Church re-opening – Message from Fr. Emeka

June 18, 2020

Dear Parishioners of St. Peter’s,

Thank you for your patience during these difficult times, and for your support of our Parish. The Premier of Ontario recently announced that all churches in the Province of Ontario are permitted to be open for personal prayer and worship, effective June 12, 2020. In order to ensure that St. Peter’s is prepared to open for Mass, according to the requirements of the government and health authorities, the Ontario Bishops and the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall return – Worship Safe guidelines, we have implemented the measures for the health and safety of our community as requested.

For those who are elderly or whose immune system is compromise and those who are hesitant to return to church at this time, please know that I will continue to pray for you at this time and you can watch the Mass on our live stream link: visit Virtual mass.

It is important to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and that everyone must continue to pay close attention to the measures being put in place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, please note the following requirements for entry into the church:

  • Entrance is not permitted to those who have an elevated temperature, or who are suffering from cough, sputum production, shortness of breath, undue fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aching, runny nose, chills involving shakes, loss of sense or taste or smell. If you are sick, you are kindly asked to stay home.
  • If you have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days, you are not to enter the church until you have completed the period of self-isolation.
  • You are strongly encouraged to wear a mask upon entering the church, this from age of 3 and up.
  • Everyone is to use the hand sanitizer provided upon entry to the church before and after mass.
  • Maintain a two-metre (six foot) distance at all times in the church and on church property.
  • Only 30% of the seating capacity of the building per Mass is permitted for usage at this time by government regulations. Once again, this weekend for parishioners attending Mass our seating will be from 1-32 on a first come basis, email or phone call reservation at all three masses. This is to allow the parents and students of the school to come in and pick-up their personal effects in the gym area of the church during the weekdays. The gym area of the church will re-open next weekend June 27 and 28 with more seating.

During the celebration of Mass, you will notice a few changes based on the recommendation of health authorities to ensure everyone’s safety as much as possible:

  • The entrance procession will be simplified.
  • There will be no hymnals in the pews; singing will be led by an instrumentalist and a cantor only.
  • Only one lector will proclaim the readings before the Gospel, and the petitions.
  • There will be no collection and presentation of bread and wine at the usual time. You will be invited to deposit your offering in the baskets as you enter or leave the church in the main of the church.
  • Communion can be received only in the hand at this time. Carefully extend your hands, placing one upon the other to receive the Body of Christ. Maintain physical distancing row by row.
  • Following the dismissal, you will be directed to leave the church, row by row, in order to maintain physical distancing. Using the back and side entrance of the church. No printed bulletins will be available.
  • You are asked to refrain from socializing with others following Mass

Mass schedules are as follows:

  • Sunday Masses: Saturday @ 5:00 p.m. / Sunday@ 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Weekday Masses: Wednesday – Friday @ 8:00 a.m.

As we welcome this first stage of returning to our Parish church and resuming our public worship, let us continue to be united in prayer for one another and especially for those who, for whatever reason, are not able to join us.

Thank you for your prayers and cooperation. We are looking forward to seeing you soon. May God bless you and your family.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Emeka Onyeogubalu, Pastor

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