Saturday, November 21, 2020.
My dear parishioners:
Our church will be closed, but our parish will still be open.
No doubt you have heard the news that as of Monday, November 23rd, the City of Toronto and Peel Regions will be placed in the “Lockdown Stage” as identified by the Province of Ontario. This lockdown, which is for 28 days, but could possibly be extended by the Province, includes special emergency measures, including a restriction of 10 persons being allowed to gather in places of worship.
Recognizing the logistical impossibilities of holding masses with such numbers, early last evening Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, issued the following directives to the parishes of the City of Toronto and Peel Region:
Starting Monday, November 23, 2020, parishes must restrict attendance inside the church to 10 people, including priests hearing confessions or a staff member/volunteer required to monitor capacity restrictions. Due to these measures, public Masses must be temporarily cancelled. Priests are asked to celebrate private Mass daily for the intentions of parishioners and for those suffering from Covid-19.
Weddings, funerals and baptisms (all without Mass) are restricted to 10 persons, including those who are involved in ministry (priest, cantor, etc.).
Parish offices will be closed to the public - limited essential appointments are permitted, by contacting the office in advance.
No meetings should take place in parish halls or other church spaces at this time. The only exception would be those deemed as essential services. These meetings should be restricted to 10 people and ensure that all appropriate health and safety measures are in place. Virtual meetings should replace in-person meetings wherever possible.
In any case, please do note that Nativity’s scheduled masses this weekend of Nov. 21/22 will still be taking place!
In the coming days I will be meeting with our parish staff to plan our outreach efforts to you during this temporary lockdown, as we did during the previous lockdown this past spring.
In the meantime, starting this Monday, I will post daily spiritual reflections on our parish website www.myparish.org, and our livestreaming of masses will continue. Courtney Strom will continue to update you via our Social Media:
We will have a further update for you, sharing more news and outreach initiatives by this Thursday, at the latest.
Like you, the news of the lockdown has left me feeling extremely sad and disappointed. So many of the faithful rely on the reception of the sacraments and our churches to find solace, peace, and support during this period of pandemic. I can assure you that together with our parish’s staff, we will do our best to ensure that the spirit of the opening statement of this update will be a reality during the lockdown:
Our church is closed, but our parish is still open.
Let us continue to pray for our families, our parish and all those are struggling during these difficult times.
Peace and prayers,
Fr. Michael Machacek.