Message from Monsignor Ryan

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Gregory’s,
Last Thursday, Bishop DiMarzio issued a four-stage plan for reopening the churches in the Brooklyn Diocese. Stage 1 allows for opening churches for no more than four hours each day for private prayer for no more than 10 people at a time. This stage may be implemented by each parish as early as next Tuesday, May 26th. Because even this small step demands a great deal of preparation, I am going to postpone it for several days in order to be sure that we have had sufficient consultation on the implementation. This morning the priests of the parish formulated a tentative plan. On Tuesday that plan will be discussed at a meeting of the Pastoral Staff and on Thursday with the Parish Pastoral Planning Council by way of Zoom. This will help me feel confident that we are doing all we can to protect the safety of our parishioners. Our new pastor, Fr. John O’Connor, will participate in both those meetings. I will share the procedures and the date for opening with you as soon as possible.

Remember that our Blessed Mother Grotto on the great lawn and the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in front of the church are beautiful places for prayer and reflection. Please visit them

Stage 1 also provides for funerals without a Mass and without the distribution of Holy Communion. We will continue the practice of holding a brief prayer service and blessing curbside in front of the church. This has been well received by families since we began, so we will continue it. If you must make funeral arrangements, please have the Funeral Director call us to make arrangements for the curbside service.

Many people have been inquiring about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are not permitted as yet to schedule regular confessions, but we are permitted to respond to individual requests. Confessions will be heard in the Adoration Chapel that can be entered by the back door of the church. Anyone coming for confession MUST wear a facemask and use hand sanitizer. To make an appointment please call the rectory (718-347-3707) on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between 9:30 and 12:00 noon to speak with our secretary. You need not give your name. Simply request a day and time. We cannot entertain requests for a particular priest confessor.

We have a limited secretarial staff now. And we are able to answer requests for announced Masses, Mass and Purgatorial cards. Please call the rectory on Tuesday or Wednesday between 9:30am and 12:00noon. And you can make your contributions to the parish electronically with ease.

May I remind you that St. Gregory the Great is part of the Diocese of Brooklyn and governed by the regulations of this diocese. Across the border of Nassau County churches are in the Diocese of Rockville Center which has regulations that differ in some respects from ours. Unfortunately this has led to some confusion.

I continue to pray with and for you for deliverance from this dreadful pandemic and beg Our Blessed Mother and St. Gregory the Great to intercede for us.


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