Diocesan News

At Long Last, Parishioners Return to Church for Prayers

Parishioners pray as the sun shines through the beautiful stained-glass windows at St. Patrick’s Church, Bay Ridge. (Photos: Jeffrey Bruno)

Holding a book of prayers, a woman visits Our Lady of Angels Church, Bay Ridge.

A member of St. Francis House, a program at St. Adalbert Church, was one of the first people to enter and say a prayer.

Filmmaker Joe Campo enjoys a moment of quiet contemplation at St. Adalbert Church, Elmhurst.

Father Gerard Sauer, pastor of St. Patrick Church, said he made sure the church building was prepared for social distancing requirements before the reopening.

Eddie Connors said it felt good to be able to walk into church again.

The Tablet Staff

BAY RIDGE — The doors swung open at St. Patrick’s Church at precisely 12 noon on May 26 and its pastor, Father Gerard Sauer, was there to greet the first parishioners entering the church to pray. It had been a long time since any of them had seen the inside of the church, which, like all churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn, had been shut since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After more than two months on lockdown, churches are beginning to open and allowing people, no more than 10 at a time, to enter and pray.

A return to regular Mass schedules has not taken place.

But the reopening of churches was taken as a positive sign that life might be getting back to normal in the diocese for the first time since the pandemic upended normal life.

Parishioners in churches all over Brooklyn and Queens took advantage of the opportunity to come back to church. “Church is like home for many of us,” Father Sauer said.

To read the latest updates regarding coronavirus concerns in the Brooklyn Diocese, go to https://thetablet.org/coronavirus.