s guidelines for parishes can be found at http://www.buffalodiocese.org/coronavirus
Apostolic Administrator Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger welcomes this ruling. “We have an obligation to do everything we can to protect one another from the threat that the coronavirus poses. At the same time, we welcome this decision that upholds the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ clause. Food and drink for the soul are as essential as food and drink for the stomach.”
In Erie County and in the Town of Tonawanda we still remain in code orange. We are limited to 50% capacity or a 400 person minimum for in person Mass and Prayer schedules. Our Mass and prayer schedule is as follows:
WEEKEND MASS – In Person & Via Live Stream
- Saturday 4:30pm vigil
- Sunday 7am, 9am and 11am
WEEKDAY MASS – In Person & Via Live Stream
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am and 10:30am
- Tuesday & Thursday 6:30am and 10:30am
- Saturday 8am
PRAYER – In Person & Via Live Stream
- Novena, Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction Mondays 6:00 – 7:30pm
- Rosary Monday – Friday following the 8am Mass
At this time, during our Code Orange Zone, we will offer confessions Monday evenings as the Novena, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction will include confessions from 6:00 – 7:00pm. We will also offer confessions on Wednesday afternoon from 4:00 – 5:00pm. There will not be confessions on Saturdays.
While attending Mass and Prayer session in person, you must wear a mask or face covering, bring your own hand sanitizer for personal use and remain socially distant from others. This is for the safety of all of us as we follow the CDC guidelines and guidelines provided by the Diocese.
We ask for everyone to please be patient with our volunteers as we all do our absolute best to adapt and keep everyone safe.
Remember why we all come to church, and the rest will all fall into place!