June 14th, 2020 – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
Dear Parishioners and friends of Saint Benedict Parish,
Once again, I hope that this communication finds you and your families, healthy and content. Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. On this solemnity, the church invites her children to ponder on the great mystery of our faith known as the Eucharist. It is an opportunity for all of us to say thank you to the Lord for His great gift to us and as all of you have not had an opportunity to receive Holy Communion for at least a staggering thirteen weeks, this solemnity is a staggering reminder to us to never take the Eucharist for granted and to always offer thanks to the Lord for His presence when He enters into our bodies.
The quarantine still continues. However, things are improving. Restrictions are being lifted and the majority of the province is now in phase two of the quarantine. Nonetheless, some significant changes have taken place for faith communities. As of Tuesday, June 16th, we will begin daily Mass once again. Due to safety concerns, Saint Benedict Parish will not have daily Mass for the foreseeable future – however daily Mass will take place at Holy Rosary Parish in Milton. It will take place Tuesday through Friday at 9:00 am and Tuesday through Thursday at 7:00 pm. Also weekend Masses will begin in our parish the weekend of June 27th/28th. This is a week later than opening weekends in our other parishes due to predetermined events at the school. As usual, our Masses will take place at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School on Saturdays at 5:00 pm and Sundays at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. I look forward to seeing you once again. However social distancing is still in effect and the provincial government has legislated that churches must only be at 30% capacity. This will be a challenge but with common sense and hopefully a complete slowdown in the spread of the virus, we can plan to be at regular capacity in the future. Some things to keep in mind though. You are requested to wear a non-medical face mask when coming to church. You will be screened with basic questions prior to entering the building. Please keep in mind, that if you are a senior or if you have an underlying health condition, the obligation to attend Mass is dispensed by our Ordinary, Bishop Crosby. This reintegration is reinforcing the need to be healthy. If you are not feeling well, please do not come to Mass and spread the germs. Mass is available on television and social media (YouTube and Facebook). There are many resources available to us to celebrate our faith.
In the meantime, I am looking for volunteers who can help with the screening and clean-up of the gym after the Masses. This is crucial – we need to ensure that the school is clean and allows for an environment that is safe and healthy for all. If you are interested and are willing to help out, please contact me directly by email as soon as possible. I am also putting Bishop Crosby’s letter to all parishioners of the Hamilton Diocese on the website as well.
Thank you to all who continue to support our parish through prayer and financial contributions. I also personally want to thank all parishioners who called me, emailed or texted me and to those who brought me food. Your thoughtfulness and kindness is much appreciated.
God bless you!
Father Jim Petrie (Pastor)