News

Yesterday, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that assuming all continues to go well, we will be moving to Alert Level 2 on June 25th.  That means that places of worship are permitted to resume with restrictions.

Restrictions on numbers and physical distancing and several other things are set by the province; the protocols on how these measures are to be achieved are described in detail in the document from Bishop Bart to the priests and parishes.   Please read it carefully so that you will know what to expect, and please share the information with others.

The Church will continue to dispense anyone from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  This dispensation will specifically include: those with any sign of illness, the elderly, those with underlying health issues and those who do not feel comfortable coming (According to labour law, this is equally true of priests).

Because Worship Services are capped at a maximum of 50 people (This number includes the priest and all ministers), all people must pre-register for the Mass(es) they are planning to attend.  Contact your Parish Office for more information .  Parishes will also have a method of taking down names for each Mass, to fulfil contact tracing requirements.  These attendance lists will be kept on record for Contact Tracing purposes only.

Pope's prayer intention for June: Compassion for the world amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Pope Francis released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for June, which this month is that "all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus."

In his prayer intention for the month of June 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray for those who are suffering, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to inflict all sorts of difficulties around the world.

The full text of his intention is below:

Many people suffer due to the great difficulties they endure.

We can help them by accompanying them along an itinerary full of compassion which transforms people’s lives.

It brings them closer to the Heart of Christ, which welcomes all of us into the revolution of tenderness.

We pray that all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be touched by the Heart of Jesus. (from Vatican News)

On Sunday, May 31, the Church celebrates Pentecost. This Solemnity  comes fifty days after Easter and ten days after the Ascension of Jesus. Pentecost, which marks the end of the Easter Season, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

Following Mass on Pentecost Sunday, the Easter cross is removed from the sanctuary, signifying that the Easter Season has come to an end. The Paschal candle will be moved to stand next to the Baptismal font. It will be used during the celebration of Baptism, when the candles of the newly baptized are lit from it. It may also be placed near the body of the deceased at a funeral Mass, as a reminder that we entered into the death of Christ through our Baptism and we will rise again with Him in glory.

Bring solidarity to our world in a shared moment of prayer at noon local time on 24 May. Catholics from all across the globe will be united in spirit because "everything is connected"." (from www.laudatosiweek.org)

The Global Prayer can be found at www.laudatosiweek.org/prayer

Pope Francis invites the Church to celebrate Laudato Si’ Week, May 16th to May 24th.  This week honours the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. The theme of the week is “everything is connected.”

A video message from Pope Francis andthe Vatican News artaicle are available here.

You can also visit laudatosiweek.org for more information.


Parishioners have contacted the diocese as to how they can continue to support their parishes financially.  Some parishes have made arrangements to have envelopes dropped off at the parish office or priest's residence.  You can check with your parish office to get that information.  Some have also created e-transfer capability and that list, along with the e-mail address to use,  is found in the sidebar of this page as Parish e-Transfer Information.

The Holy Father has established an emergency fund at the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to come to the aid of those people and communities who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19. The Emergency Fund will be used to accompany communities in mission countries via Church structures and institutions.

The address and particulars for donating can be found in this flyer.

For those who wish to donate directly through the Pontifical Missions website, visit www.missionsocieties.ca, go to "Emergency Appeal Fund"  scroll down to the "I'd like to donate now" button.

Pope Francis has accepted the proposal from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity and asks that on

"May 14 believers of all religions unite spiritually in a Day of Prayer
and Fasting and Works of Charity, to implore God to help humanity
overcome the coronavirus pandemic."

The announcement in its entirety can be read here.

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.

In his letter to the faithful, published on April 25, Pope Francis reminds us that May is the month“when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary”. He proposes that during the month of May we remember the tradition of praying the Rosary together as a family.

Bishop Bart continues to invite the faithful of the diocese to join together in praying the rosary each day at 7:30pm .

The Pope's letter is available here.

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