Thoughts from the presbytery – 20 March

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In these extremely difficult times due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, immediate action had to be taken to protect the spread of the virus and to protect the health of everyone.  The protocols insist a distance of one and a half metres between people, the exception being families, at our gatherings.  The collection plates will be at the back and front for first and second collections.  You should also keep the prescribed distance when approaching Holy Communion.  Until further notice, the choir loft will be open for those attending Mass.

Until we get through this crisis, I have also insisted that baptisms be restricted to parents, godparents and grandparents.  Funerals are only to attended by immediate family and designated friends.  As you would be aware, all sacramental programs have been postponed .

Those who are on email, registered with Paul and Cath, were immediately advised of changed Mass times and protocols of the Archdiocese.  As we approach Easter, there will be more changes and it would be helpful if as many as possible were on email.  If you have a mobile phone able to receive txts, register at our office and we will try and organize how to keep you informed.

I have postponed my annual leave after Easter as I want to be with you in these times.  Unless a person requests a visit due to illness, I won’t be visiting homes.  The same will apply to our retirement villages.

These are challenging times and as people of faith we need to turn to God and pray for direction.  Our lives and our world will never be the same as priorities radically change.  I also recommend the prayer to St. Roch:-

O Blessed Saint Roch,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.

Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.

Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.


(Repeat the following 3 times)

Saint Roch, pray for us,
That we may be preserved
From all diseases of body and soul.

We give thanks for the fifteen years Sister Macrina has been in our community.  Her sense of humour, care for the poor and her gentle engagement with all parishioners has been a wonderful blessing.

On behalf of the poor in Timor Leste, I acknowledge generous gifts of $1,500 and $500 this past week.  The Timorese are also going through extremely difficult times.

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