Following the government’s relaxation of some restrictions, Bishop Homeming has released a message regarding changes for churches, printed below. Parishioners interested in attending a Mass can ideally register at the parish office, nevertheless the faithful are still dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. I have made a point to remember at Mass those parishioners who are not able to attend church. I hope to provide new updates shortly in these changing times. Fr Nicolas Maurice
Message from Bishop Gregory Homeming
The Opening of Churches from 1st June 2020
-churches will open but no more than 50 people may attend at once (this must be supervised by the parish priest or delegated person);
-churches are open for prayer, Confessions, Mass, Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings;
-only 20 attendees are permitted at Weddings;
-contact details of all those entering the church (name and phone number or email address) must be recorded;
-spatial distancing (at least 1.5 m from each other, the 4 square-metre rule) and hygiene directions (including regularly disinfecting the church) must be observed; attendees may sit only in marked places, to queue at a distance from others, to take care when coughing or sneezing and to avail themselves of hand sanitizer provided;
-congregational singing is suspended until further notice;
-Holy Communion shall be received on the hand only, the Chalice will not be distributed;
-those who are unwell or at high risk due to compromised immune or respiratory system should not attend; those over 70 should exercise particular caution.
Further relaxations are expected over coming months, but this will depend upon infection rates not spiking and churches being able to demonstrate responsible behaviour.
Further special directives have been issued to clergy and parishes.
Even with fifty in attendance and some multiplication of Sunday Masses, many of the faithful will be unable to attend. The faithful are therefore dispensed from attending Sunday Mass. You can keep Sunday holy by setting aside some time for prayer at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online, and asking God for the graces you would normally receive in Holy Communion.
St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal: The St Vincent de Paul Society is calling for donations to the Vinnies COVID-19 Winter Appeal, helping people doing it tough in our communities due to coronavirus. Every dollar you donate will help people to feed their families, put petrol in the car and keep warm during winter – more important than ever during the current health crisis. Please visit www.vinnies.org.au or call 131812 to make a contribution. Thank you for your kindness.