January 14th, 2021 Update
Dear Parish Family,
As of 12:01am of this morning, the Province of Ontario has entered into a state of emergency. As a result, the government has expanded the existing restrictions and lockdown that was already in effect since Dec. 26, 2020. We have received greater clarity from the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, and from the Government of Ontario as to how this affects places of worship.
We are currently making plans based on their guidelines to ensure that you stay connected with us and with the Lord. There will be a pastor’s update coming out in the next few days with more info. But until then, we wanted to inform you that Saturday confessions can still continue from 3pm-4pm in the Atrium. We will also be continuing to livestream our Sunday Mass on Saturday night at 5pm.
Know of our prayers for you, and please pray for us.
Previous Update from December 22, 2020:
I am sure you are already aware, but in case not, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario announced yesterday that the entire Province will be going into lockdown for 14 days. Then southern Ontario, which includes Ottawa, will continue in lockdown for 14 more days. Thus, we are in lockdown for twenty-eight days starting on December 26th. Here are how things will ‘shake down’, as the expression goes…
First of all, praise God that we are still able to have the seven Christmas Masses before the lockdown comes into effect! Let us treasure this time to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. May Jesus be born anew in our hearts so as to strengthen us for what lies ahead. We recall that Jesus is Emmanuel ‘God with us’. Let us be grateful that He is with us through these present-day trials.
During the lockdown, the ramifications for us are:
Weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies can continue to be held where physical distancing can be maintained:
· 10 people indoors
· 10 people outdoors
· Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions.
· Virtual services permitted.
Thus, we will continue to hold weddings, funerals, baptisms etc. provided we abide to the 10-person limit. Some families may choose to wait in hopes of the restrictions lifting after the 28 days. This is possible as well.
Starting Saturday Dec. 26th, our Sunday Masses will only be livestreamed. The 10-person limit will be filled by the ministers and the livestream team. We are encouraging parishioners to still join us online and to make acts of spiritual communion.
Unless things are changed, the present schedule of when our livestream Masses will take place are:
· 5:00pm Saturday, December 26 (Holy Family)
· 5:00pm Thursday, December 31 (Mary, Mother of God)
· 5:00pm Saturday, January 2 (Epiphany)
· 5:00pm Saturday, January 9 (Baptism of the Lord)
· 5:00pm Saturday, January 16 (Second Sunday in Ordinary Time)
For those who may not be aware, the livestream masses are also available to watch after the stream ends in the event that you cannot watch during the livestream itself.
Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still lifted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, while the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is lifted, our obligation to keep the Lord’s Day holy remains in place and can never be dispensed or lifted. Thus, we encourage you to find ways to keep the Lord’s day holy, and to gather as a family and pray such as joining us via the livestream Mass.
God willing, we will resume attending Mass in person on the weekend of January 23/24. For those who registered for Masses of December 26/27 and December 31/January 1, we regret to notify you that this is no longer permissible and you are invited to watch online.
Weekday Masses: We will not be streaming a daily mass during the week. For daily Mass, please consult our website for recommended links to watch and pray daily mass online. (Mass | St Maurice Parish)
Mass Intentions: We will be contacting anyone who had scheduled an announced Mass intention during the timeframe of the lockdown. We can either reschedule, return your money, or one of our priests can celebrate the Mass intention privately on the designated day.
Confession: We would still like to offer Confessions at this time on Saturdays from 3pm-4pm. We are only permitted to have ten people at a time in the building, so we will need to insist that people respect the protocol in order that we may continue to provide this necessary Sacrament of Mercy. Hopefully this will continue without a hitch. This will be for the Saturdays on December 26, January 2, January 9 and January 16. Hopefully we can return to lesser restrictions on January 23.
As was the case before the lockdown, you can always contact the priests directly to schedule an appointment for confession as well.
Prayer or Adoration inside the Church: Finally, we will be looking into ways that we might be able to have prayer in the Church for ten people at a time, as well as some alternative ways to have Eucharistic Adoration, which is so essential to fueling the spiritual strength of our parish mission. We will keep you posted as ideas are formed and logistics are figured out.
One positive aspect of this shutdown is that it does provide our volunteers with an opportunity to have a well-deserved break. We have so many wonderful volunteers who have faithfully helped week after week since we initially reopened in June. While this shutdown is unfortunate and we would much rather be open.
Thank you for reading this through. Please pass any information along to parishioners you know who do not have email, or who have not signed up for Constant Contact. It is important for us to stay up-to-date as things progress.
Many warm blessings to you this Christmas.
In Jesus, our Emmanuel,