LATEST COVID19 UPDATE FROM FR CHRISTOPHER G SARKIS PP
22 MAY 2020


My Dear Parishioners

RECOMMENCEMENT OF MASS

Bishop Mascord has reviewed our current situation and following the latest easing of restrictions by the NSW Government, he has granted permission to recommence the celebration of public Mass once again. In our parish this will start from Tuesday 2nd June 2020 with the 6.30pm Mass. Weddings, funerals and baptisms will also recommence. All Religious Services including Mass, will adhere strictly to government and medical requirements in regard to health and sanitation, as well as numbers attending. For Mass it is strictly limited to 10 people apart from the priest, and assistants required for Mass, and you will be required to register beforehand giving name, phone number and email. This is to ensure that in the event of someone contracting any sickness, contact tracing can occur. To make this as simple as possible, you will need to ring the parish office to register which Mass you wish to attend. You can start ringing from Thursday 28 May. Please note that you must ring between 9.30am to 3.30pm Tuesday to Thursday, and between 9.30am to 2.30pm Friday only. Please note that you cannot “just turn up” but must register your name before with the parish office. Entry into the church will be through the side door to the Marian Chapel only, and will open 10 minutes before Mass. Please note that bathrooms will not be open. Hand sanitiser will be provided as you enter the church and appropriate markings will be placed on the pews to ensure correct distancing between people of 1.5meters. Until numbers attending Mass are increased the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday Obligation of physically attending Mass and can continue to keep holy their Sunday by setting aside time for prayer at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online, and asking God for the graces they would normally receive in Holy Communion (canon 87 §1, canon 1248 §2).

I will continue to livestream Mass until all restrictions are lifted. At this point the church still cannot be left open during the day.

This is a great joy to be able to start celebrating Holy Mass publicly once more, and we must respect the requirements to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Thank you for your co-operation, and may God enable us to return to greater numbers attending as soon as possible.

God Bless you all

Fr Christopher G Sarkis

Parish Priest


PREVIOUS LETTERS

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Letter from Most Rev Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong - 19 March 2020

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Letter from Fr Sarkis PP - 20 March 2020

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Letter from Most Rev Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong - 23 March 2020

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Letter from Most Rev Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong - 24 March 2020

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Most Rev Brian Mascord - Easter 2020 Pastoral Message

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Letter from Fr Sarkis PP - 23 April 2020

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Letter from Fr Sarkis PP - 13 May 2020

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Letter from Most Rev Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong - 15 May 2020


THE MOST REV BRIAN MASCORD - BISHOP OF WOLLONGONG
LATEST COVID19 UPDATE - 15 MAY 2020


COVID19 Update 15 May 2020


While participating spiritually in Mass from home, I invite you to pray with me the following prayer for Spiritual Communion:

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

I also invite you to pray the Prayer to St. Michael, Protector of the Church:

St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

May God Bless you all, and Our Lady Help of Christians protect you.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Christopher G. Sarkis
Parish Priest
25 March 2020
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord


CORVID19 UPDATE – DIOCESE OF WOLLONGONG
UPDATED 15 MAY 2020

The following is the latest directives given Bishop Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong, and are now effective immediately as of Wednesday 25 March 2020 in the Diocese of Wollongong and will remain in force until we are permitted to lift them:

Mass: Public Masses and liturgies—both indoor and outdoor—are suspended until further notice (as in the Bishop’s previous directive on 19 March 2020).” Accordingly, the Catholic faithful are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Mass on Sundays until further notice. The faithful are encouraged to spend time within the home in prayer, such as reading the Scriptures, watching Mass on television or online, praying the Rosary together, etc. Priests will continue to say Mass privately on behalf of the faithful every day.

Mass Live Stream: In view of the dire restrictions we have now been placed under by these directives, I have decided to live stream Mass at the usual times that I would normally celebrate Mass in the church each day.

Weddings:“Weddings are limited to no more than ten (10) guests plus the couple, celebrant and assistants.”

Funerals: “Funerals are limited to no more than twenty (20) mourners indoors and thirty (30) mourners for outdoor ceremonies excluding celebrants, funeral directors and assistants.”

Baptisms:“Baptisms should be delayed. If there is a risk of death, the child should be baptised with not more than six (6) people in attendance which includes the parents, two godparents, the celebrant and the child being baptised.”

Confession:“Following legal advice, under no circumstances should the sacrament of Confession be advertised and it is to be celebrated only by appointment in emergencies. Please follow the existing directives when administering the sacrament. The faithful have been advised the sacrament has been suspended during the pandemic and to make their own act of contrition when the sacrament is unavailable. On all occasions when administering these sacraments, hygiene and physical distancing protocols should continue to be strictly observed.

“The Sacrament of Confession will be suspended during this time of pandemic. Physical and moral impossibility excuses a person from confession, in which case reconciliation may be attained by other means, for example an act of perfect contrition. (Canon 960) An act of perfect contrition can be made by saying these or similar words, “My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. I should love you above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.”

Confirmation: Is postponed and will NOT occur in June as planned. A future date will be announced when decided.

Communion to the Sick: For Viaticum please call Fr. Sarkis.

Anointing of the Sick: Fr. Sarkis will continue to administer the Anointing of the Sick and the Last Rites as needed, and will take the precautions necessary as set out in the Bishop’s previous directives. Please call Fr. Sarkis for this.

Parish Collections: In the current situation it is imperative that you please keep up your weekly contributions, as the Parish runs on a limited budget and without these regular contributions to both the First and Second Collections, we will be in real financial difficulties. For this reason, I strongly encourage parishioners who currently give by envelope to change to Direct Debit or Credit Card contributions to ensure the regular income of the parish continues. Please contact the parish office to arrange this. THANK YOU. Otherwise, please drop your Planned Giving Envelope Contribution into the secure letter box at the front entry to the Parish Office each week. Please don’t forget the first collection for the sustenance of the clergy (as we still have to live too!) For this collection please place your donation in a plain envelope and mark it ‘FIRST COLLECTION” and drop it in the letter box at the parish office. THANK YOU AGAIN.

For details about making Direct Debit contributions, click HERE

Parish Gatherings: All non-essential gatherings within the Parish are cancelled, effective immediately. These include:

Morning and Evening Tea
Lenten Group
Alpha Group
Neo-Catechumenate Group
Young Adults Group
Choir Group Practice in Church
Latin Schola Choir Group Practise in Church
Bell Ringing Group
Parish Social Groups including Craft, Social, and Getting To Know You Groups
Church Cleaning Groups

Parish Bulletins: Will continue to be uploaded each week to the Parish Website.

The Catholic Weekly: Because of the closure of churches, the Catholic Weekly has temporarily stopped its printed edition. However, click here to view it online.