After being closed for more than three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several churches, including St. Anselm R.C. Church, 356 82nd St., opened their doors for Mass on Monday.
The reopened churches must follow health guidelines: Anyone who enters a church must wear a mask during Mass and practice social distancing, and churches can only be filled to 25 percent capacity to fulfill social distance requirements of six feet between congregants.
People from the same household can sit together.
Local resident Donna Byrnes was emotional and happy about returning to St. Anselm for Mass.
“I’ve been known to tear up in church,” she said, “but when Msgr. Maloney walked onto the altar at 8 a.m., raised his hands out to us and said, ‘Welcome,’ I began to cry. It was like coming home after a long vacation … It was wonderful to look around and see some familiar faces. There were smiles through their eyes and waves.
“Although there were some regular 8 a.m. parishioners missing, there were about two dozen folks at the 8 o’clock Mass,” she added. “There is also an 11 a.m. Mass daily.”
Her grandson Bryan Rumfelt said, “I am happy to go to Mass. I am going to receive my 1st Holy Communion in second grade.”
“With the doors of St. Anselm open once again, it brings a renewed sense of hope for us within the parish community who have been isolated and distant from each other,” said John Quaglione, deputy press secretary for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “Like my fellow parishioners, I am grateful to return to the pews and celebrate Mass again with my clergy and neighbors.”