The link below will take you to Bishop O’Connell’s latest message regarding the coronavirus.
From Fr. Joe Hlubik
A Message from Bishop O’Connell On Measures to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19.
In response to the latest guidelines from national and state health authorities aimed at stopping the spread of the disease, I have directed the following:
- All public Masses throughout the Diocese of Trenton will be temporarily suspended through April 3, 2020. That date is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic evolves.
- Baptism, funerals and weddings may continue based on the judgement of pastors, with the caution that crowds should not exceed 50 persons as mandated by the State of a New Jersey.
- Social distancing practices (3-6 feet of space between participants) should be observed for any event inside church spaces.
- Churches should remain open for prayer, private devotion and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Pastors are asked to consider Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the day. Praying in large groups, however, should be avoided.
- Attention should be paid to the cleanliness of our church facilities.
- Televised or online celebrations of the Mass and other religious programming are available for use of the faithful during this time.
- All scheduled Confirmations in the Diocese will be temporarily postponed until after Easter and will be re-scheduled after that time.
- The Sacrament of Penance should remain available according to need, but public Penance Services are not to be conducted.
- The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should also remain available for true emergencies. Hospitals and nursing homes may be on lock-down and priests are advised to check on their status beforehand.
- All Catholic schools in the Diocese will remain closed as mandated by the State of New Jersey. Directions for academic work have been provided by the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in coordination with Catholic school administrations.
- All religious education programs are suspended with at-home work provided by the local parish leaders where possible.
- The Chancery offices will be closed March 16 through March 23 and staff will work remotely during that time. A limited number of staff will be present in the office on an as-needed basis to provide essential services.
- Pastors should make appropriate judgments regarding parish offices. Other regular parish activities and previously scheduled events should be postponed or canceled.
- Catholic social and charitable outreach programs and services in the Diocese should be adjusted to meet directions mandated by the State of New Jersey.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”