March 24, 2020 Update for Parishes

Updated Directives as of March 24, 2020

On March 23, Governor Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory effective until Tuesday, April 7. Indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited throughout the Commonwealth. In accordance with Governor Baker’s advisory, the following directives are in place as of 12 noon today, March 24:

  • All parish offices should be closed effective noon on March 24th and parish office personnel should, to the extent possible, work from home until further notice.
    • Only necessary visits to the parish buildings, such as the custodian to check on and maintain the property and a staff person to execute required financial transactions such as deposits, are allowed.
    • Parishes should ensure frequent voice message retrieval or, alternatively, forward parish phones to appropriate cell or home phones of those working from home.
    • Parishes should post on the door of the parish offices the phone and email of the pastor and secretary in the event someone has an urgent need to communicate with a priest or the parish staff.

In addition, the Cardinal’s letter to priests on March 23, included the following updated guidance:

  • With careful monitoring priests may open their Churches for prayer and adoration during clearly limited times; however, there can be no more than a total of 10 persons in the Church at any moment, there must be a member of the clergy present at all times. Social distancing and proper disinfecting procedures must be practiced.
    • Please be sure to provide Lysol or Clorox or other approved germicidal wipes, with signage and directions that, upon leaving:
      • visitors should wipe the bench and other surfaces that they have touched
      • visitors use the same wipe to hold the door handle as they open the door to exit the church/chapel
    • A waste container should be left outside the door for disposal of the wipes
  • Masses that are taped or streamed from the Church should be limited to essential people without a congregation.
  • Priests are able to place the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in the window of the rectory if it is feasible for those to pray and view the monstrance only from their cars in the Church parking lot. A priest must be present in the rectory while the Eucharist is displayed but I give permission in these cases for the Eucharist to be exposed without an individual immediately present.
  • Please note the Governor’s advisory that persons over age seventy or with underlying health conditions should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible. With recognition of the responsibilities that we all have during this time of public health crisis, I encourage all people to limit social interactions, and therefore to exercise careful and prudential judgment before making a decision to visit a church.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us via our dedicated hotline or email:

COVID-19 Hotline: 617-746-5750

COVID-19 Email: corona@rcab.org

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