Dear Parishioners and friends of Saint Benedict Parish,
Tomorrow we enter into the holy season of Lent – Ash Wednesday is the day when reignite our relationship with the Lord by attempting to remove the obstacles that get in the way of this special relationship especially by overcoming the sins we deal with in our lives. As we journey with the Lord over the next forty days, the church invites her children to ponder on the great mystery of the suffering death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It is an opportunity for all of us to say thank you to the Lord for His great sacrifice for us and as all of you have not had an opportunity attend Mass and to receive Holy Communion for almost two months, this holy Lenten season is a staggering reminder to us to never take our relationship with Jesus for granted and to always offer thanks to the Lord for His loving sacrifice.
As of today, the region of Halton has had the lockdown lifted and we once again enter the red zone. Basically this has allowed church services and Masses to once again resume at 30% (plus social distancing). As of this coming weekend (February 20th and 21st), we will begin celebrating Mass once again. However, unlike the past nine years, we can now celebrate our faith in the Lord Jesus in our new church! Our dream of a new church is now complete! The location of the new church is 300 Yates Drive (corner of Louis St. Laurent Avenue and Yates Drive). Our Masses will take place on Saturdays at 5:00 pm and Sundays at 9:00 am, 10:30 am and 12:00 noon. Daily Mass will begin on Monday February 22nd. Daily Masses will be celebrated from Monday through Friday at 9:00 am. The same safety protocols will be in effect as with the weekend Masses. I look forward to seeing you once again. However once again I remind you that 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 new variants of the coronavirus, 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 church after the Masses. I am especially looking for volunteers at the weekday Masses. This is crucial – we need to ensure that the church 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.
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)