Dear parishioner,

I am sending this message to all the parishioners of St Francis Xavier parish to inform you of a few necessary changes at the parish.  As you would likely have heard, Archbishop Costelloe has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all public Masses within the Archdiocese.  Please read the attached pastoral letter from the Archbishop explaining his decision.

Please also know that Fr Matteo and I will continue to celebrate Mass privately each day, and that the faithful are encouraged—now more than ever—to unite themselves and their spiritual offerings with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Pray for us priests, and pray for the world during this difficult time, knowing that our God—who turned the horror of the Crucifixion into the glory of the Resurrection—is able to bring light and life from the present turmoil as well.  To this end, I have also attached an “Act of Spiritual Communion” which I encourage you to pray often.

Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel or postpone many of the upcoming events we’ve been advertising.  This includes the weekly Stations of the Cross, the meeting of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion scheduled for tonight, and the upcoming training session for altar servers.  Prayer gatherings in Xavier House also have to be suspended for the time being.  These measures are currently in place until the 1st of April, but I suspect they will likely extend for at least a couple of months.  We will update you on the status of our Holy Week celebrations as things unfold, but the Good Friday Stations of the Cross at the Schoenstatt Shrine has already been cancelled.

In our desire to provide what spiritual nourishment we can, here is a new schedule for the parish church in Hilbert:

– Monday to Friday, 9am-12noon: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning with a public recitation of the Rosary at 9am.

– Saturday, 8am-9am: Reconciliation, plus Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction.

– Saturday, 5:30pm-6:30pm: Reconciliation.

– Sunday, 5:30pm-6:00pm: Reconciliation.

The parish church will also remain open for private prayer during office hours.  At St Kevin’s in Serpentine, we will have Reconciliation and Adoration from 9:30am-10:30am on Sundays.  Please maintain good hygiene and appropriate social distancing when taking part in any of the above.

A reminder of our parish toilet paper exchange: should you or someone you know be running low on toilet paper or other essentials, don’t hesitate to contact the parish office and we’ll help out as best we can.  And if you can spare a roll or two, feel free to drop them off and we’ll ensure they’re passed on to those who need it.

Finally, I will be sending out a weekly e-mail with a Sunday homily and other prayer resources as a means of maintaining my spiritual connection with you all.  Should you not wish to receive this weekly message, please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe”.  We will also have copies available at the church and parish office should anyone want to receive it that way.  Know of my ongoing prayers for you all, and know that our merciful God continues to guide and protect us!

God bless,

Fr Mark