Churches working on reopening plans, new procedures

The Syracuse Diocese is working with parish priests to reopen church services if it can be done in a safe and effective manner.

Posted: Apr 23, 2020 6:10 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2020 6:18 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Bishop Douglas Lucia is working on a plan with parish priests to reopen church services to the public. A letter was sent out notifying local churches of how the plan is to proceed. The Bishop writes: I feel we must err on the side of caution in order to eradicate this deadly virus from our communities and will continue to follow the directives of local authorities.

Father Joseph Salerno at Our Lady of Loudes Church in South Utica says he's open to any options, so long as it’s in the best interest of the entire public, but in the mean-time is offering services electronically.

"Each week I’m trying to do my best via Youtube and our parish Facebook page to send a message of encouragement and hope, and to celebrate Sunday liturgy so that we can at least feel connected to one another," he said.

The Bishop however, is looking at more creative ways to bring the masses together safely. He writes: I am looking to see if an outdoor Mass with participants staying in their cars is feasible as an interim measure if not permitted to gather in our church buildings.
The ideas are good, but the Bishop isn’t the only one brainstorming. Father Salerno has also received a number of good ideas.

"One of the thoughts that has come forward is to possibly having a mass specifically designated for those who are most vulnerable. That may be people 65 years and older those who are most vulnerable and at this point in my life I am among them. We could keep them as safe as possible."

There are a number of celebrations that are delayed, but the Bishop is at the mercy of government officials. He writes: 
...rules governing public gatherings will dictate the timetable for First Communion and Confirmation celebrations in our parishes. For now, all these ceremonies are postponed until we have a better idea of how we can proceed.

WKTV will keep you posted on any further developments.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2111162

Reported Deaths: 53597
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28073410464
Queens2774519962
Suffolk2011393400
Nassau1837273176
Bronx1836646583
New York1383674505
Westchester1297062291
Erie896031809
Richmond750301840
Monroe690351111
Orange48330843
Rockland46958963
Onondaga38960677
Dutchess29478445
Albany24708356
Oneida22633516
Niagara20045374
Broome18630366
Saratoga15379168
Ulster13915257
Schenectady13207205
Rensselaer11232143
Putnam1062192
Chautauqua8957145
Chemung7772136
Oswego762692
Ontario740893
Steuben6957145
Sullivan667676
St. Lawrence664497
Cayuga633892
Jefferson614968
Wayne578370
Cattaraugus572391
Genesee5436124
Herkimer5191109
Clinton483733
Madison456489
Livingston452360
Fulton442391
Tompkins435052
Montgomery4254127
Columbia4065104
Cortland392763
Tioga383163
Warren366057
Wyoming358353
Allegany355887
Chenango350476
Otsego346347
Greene340379
Washington316255
Orleans312083
Lewis281036
Franklin256312
Delaware238538
Seneca201156
Schoharie169217
Essex159326
Yates117926
Schuyler108014
Hamilton3132
Unassigned9717
Out of NY0250
Utica
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 60°
Oneonta
Mostly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 58°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 60°
Old Forge
Mostly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 60°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Alivana Ready for Summer Giveaway
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve