Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., administers the Sacrament of Confirmation in Holy Innocents Church, Neptune, in this Monitor file photo. The Bishop has issued special instructions for those ceremonies that had been postponed or new ceremonies scheduled, post-COVID-19 restrictions. John Batkowski photo
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., administers the Sacrament of Confirmation in Holy Innocents Church, Neptune, in this Monitor file photo. The Bishop has issued special instructions for those ceremonies that had been postponed or new ceremonies scheduled, post-COVID-19 restrictions. John Batkowski photo
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in an April 17 letter to priests of the Diocese, issued special instructions for Confirmation for both postponed ceremonies and new ceremonies, post COVID-19 restrictions.

For Confirmations already scheduled for the Spring Confirmation season and postponed because of the coronavirus, the Bishop delegated to all pastors the faculty to confer the Sacrament. Once parish churches are reopened, he has asked that pastors schedule those Confirmations to take place before the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29 – observing during ceremonies any precautions that may still be in place for New Jersey.

Bishop O’Connell and his episcopal vicars will resume conferring Confirmation in the Fall 2020, according to the new schedule being prepared for distribution. The new schedule is based upon submissions from pastors and directors of religious education for Fall 2020/Spring 2021, for Confirmations unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastors should schedule a new date of Reception into Full Communion, the Bishop continued, for those candidates and catechumens (elect) whose 2020 Easter Vigil ceremonies were postponed due to coronavirus – once again, to be completed prior to Nov. 29.