SUMMIT, NJ - St Teresa of Avila Parish is set to commence Phase Two of the Directives for Reopening Churches, with Cardinal Tobin advising the Archdiocese of Newark to reopen Churches for Daily Mass beginning on Monday, June 15. Additionally, Funerals, Baptisms and Weddings will also be permitted, with some restrictions in place.
 
For St Teresa of Avila Parish this means:
  • Monday to Friday Daily Mass will be celebrated in the Church at 7 a.m. and live-streamed at that time. The Mass will also be posted on the parish website.
  • Saturday Daily Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m. in the Church and live-streamed at that time, then posted on the parish website.
  • Confessions will be heard on Saturdays from 9 - 10 a.m. with other opportunities by appointment.
  • The Liturgy of the Hours will be prayed Monday to Friday in the Church at 8:30 a.m. Staff will lead this prayer of the Church, with the hope that others will eventually take the lead. (Those interested in being trained to do so are asked to call the Church).
  • For Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals, call the parish office understanding that there may be some delay in scheduling as the Church works through the restrictions, ensuring safety for all involved and easing back into a full schedule.
For Phase Two, please also note the following:
 
Before Mass

1. Cardinal Tobin continues to dispense the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days.

a. In accord with national, state and local health directives, those who show symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to another infected person are not permitted to enter the church for 14 days. It is recommended that everyone should check their temperature at home before coming to church.

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b. Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issue or who are 60 or older are strongly encouraged to avoid the risks posed by attendance at public celebrations of the Mass.

2. In order to comply with social distancing and reduce the spread of the virus: 

a. No more than 25% of the total seating capacity of the church can be permitted for a liturgy or a total of 50 people. Given the seating capacity, the Church will be limited to 50 people at any given time. 

b. Six feet of distance must be maintained between households, even of one individual attending liturgy. Alternating pews should become the norm. St Teresa of Avila has also prepared individual seats throughout the Church for "singles" to use, leaving the pews open for families / households.

3. Appropriate cleaning of high-use areas within the Church will be regularly performed.  Please use hand sanitizer on entering and leaving the Church.

4. Note that all hymnals and missalettes have been removed from the pews and stored for the duration of the pandemic. Please consult the parish website or bulletin for personal resources that may be used instead. 

5. No other materials may be left in the pews. Any items left behind will be discarded.

6. Restroom facilities and door handles, push plates, and knobs are regularly sanitized. The Church asks all to thoroughly wash hands after each use.

7. Holy water fonts must remain empty until further notice. Personal bottles of Holy Water are available in the Information Center in the back left vestibule.

8. The faithful must wear a mask to enter the Church and during the celebration of Mass, as well as when leaving the pew for Communion. There is a brief moment of exception when one will pull the mask away while receiving Holy Communion. 

9.  All liturgical ministers and other volunteers must wear masks and gloves throughout the celebration of Mass. Pastors are obliged to ensure that these obligations are enforced without exception. 

10.  Those at the altar are to wear a mask if distributing Holy Communion.

11. Clergy and other ministers are to wear masks and maintain six-foot distancing and should not greet parishioners as they enter the Church.

During Mass

1. Doors are to be propped or held open before and after Mass to prevent people from touching the door handles, knobs or push plates.

2. Staff and other volunteers may direct people to specific pews to maximize, but not violate the capacity restrictions. As previously indicated, attendance will be limited to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.

3. All ministers, including music ministers and choir members, must maintain six-foot social distancing.

4. The entrance / recession procession should be done only if social distancing can be maintained.

5. The procession at the Preparation of the Gifts is suspended.

6. There must be no physical contact during the sign of peace. A simple gesture, such as a bow or nod, is recommended.

7. For the distribution of Communion, six-foot distancing in the Communion line is necessary. Candles will be placed as floor markings to indicate Communion Stations that ensure proper social distancing during Communion.

8. Until we can gather for a re-training, extraordinary ministers of Communion will not be used until further notice.  A date for this training is forthcoming.  When ministers are back, all must be masked and sanitize their hands immediately before and after distributing Communion. Physical contact should be avoided when placing the host in the communicant’s hands.

9. Holy Communion is only permitted in the hand. Distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice is prohibited to the assembly. For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with Fr. Bob in advance.

10.  When approaching the Communion minister, the communicant should make a slight bow of the head, receive the host in the hand, step to the side, lift his/her mask and consume the host.

11. Those who refrain from receiving communion still unite themselves with the sacrifice of Christ. Non-communicants are kindly asked to remain in their places rather than coming forward to request a blessing until further notice.

After Mass

1. Families and individuals should leave the church in an organized manner, wearing masks and observing six feet of distance between other households. 

2. Bulletins or other materials will be available at the rear of the Church, but not handed out. Please take advantage of the Church's online resources.

4. Clergy and other ministers may only greet parishioners as they exit the church if they can maintain social distancing and avoid physical contact.

5. There are to be no receptions or social gatherings (e.g., coffee and doughnuts) following Mass.

St Teresa of Avila understands that these changes may cause some anxiety, and reminds all that the parish is doing the best it can given the restrictions, and asks for understanding, patience and compliance.
 
For further informtion, call the parish at 908-277-3700 or contact office@stteresaavila.org.