Letter from the Pastor
Fourth Week of Easter
There is something positive for Saint Lucy emerging from the Great Pause. Since the Archdiocese of Newark suspended the celebration of sacraments and directed that the church be locked, some of our parish staff began working hard inside the empty church. All the church woodwork has received a new coat of varnish; they have deep cleaned the terrazzo floor, as well as the marble steps. You will see the pristine beauty of the church as our ancestor saw it.
Eventually the Archdiocese of Newark will open churches. You will enter a clean and sanitized Saint Lucy. Nevertheless, celebrations of the sacraments will not be the same.
When Saint Lucy opens, we will still need to practice “social distancing.” This is impossible in the restricted space of the adoration chapel, and therefore, it will remain closed.
The capacity of Saint Lucy’s Church, according to the Fire Department, is 750 persons. This number, however, does not allow for “social distancing.” Taking into account “social distancing” the capacity of the church will be more like 92 persons. The actual number will be slightly higher because a family of four would occupy a pew intended for two persons and the Honor Guard/Ushers stand at the back doors of the church.
Another 92 persons could occupy the basement church (Father Luigi Hall) and see the Eucharist live-streamed, and another 92+ could be in the parking lot, where they could see the Mass live-streamed on their Smart Phones. People entering the church will have their temperature checked, and admittance will be on a first-come—first enter policy. Those who have a temperature will have to remain outside in the parking lot.
Also, I believe that both the State of New Jersey and the Archdiocese of Newark will require attendees to wear facemasks and gloves. These are important for those who wish to receive Holy Communion. Distribution of communion will be first in the main church, then in the basement church, and finally in the parking lot.
For other sacraments, such as First Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation, please be patient. We are waiting for directives from the Archdiocese of Newark.
Not only are these difficult times, but also unprecedented times. I am convinced that there are persons who will never accept these directions, even though they will originate from the State of New Jersey and the Archdiocese of Newark. These persons do not accept the advice of medical professionals. They will not wear a facial mask, or gloves. In effect they will be exposing us to mortal danger because they don’t believe the scientists. I hope our response will be “Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”