UPDATED MARCH 25, 2020
The Archdiocese of Newark’s Coronavirus Task Force continues 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:
- 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. If you have not done so already, you are urged to enroll your parish in the archdiocesan Parish Support Initiative 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.
Archdiocesan employees will continue to work remotely, and should consult their supervisors for further guidance and to determine work assignments.
We encourage you to continue 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.
Federal and State Government Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Interim Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Regarding Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events (CDC)
- New Jersey Department of Health
- Bergen County Health Services
- Essex County Department of Health and Rehabilitation
- Hudson County Department of Health & Human Services
- Union County COVID-19 Web Page
- Announcement from the Office of Catholic Cemeteries (March 23)
- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Celebrates Mass for Faithful via Livestream (Video and Homily) (March 23)
- Archdiocese of Newark Launches Unprecedented Fundraising Effort in Support of Community Parishes (March 21)
- Important COVID-19 update from Catholic Cemeteries (March 18)
- Cardinal Tobin Suspends all Public Celebrations of Mass Indefinitely due to Coronavirus Pandemic: Churches Remain Open for Private Prayer, Funerals, Baptisms, and Weddings Limited to 10 Family Members (March 18)
- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Suspends Weekend Masses and Week of Catholic Schools in Proactive Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (March 12)
- Letter to Parents and Guardians from Barbara Dolan, Acting Superintendent of Schools
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities
- Parish Catechetical Program Crisis Management Plan
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) A Parent Resource (English) | (Spanish)
- Safety and Crisis Management Planning (PCLs)
- Letter to PCLs (English) | (Spanish)
- USCCB Statements on Coronavirus (COVID-19) (March 13)
- USCCB President’s Reflection and Prayer During Coronavirus (March 13)
- Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Encourages Lawmakers in Providing Aid and Relief to Those Affected by Coronavirus (March 12)
- Catholic Response to Outbreak (Feb. 18)
Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health Hotline: 866-202-4357
- NJ Hopeline: 1-855-654-6735
- @NJVET2VET: 1-866-838-7654