Fr. Jim conveys words of greeting and some good advice on the gradual reopening of the Cathedral church and the reintroduction of the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. A copy of his letter is found here.
Message from Fr. Jim
This week all pastoral teams received the finalized version of “Directions and Recommendations for the First Stage of Reopening Churches” from the Diocese of London. The document is adapted from a detailed document of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. Earlier this week your pastoral team attended a diocesan-sponsored webinar and met several times to determine what St. Peter's Cathedral needs in place in order to safely reopen our building. We are determining the seating capacity, accounting for the 6 feet social distancing in the pews and aisles, working on volunteer recruitment and training, as well ensuring that appropriate measures for the use of personal protective equipment and all cleaning and sanitizing products are in place.
As we finalize our plans for reopening, our number one priority will continue to be the health and safety of our parishioners. As Bishop Fabbro has stated previously: “we want to ensure that we reopen our churches in a manner which is prudent and responsible and which allows for the reverent celebration of the Eucharist”.
Our primary focus will be directed to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist.
To begin, Masses will commence on the weekend of Saturday July 4th/Sunday July 5th and will be celebrated at the following times:
Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.
This Mass schedule will be in effect until Labour Day when it will be reviewed. Mass attendance will be on a “first come, first serve” basis. The Cathedral will remain closed during the week as will the parish offices and Parish Centre. As we continue to monitor and assess things we will make necessary adjustments.
We know this has been a difficult time for many not being able to be with their community and celebrate the sacraments. For those who will choose to return to our worship space we ask you to exercise patience and charity with our volunteers and our staff. For those who will be unable to attend at this time know that the community holds you in prayer at every Mass.
Preparing for Mass Again
As we await the final guidelines and detailed plans on the re-opening of our Worship Spaces soon to be released by Bishop Fabbro, of paramount importance will be the health and safety of our community. We all recognise the church building we left in March will not “look the same” when we do open our doors. The preparation of the worship space with the adjustment of seating necessary to adhere to the 30% seating capacity and ensuring the 2m/6ft social distancing is observed at all times throughout the Cathedral will just be the beginning of what is necessary to re-open our doors safely.
We can do all that will be required of us, but we cannot do any of this without you! At every mass we will need a number of volunteers to assist with welcoming and registering of our parishioners, seating of parishioners, directing of traffic flow in and out of the Cathedral and at communion, and sanitizing of the Cathedral after every mass. We will have more specific “role descriptions” in the days ahead of what will be expected and provide the adequate training in order to carry out all tasks safely and effectively.
Please prayerfully consider how you might be able to contribute to this. Please contact Cathryn Hall.