Dear parishioners, it is clear that the Covid 19 pandemic is going to continue for some time. The NSW Government has promoted principles such as social distancing, and mandated certain restrictions for different venues. The NSW Health website updates these restrictions reguarly, which at presently allow for up to 100 people in worship services as long as 1.5m and 4sqm spacings are observed. We don’t know how long this arrangement will be in place. The situation is still evolving and we will continue to comply with what health authorities and government ask of us.
With regular santising of surfaces, hand sanitiser at each door, well spaced pews and mask wearing more and more people are feeling safe to return to Mass. Bookings are required. For people who don't yet feel ready to return, Bishop Anthony has now dispensed us all from this obligation. For those of you interested in the detail, items 1247 and 87.1 of Canon Law deal with this.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation on Thursdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 9.30am, or by appointment is available in our Covid-safe confessional where the priest and penitent are separated by glass.
I encourage you to continue to pray each day and to seek the Holy Spirit in these new circumstances. You may already have a disciplined prayer life, in which case, continue to pray in whatever way works for you. If you find prayer a struggle, as many people do, I recommend https://pray-as-you-go.org/which offers at 10-15 minute reflection and meditation each day upon the daily scripture readings, and some great prayers for particular circumstances such as loneliness, grief and depression under “prayer tools”. Access it via your browser or install the free app.
Some of our parish ministries have recommenced in groups of up to 20 people. Others have moved online.
May God be with you and your family,
Fr Jim McKeon
updated October 8th 2020