On Friday afternoon the Premier of Ontario released new restrictions in the hope of limiting further spread of COVID-19 infections.
In accordance with these guidelines, all churches in the Toronto and Peel of the Diocese of Toronto must revert to the red stage of the diocesan reopening protocols, with a limit of ten (10) at any indoor or outdoor gatherings.
Of course this is difficult news to hear, as we have been reopened for only ten weeks, but we will readjust as a parish, and by God’s grace this too will be ordered to our eternal salvation.
Thankfully the Bishop of Toronto is permitting small groups to continue to gather for the celebration of the Holy Mass, and the Sacrament will continue to be offered here at S. Bart’s, albeit under altered circumstances.
Please note carefully the following:
Next Sunday (Advent Sunday), 29 November, there will be one (1) celebration only at 11 a.m. This will not be open to the Public, but will be live streamed on our YouTube channel and will be available for the coming week at any time.
Beginning in the second full week in Advent (i.e., on Tuesday, 8 December) Mass will be celebrated daily in the Parish Church from Tuesday through Saturday. These will be in-person celebrations with a gathering limit of ten (10) including the celebrant and server. This means that up to eight (8) congregants may sign up to be present and to receive Holy Communion. Details for sign up will be worked out this week and you will be informed of the process as soon as we know what it will be.
Father Hannam can also be available to give Holy Communion from the Tabernacle outside of Mass by appointment, and it is also possible that Reserved Sacrament Communion times will also be posted, if that appears as though it might work well for some people. Again, details will follow in due course.
The very good news is that it seems possible that all of our regular communicants will be able to receive the Holy Communion, either at Mass or outside of Mass, each week, if they wish, and should be able to attend Mass at least every two weeks, and possibly every week, depending on demand for in-person attendance. This is a great gift — the greatest gift — that we can imagine.
Please take some time in the coming days to consider which celebrations it would be possible for you to attend (please see the list below).
- Tuesday at 7:45 a.m.
- Wednesday at 7:45 a.m.
- Thursday at 7:45 a.m.
- Friday at 12:30 p.m.
- Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
If there are weekdays on which you would be available to attend, but only at another time, please let Father Hannam know; if there is sufficient call for it, some changes may be made in the current schedule. Such times as this are terribly unclear, but Our Lord’s faithfulness in continuing to come to us in the Sacrament of His Love is surely the greatest gift we could hope to receive on this side of Heaven.
This comes with my blessing and assurance of my prayers.
Pray for one another, and stay safe!
Your affectionate friend and pastor,