My dear parishioners:
I want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. It has been wonderful to see so many of you at Mass since we re-opened on June 22nd. A special thanks goes to the volunteers who have helped ensure our church is a safe place to worship – they have done incredible work!
Since my last report to the Parish dated October 8th, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Peel Region, Toronto and York Region increased significantly, with all 3 regions now placed in the “red zone” by the Province of Ontario. In response, local medical officers of health strongly recommended that places of worship reduce their capacity in order to minimize potential transmission. Thus, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, made the difficult decision that we must temporarily further restrict attendance at our liturgical celebrations.
This Tuesday, November 24th, attendance at liturgical celebrations at all parishes in the “red zone”, including Nativity, will be limited to 50 worshippers in the entire building (including the hall) at one time. These 50 worshippers do not include the clergy, liturgical ministers and the other volunteers helping with the mass. This attendance limit applies to all masses (both weekday and weekend), Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals.
All non-essential meetings in the parish will have to be held virtually or be postponed. The entrance to the parish office remains closed, but if you do have need to visit the parish office you can contact Joanna Andrews, our secretary, to arrange a time to come.
To help address the new capacity limits, for weekends our parish will continue to use the Eventbrite on-line registration system for reservations for the weekend masses. Please bring proof of your registration when arriving for the mass you have registered for. With these reduced numbers, the practice of walk-ins, that is, persons who arrive without reserving on Eventbrite, will no longer be possible.
For weekday masses, you can still walk in as before, but once we reach 50 persons, we will have to close the door with a sign stating that our capacity has been reached.
For the past few months, we have averaged almost 400 persons (excluding volunteers) over the 3 weekend masses. Now we will only be able to host 150 persons over those 3 masses.
Hence, I appeal to your kindness that you register every second or 3rd weekend to allow for others to attend a weekend mass. I will also be monitoring the registration and if changes are deemed necessary to make this as equitable as possible, I will let you know.
Remember you can always join our parish community in our online 11:30 Sunday mass livestream. Just go to the appropriate post on the parish homepage www.myparish.org for that Sunday’s mass. You may also consider attending one of our weekday masses that are lightly attended, such as the Tuesday 7 pm mass or the Thursday 9:30 am mass.
St. Michael’s Cathedral livestreams daily mass through the Archdiocese of Toronto’s website www.archtoronto.org Daily mass is also televised on Salt+Light TV, Vision TV and EWTN.
I deeply appreciate your continued financial support of the parish. Many parishioners have been dropping off their envelopes into the collection baskets at the exit doors at the end of mass. Many others, who have been unable to come to mass, have been dropping their envelopes in the mail slot by the parish office door, or in some cases, mailing it to the parish.
There are 2 other options I ask you to consider in terms of your donations to support the work of our parish: the first is on-line giving by using your credit card. To do so, go to the pink coloured Donate button at the top left side of the homepage of www.myparish.org Click on that button, and then select the name of our parish, and then decide if you wish it to be for the offertory or building fund, as well as a recurring donation or a one-time donation. A second option is the use of the Pre-Authorized Giving (PAG) Programme which many parishioners now use. In this method a monthly deduction from your bank account occurs on the 20th of each month, for an amount you determine. You can also choose to have your donation directed to the offertory or the Building Fund. I think so highly of PAG that I have switched my monthly donations to our parish to the PAG method. Please contact the parish office at email@example.com or call Joanna at the parish office for more details.
I anticipate my next parish update will occur in the week of December 7th, including news about Christmas and New Year’s Masses. Please do check our parish website www.myparish.org for news and daily spiritual reflections. You can also follow us on social media through:
Our parish youth can also stay in touch with Courtney Strom, our Youth Minister, through our parish youth website www.nativityym.com or on our Instagram account.
My dear parishioners, I recognize these additional restrictions are challenging. Our parish staff will continue to make every effort to continue our service to you. In the meantime, I pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. May God continue to bless you!
Peace and prayers,
Fr. Michael Machacek.