Covid - 19 Updates

May 21, 2020 — A Message from the Pastor — 

 

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, 
 
     There are signs of hope as the weather breaks and as we begin to reopen here in Western New York under Phase 1.  As I write this message to you, however, it is still uncertain when our churches will be able to reopen for the celebration of Public Masses. 
 
     The Diocese of Buffalo has provided now some detailed Liturgical Norms for when we are gradually able to reopen for Public Masses.  I am working with my brother priests here at the Basilica, as well as our maintenance staff and others, to look at ways we can be as safe as possible in allowing people to come to Mass.  We also recognize that capacity per Mass will have to be limited for a time. 
 
     I will continue to keep you informed through our parish bulletin and our website.  For now, I want to repeat some of what I shared with you last week, along with some additional information: 
 
     A return to public celebrations will be safe, gradual, and ordered.  We will strive for progress, not perfection.  There will, no doubt, be challenges and frustrations, and adjustments may need to be made along the way.  We must accept reasonable sacrifices to serve our own community, so as not to contribute to a rebound effect of the virus. 
 
     A communication plan will be sent to all parishioners prior to reopening so that you know what to expect when you return to Mass. 
 
 -Until further notice, Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays, in particular for those who are most vulnerable. 
 -People who are at risk because of an underlying health issue or who are elderly or infirm will strongly be encouraged to stay at home, for their own health, and to avoid any risk of contracting the virus. 
 -Digital Masses will continue to be provided on our parish website at olvbasilica.org, in order to optimize the number of people who can participate at Mass. 
 -Spiritual Communion is strongly encouraged for those unable to attend Public Mass. 
 -Regular pastoral visits to hospitals and to the homebound remain suspended.  The priests only may visit the homebound for emergency sacramental visits, but must wear masks when doing so. 
 -The Sacraments of Initiation (RCIA) are delayed until we can safely gather for Public Masses.  This also includes First Penance and First Holy Communion for our children. 

 

Entrance & Welcome: 

 

  Liturgical Changes: 
 -Each member of the faithful over 2 years of age will be required to wear a mask when entering the Basilica.   

-The Entrance Procession will be the Priest Celebrant and Deacon only who will process in the short way and go directly to the sanctuary.  Altar Servers for the time being will not participate and the choir is also temporarily suspended. 

 

-You are encouraged to take your temperature at home, and to remain at home if you are experiencing any symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to those with COVID-19. 

 

  -Ushers, Sacristans, Eucharistic Ministers and Lectors will be given instructions prior to the reopening of Masses as to how their liturgical roles will be carried out. 
 -Social distancing must be observed when visiting Our Lady of Victory Basilica.   

 -There will be no offertory procession.  The bread and wine for Mass will simply be prepared on the credence table and kept away from public areas.

 

 -Sections of pews will be roped off throughout the Basilica.   

 -Instructions on how to take up the collection will be provided. 

 

-Whenever possible, the doors of the Basilica will be propped open so that people can come and go without needing to touch the doors. 

 

   -Congregational singing will be temporarily discontinued, since singing expels more respiratory particles than speaking does.  One Cantor/Soloist will be used. 
-Hand sanitizer is available at all the entrances to the Basilica.   

 -The Sign of Peace may be exchanged by a simple nod of the head to whomever is standing around you. 

 

 -Our maintenance staff continues to sanitize the Basilica, wiping down door handles, railings, pews and kneelers.   

 -Holy Communion will only be distributed in the hand and the distribution of the Precious Blood from the cup will remain suspended.  Spacing will be provided as you approach the Priest/Deacon or Eucharistic Minister, who will be wearing masks as they distribute Holy Communion. 

 

 -You are encouraged to bring your own disinfectant wipes to assist with sanitizing the area that you will occupy. 

 

  -We are removing all of the hymnals from the pews.  Once Public Masses are permitted, we will provide a disposable Liturgy Program for Weekend Masses
 -Holy Water Fonts will remain empty.     

 

Our major goal in all of this is to allow people to return to Sunday and Weekday Masses and to keep everyone safe.  We kindly ask that if you do not feel well, please remain at home. 

 

March 21, 2020

  • The Basilica will remain open for private prayer, however the hours will change temporarily.  Beginning this Sunday, March 22, the church will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
  • The Basilica Gift Shop will be temporarily closed, beginning Sunday, March 22.
  • The Rectory Office will be closed until further notice.

 

March 24, 2020

  • The Father Baker Museum will remain closed until further notice

 

April 1, 2020

  • The Blessed Palms will not be available this weekend.  We will keep them and make them available as soon as we are permited to distribute them.