Current as of Wed. Jan. 27: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Orange & Yellow Zone restrictions have been lifted in WNY. St. John's is operating at 50% capacity; please remain vigilant to slow spread. Wear masks & social distance.
We are not presently in a quarantined area, Orange, or Red Zone.
See the current Diocesan Directives here
Adhering to the State of New York public health guidelines to mitigate the risks of the Covid-19 resurgence throughout Western New York, the Diocese of Buffalo will continue to implement the Department of Health guidelines for public gatherings and places of worship for all parishes. The dispensation from the obligation of Catholics to attend Mass on Sunday and on other Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect.
No locations in our Diocese are currently in either the Yellow or Orange zone. The guidelines are as follows:
- YELLOW zone: maximum 50% capacity for worship, adhering to six-foot social distancing requirements, for all other gatherings a maximum of 25 people (non-residential) or 10 (residential);
- ORANGE zone: gatherings not to exceed 33% or 25 people for worship, which means that most parishes will only be able to welcome a maximum of 25 people for Mass.
The Situation in the State of New York: CHURCHES ARE NON-ESSENTIAL
Churches and associated offices and operations of religious entities, and the professional services of the Clergy and Ministry Professionals are not exempt from any "worforce reductions" in NYS. If non-essential businesses are closed, St. John's is closed. However, we may continue to provide our services limited to the extent to which they may be conducted remotely.
Clergy Visitation to Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Hospice, and Home Care Situations
No special allowances or priveleges are afforded to Clergy or Church Ministry Personnel. Hospital and Nursing Home requirements vary and change frequently.
If a hospital allows visits by "spouses and children only" or "only for immediate family," that does not include Clergy or Ministry from the Parish.
Please be advised that Clergy and Church Personnel also do not want to be a "spreader" of infections for their own safety and those to whom they minister. Please do not fault the Church or Clergy for the circumstances of the present public health situation. So-called "Emergency" visits by the Parish Priest are not permitted by Hospitals, Nursing Homes or Healthcare facilities at the present time, given the current infection rate. The best option is to contact the Chaplain / Pastoral Care department at Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities FIRST. In many nursing homes or other places, the "Programs" or "Activities" department may be able to advise about what arrangements may or may not be possible. Thank you for understanding.