The emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has made an impact worldwide, and has led to understandable concern among the faithful. Coronaviruses are thought to be spread mainly from person to person through close contact. Entrusted with the mission of Jesus to care for all the members of our community, following Jesus’ great command to love God and our neighbour (Matthew 22:37-40) parishioners are encouraged to observe the following:
In consultation with government health officials, we have been directed to cancel any gatherings larger than 250 people. With regard to this new instruction, and out of careful concern for the well-being of the entire community, attendance at Mass and all other Church events in the Diocese of Victoria will now be limited to a maximum of 250 people until further notice.
These are unusual times. If you are not able to attend Sunday Mass, or attempt to and are unable due to the new attendance limitations, your obligation has been met.
I recommend that anyone over the age of 65 should stay home rather than attend Sunday Mass. Further to this, out of consideration for the well-being of others in the community, the elderly, anyone with an underlying health condition, and those who feel even remotely unwell are excused from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass.
The celebration of the Mass can be accessed and viewed online at dailytvmass.com or on Vision TV.
I encourage everyone to set aside a time of prayer using the readings of Sunday, and a spiritual communion.
Baptisms will take place outside of Mass times with just the immediate family in attendance.
Funerals will continue, but with no receptions.
- Stay home if you are sick or feeling unwell;
- Practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing;
- Avoid hand-to-hand contact during the Our Father and the Sign of Peace;
- Ministers distributing Communion should use the hand sanitizer before and after the distribution of Communion;
- Communion hosts should be received only on the hand, not on the tongue;
- The Precious Blood should not be distributed until further notice;
- Holy Water should be removed from the fonts;
- People with celiac and those with special needs are encouraged to consult their pastor;
- Parishioners are encouraged to practice social distancing at this time, that is maintaining a distance of one to two-metres from one another.
For the most up to date information please go to the BC Centre for Disease Control http://www.bccdc.ca/
We continue to pray for everyone who has been affected by COVID-19, especially those who have lost their lives and their families.