Cardinal Tobin Announces New Directives For The Archdiocese Of Newark In Response To Coronavirus Pandemic

Newark, N.J. – Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, and the Archdiocese’s Coronavirus Task Force continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic situation and to aggregate guiding information from federal, state and local officials.  Based on the latest information shared publicly, the following are the new directives issued by Cardinal Tobin for the Archdiocese of Newark and a reminder of his prior directives still in effect.

NEW DIRECTIVES effective March 25, 2020:

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·       Wakes and funerals must be postponed until further notice. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. Burials may take place with only the priest.

·       All baptisms must be postponed until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency.

·       All weddings are postponed until further notice.

·       The Sacrament of Reconciliation is suspended until further notice with the exception of an extreme emergency. 

·       All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until further notice.

·       Parish offices must be closed until further notice.  Employees who provide essential services should be limited and on staggered schedules.

·       Pastors should see that the Blessed Sacrament is renewed in tabernacles regularly from celebrations of private Masses.

The following directives REMAIN IN FORCE since March 18, 2020:

·       All public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass suspended until further notice.

·       All public celebrations of the Sacraments and other public forms of worship suspended until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, previously scheduled Confirmations, celebrations of First Communion, penitential services, Communion services, and Liturgies of the Word. 

·       Anointing of the Sick: A priest may use a cotton-tipped swab or cotton ball as an instrument to anoint the sick person. 

·       Holy Water should be removed from all fonts. 

·       Celebrations of Mass should continue via live-streaming. Parishes are urged to enroll in the archdiocesan Parish Support Initiative (www.rcan.org/parishsupport ) that provides one online platform for the faithful to support the critical needs of their parish communities and other parishes in need. Contributions also are gratefully accepted through usual channels including mailed envelopes, other online giving, Annual Appeal, etc.

·       The Archdiocesan Center remains closed with limited and staggering of hours.

·       Catholic Schools remain closed as directed by the State of New Jersey.

·       All Archdiocese of Newark Catechetical education and events sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) are suspended.

Anyone who has had direct exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 is advised to carefully follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding isolation and quarantine protocols. 

All are encouraged to visit https://covid19.nj.gov for accurate and updated information available to the residents of New Jersey. Also, please monitor our website at www.RCAN.org/covid-19 and follow the Archdiocese of Newark’s social media channels @NwkArchdiocese for archdiocesan related announcements.

We continue to keep all affected individuals, families, first responders, and especially those on the front lines in our prayers throughout the coming days. Thank you.