Dear friends,

As you would know, on Sunday the Prime Minister ordered the closure of churches as part of a series of measures aimed at limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.  We’ve been waiting for details as to what exactly this means for us in the parish, and after discussions with the State Government Archbishop Costelloe has this morning released a pastoral letter outlining the details, which I encourage you to read.  I’ve attached the letter to this e-mail, and you can also find it on the Archdiocesan website here:

As you’ll see, in addition to the suspension of public Masses, we now also have to close churches to private prayer, which puts a stop to our plans for daily adoration.  Baptisms and confirmations are to be postponed except in the case of emergencies.  Weddings and funerals are allowed under strict conditions, as is Anointing of the Sick.  We’re not allowed to have set times for Reconciliation—even outdoors—which dashes my plans for a drive-through confessional.  Individual confession is still available and encouraged – please contact the office to arrange it until we can come up with a better arrangement.  The parish office remains open from 9-4pm Monday-Friday, and can be reached on this e-mail address or by phone on 9399 2143 or 9399 4687.  We are still working out possibilities for pastoral ministry in the present circumstances, and I’ll share any plans we develop in due course.  I will continue to send a weekly letter with a homily, links, and parish updates, and feel free to contact the office if there are any notices you would like included in this weekly letter.

Know that Fr Matteo and I will continue to hold you all in our daily Mass, and I encourage you to offer the difficulties of the present time for all those worst affected by the virus.  Continue to pray, continue to hope, and let this time of physical separation strengthen your desire for union with the Lord and his Church.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Mark

“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage: I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)