Categories: General
      Date: May  8, 2020
     Title: Diocesan Directives for Alert level 4

The Newfoundland and Labrador Government has recently revealed plans for Alert Level 4 that are to begin on Monday, May 11th.

At Alert Level 4, everyone is still encouraged to stay at home, except for essential outings including exercise.  People may choose to “double-bubble” (in a mutual agreement between two households), and public gatherings of ten or less people are allowed, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and the names of the people at any one gathering are taken down (in case contact tracing needs to take place).  These gatherings include funerals, burials and weddings; wakes and visitations are excluded.

The following directives apply for Alert Level 4 (beginning on May 11th):

  1. All people of the diocese are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person, but are strongly urged to attend a Catholic Mass of their choosing virtually.
  2. All churches are to remain closed to the public.  People may want to find some time each week and park their car and pray to these great houses of God’s presence.
  3. Access to diocesan and parish offices are limited to staff and essential services only.
  4. All diocesan and parish meetings involving non-staff should take place virtually (i.e. Finance and Pastoral Council, Marriage and Baptismal Preparation, etc.).
  5. “Private” celebrations of funerals, weddings and “urgent” baptisms may take place in the church within the context of a liturgy of the Word (no Mass) provided that:

a)      Reduce the numbers to as near to zero as possible (no more than 10, this includes clergy).

b)      Safe distancing protocols are strictly enforced and care is taken to communicate the protocols clearly before the event takes.

c)       Before the service begins, a list of attendees is secured (in case of contact tracing).

d)      In the case of “urgent” baptisms, the celebrant wears a facemask for those parts where physical distancing cannot be maintained and wears gloves when performing the anointings.

e)      The Sacrament of the Sick continues to be made available in urgent cases (observing all the necessary precautions) and the Sacrament of Reconciliation continues to be made available (while observing physical distancing).

I ask that you continue to remain in contact with your Parish and your fellow parishioners.  Please offer your help, support and encouragement whenever you can.  Our communities will stay healthy as long as we draw near to Christ and take responsibility for one another.

Bishop Bart van Roijen

The Bishop's complete letter is available here.



The following directives apply for Alert Level 4 (beginning on May 11th):

  1. All people of the diocese are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person, but are strongly urged to attend a Catholic Mass of their choosing virtually.
  2. All churches are to remain closed to the public.  People may want to find some time each week and park their car and pray to these great houses of God’s presence.
  3. Access to diocesan and parish offices are limited to staff and essential services only.
  4. All diocesan and parish meetings involving non-staff should take place virtually (i.e. Finance and Pastoral Council, Marriage and Baptismal Preparation, etc.).
  5. “Private” celebrations of funerals, weddings and “urgent” baptisms may take place in the church within the context of a liturgy of the Word (no Mass) provided that:

a)      Reduce the numbers to as near to zero as possible (no more than 10, this includes clergy).

b)      Safe distancing protocols are strictly enforced and care is taken to communicate the protocols clearly before the event takes.

c)       Before the service begins, a list of attendees is secured (in case of contact tracing).

d)      In the case of “urgent” baptisms, the celebrant wears a facemask for those parts where physical distancing cannot be maintained and wears gloves when performing the anointings.

e)      The Sacrament of the Sick continues to be made available in urgent cases (observing all the necessary precautions) and the Sacrament of Reconciliation continues to be made available (while observing physical distancing).