COVID update 16 July

16 July 2021

Update from Bishop Anthony Randazzo

The COVID outbreak in Sydney continues to necessitate the implementation of the Stay at Home order for the Greater Sydney Area, including Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, which is now in place to at least 11:59pm Friday 30 July 2021.

With the announcement of the continuation of the Stay at Home Order, I ask that all our churches in Diocese of Broken Bay remain closed. The obligation for the faithful to participate in Sunday Mass (can.1247) remains lifted for the people of Broken Bay for the duration of this Stay at Home Order. I will review the situation as we approach 30 July or if the stay at home order is lifted earlier. Weddings are not permitted to take place, and funerals will be limited to 10 people including the celebrant.

A reminder if you are live streaming the Mass, that is it possible to have present one or two cantors at these Masses, so to enhance the live stream, during this time of lockdown. The cantors should be spaced 3 meters away from each other, and other people. Cantors may remove their face mask while singing. Please exercise your usual discretion if you choose to involve cantors, and ensure they are at ease to participate given the current situation.

Access to hospitals and aged care facilities has been significantly reduced. Please check with the specific restrictions that relate to the facilities you work with. In most cases, only Priests are permitted to respond to requests to administer the Sacraments for end-of-life patients.

My office has been receiving a number of queries in relation to planned events in the coming months. At this stage we are only able to work with the information we have at hand. In regards to the Confirmation schedule for the second half of the year, which is due to commence on the 31 July, it is difficult to know at this stage if we will emerge from the lockdown on the 30 July. Likewise it is impossible to know what COVID-19 gathering restrictions may be in place once the Stay at Home Order is removed. Therefore, I advise calm as we wait until the picture becomes clearer.

I continue to hold you all in my prayer, asking that the Lord may keep us all safe during this troubling and unsettling time.