After a nearly three-month wait, I’m happy to announce that Sunday Mass is back at St Francis Xavier parish, as of this coming weekend! Thank you all for your patience these past few months, and we ask for your continued patience amidst the ongoing restrictions that will be part of our Mass-going experience for the time-being.
As of this Saturday (6th June), Phase Three of the State Government’s return plan takes effect, allowing up to 100 people in places of worship (not counting celebrants and servers), and up to 300 people in venues with multiple areas (attached is the Archbishop’s latest letter giving all the details of how Phase Three will affect parish life in our parishes). Given this, our regular weekday parish schedule will resume from this Saturday, starting with 8am Mass followed by adoration and reconciliation at 8:30am. Mass next Monday will be at 8am, next Tuesday at 7pm, and so forth.
We debated whether it was worth reintroducing Sunday Mass with the 100-person limit, but eventually we decided that something would be better than nothing, and we’ll do our best to juggle things until Phase Four hopefully allows for something closer to normal in the coming weeks. And so, our new temporary Sunday Mass schedule is as follows:
- Sat 5:30pm – Reconciliation
- Sat 6:30pm – Vigil Mass
- Sun 7:30am – Mass
- Sun 9:00am – Mass
- Sun 9:30am – Mass (St Kevin’s, Serpentine)
- Sun 10:30am – Mass
- Sun 5:30pm – Reconciliation
- Sun 6:00pm – Mass
As you can see, we’ve added a third Mass at Armadale on Sunday morning, so as to allow as many people as possible to attend. We anticipate these Masses filling up quickly, in which case you might want to consider attending one of the evening Masses instead.
We have a sign-up list for each Sunday Mass in Armadale, and you can reserve a spot by calling the parish office on 9399 2143 or 9399 4687, or by e-mailing us at email@example.com. Please contact the office by 12 noon on Friday each week to allow us time to finalise the lists (I realise this doesn’t give much time for this week). You can only reserve a spot for the coming Sunday, not future weeks. Any remaining places will be given out on a first-come basis on the day. Once we reach the 100-person limit, there will be room for up to 50 people in the Betty Knight Hall, though unfortunately the folding wall will have to remain closed (the speakers will be on and communion will be brought to anyone in the hall). The cry room remains out of use for the time being.
As for the 9:30am Mass at St Kevin’s, Serpentine, it will have a 30-person limit at this time (not counting celebrants and servers), and will be given on a first-come basis on the day (no reserving places is available).
We realise that many people will still not be able to attend Sunday Mass with the above limits. We ask for your ongoing patience, and please be understanding with us as we do our best in the current circumstances (and know that we face serious fines if we do not follow the government’s protocols). Know too that the standard obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be dispensed at this time. We will see how things go this weekend and reassess next week (feel free to give us feedback).
A few other details:
– We are seeking volunteers to help wipe down the pews after each Sunday Mass. Any volunteers will be guaranteed a place at that Mass!
– When arriving at the church, please first make your way to the sign-up sheets in the foyer, and tick your name if you have reserved a spot, or leave your details if you are taking an available spot on the day. Please also use the hand-sanitiser provided.
– Social distancing remains in place during all Masses. Please do not sit in the blocked-off pews.
– There will be no collections at Mass, but we will have baskets available on the way out where you are encouraged to place your parish offerings.
– Communion will be available only under one kind for the time being.
– We will not have music at the Sunday morning Masses for the time being, so that Mass can be a little shorter, allowing us time to clean between Masses.
– After each Mass, we will not let people in for the next Mass until the church has been cleaned (just like at the movies). Again, please be patient with us as we carry out what is being asked of us.
– There will not be morning tea in the parish hall after any of the Sunday morning Masses.
– There will be no bulletin this weekend, but we’ll do our best to get it up-and-running again shortly.
– Xavier House remains out of use for the time being.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, and thanks again for your patience and generosity during this challenging time. I will continue to send out a weekly e-letter for the time being, but from now on I will send it out on Sundays (i.e. in lieu of the parish bulletin). Once things are back to normal I will phase out the e-letters, but I continue to put my homilies on the parish website (www.sfxarmadale.org.au).