Dear parishioners, the social distancing now required by law and to keep ourselves and one another safe means that for the time being we will not be celebrating Mass here in the parish, either on Sunday or weekdays. Bishop Anthony has decided this for the whole diocese, and many dioceses throughout Australia are doing likewise.
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.
Many of us might be concerned about the obligation to attend Mass. 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.
Many of us will feel the loss of sharing in the Mass and receiving Holy Communion. I encourage you to draw strength from the many times that you have shared in the Eucharist recently. Think of it this way: our bodies require Vitamin C every day as we cannot store it, and excess is flushed from our bodies each day. But the protein we eat becomes muscle which is part of us for a long time after the meal is eaten, and we can survive a long time without consuming more protein. Let us think of the Eucharist in this latter way, as something which has built us up in the love and grace of God, from which we can continue to draw strength from even if we are deprived of it for a time.
It is good however to keep a routine and rhythm of prayer in our lives, especially when many other activities are now on hold. Many people already watch Mass for You at Home on Channel Ten on Sunday mornings at 6am. This can also be accessed at https://10play.com.au/mass-for-you-at-home.
For weekday Mass see
Hornsby Cathedral Parish - Daily Mass on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNenwlfI7i14XB9TsVBrLvQ
Weddings and funerals can proceed, as long as the total number of people doesn’t exceed 10 people. Baptisms can only have child, parents and godparents.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation on Thursdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 9.30am, or by appointment, though no longer in the confined space of the confessional.
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.
In the weeks ahead we will find ways to offer you more resources to allow you to pray on your own and with your family.
We can confirm that the following groups and ministries are on hold until further notice:
- Community Dinners
- Children’s Atrium
- Seniors’ Group
- Christian Meditation
- English Language Conversation class
We want to know if any of our people are sick and need support – even if that is just a friendly phone call. Let the parish team know by phoning 9410 9000 or email@example.com. Members of the parish team will be available to call and visit people who are in need. Fr Jim will also be available for Skype conversations on firstname.lastname@example.org . We will still visit the housebound sick and elderly who request it.
May God be with you and your family.
Fr Jim McKeon
updated March 31st 2020