Due to Updated Directives from the Archdioceses of Newark for all parishes, and based on the lessening of COVID restrictions from the State of New Jersey, the following will be effective immediately:

  • Use of masks in St. Paul Church will no longer be required for fully vaccinated persons. Those not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and wear a face mask in public settings.

  • People in St. Paul Church or on parish property will no longer be required to socially distance outdoors or indoors, although unvaccinated persons should continue to maintain a safe distance from others.

  • All indoor gathering limits are removed. All roping from pews will be removed. All church doors will be open and accessible.

 

Regarding Sunday Mass, the following will be effective as of June 5/6:

  • The obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days has been reinstated. Those who are ill or suspect they have had COVID exposure should remain at home. Attendance at Sunday Mass weekly is a grave obligation for all Catholics, but it is also a requirement of love. God commands us to keep holy the Lord’s Day which, for Christians, is Sunday (the first day of the week, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection). To absent ourselves from the Lord’s table and ignore His invitation to fellowship without sufficient reason is to remove ourselves from the nourishment we need for our spiritual lives. Saints throughout history lived in many times, places, and circumstances, but they had one thing in common: their love for Christ truly present in Holy Mass and in the reception of Holy Communion worthily (when Christ and the soul become one). Be a Saint!

  • Opening and Closing Processions at Mass may now take place.

  • Holy water fonts will remain empty, but holy water dispensers will be in place and replenished as needed.

  • Collections using long handled baskets may be taken up. We continue to encourage our parishioners to use Parish Giving: electronic giving is more regular, dependable, and helps us plan for our future.

  • Gifts of Bread and Wine, as well as the collection, may be brought forth by members of the assembly.

  • The Sign of Peace should be offered, but continue to be made without physical contact.

  • Those receiving Holy Communion may still only do so in the hand. The chalice with the Lord’s Precious Blood is still prohibited for the assembly.

  • Clergy and Extraordinary Ministers will continue to sanitize hands before distribution of communion, and will be required to wear masks during this distribution. Clergy will also be required to wear masks during other sacramental celebrations e.g. baptisms, anointing, etc. (especially when in close physical proximity to others).

  • Livestreaming of Sunday Mass will continue for those who are ill or confined to their homes. Please note: livestreaming is not a replacement for Sunday Mass attendance when this is possible.

  • The option to wear masks for those who wish (especially those who have not been vaccinated) remains in place. Everyone should do what makes them most comfortable.

  • Please note: even for those who are vaccinated, it is still possible to contract COVID-19 in Church. Following CDC guidelines will help minimize the risk.

 

Thank you to all those who exhibited patience, kindness, sensitivity, and faith during this difficult time. As we continue to move forward, let us thank God for the graces of this past year, and be open to all He has yet in store for our community, our families, and ourselves.

COVID-19 Response