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Bishops Propose Reopening Churches in Four Stages
The first of the four stages proposed would see churches open for private prayer and confessions.
Catholic bishops have proposed a four-stage reopening of churches in New South Wales as cases of COVID-19 abate.
The proposal to Premier Gladys Berejiklian is signed by Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and 17 others, including Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse and the bishops of regional NSW.
“Re-opening churches, at first only for private prayer and confessions and with strict protocols in place, would be a significant benefit to many in the community, offering solace to the faithful and hope to the anxious,” the proposal says. “Social distancing and other restrictions have taken a significant psychological and spiritual toll on people.”
During this first stage, physical distancing and the use of hand sanitiser will be overseen by monitors. The second stage envisages Masses and services to be held in outdoor spaces such as carparks, with the number of attendees limited. The bishops suggest “no collection plates or hymn books to be passed around; no shaking of hands or holding hands … and Holy Communion to be given and received safely”.
Stage three, with similar provisos, would see Masses and services moved indoors with stage four a “return to the (new) normal with learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
At the start of his streamed mass on Sunday, Archbishop Fisher said he assumed those watching were keeping safe by downloading the COVIDSafe app.
In a social media post, Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay said he had downloaded the app and urged his flock to do so.
The bishops also appealed to Ms Berejiklian to allow baptisms and weddings to take place in line with restrictions in place around funerals, with ministers and up to 10 people. They have also asked for the numbers of mourners at funerals and graveside services to be increased.
Coronavirus: Catholic bishops push Premier to open NSW churches (The Australian)
Online Resources for Daily Mass & Prayer & Corona Virus Updates
• https://shalomworld.org/specialevent/daily-mass (Vatican Mass)
• http://bit.ly/MassOnDemand (Sydney Mass at St Francis Xavier Lavender Bay, Sydney)
• https://www.stmaryscathedral.org.au/ (Mass Live Stream at St Mary’s Cathedral)
• https://www.facebook.com/anthonyfisherop/videos/2879218758821564/ (Lord’s Prayer at midday for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic with His Grace Archbishop Anthony Fisher)
• https://www.sydneycatholic.org/coronavirus-updates/ (Coronavirus Updates)
• https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/spiritual-communion.html (Spiritual Communion)
The Month of Mary – The Tehillah Community is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting to pray the Rosary with them during the month of May at 7pm daily. https://www.facebook.com/events/2318802161749394
NEW MASS TIMES MOVING FORWARD WILL BE HELD:
Saturday: 8am & 5.00pm
Sunday: 8.00am & 10.00am
Tuesday & Thursday
8.30am to 3.30pm
(Mass intentions & news items for the bulletin must be left at Presbytery by 12pm Wednesday)
This Church is equipped with an induction loop for the hearing impaired.