THE PARISH IS REOPENING!
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Benedict Parish:
In early June the provincial government granted permission for churches to resume services in their churches and gathering places at 30%. For Saint Benedict Parish, the resumption of weekend Masses will begin this weekend, June 27th and 28th with our usual Mass times of Saturdays at 5:00 pm and Sundays at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confessions) will take place AFTER the 5:00 pm Mass on Saturdays until the last penitent has finished receiving the sacrament.
Since we use the gymnasium of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School as our “church”, we must implement the same protocols that are in effect in the Diocese of Hamilton, as mandated by Bishop Crosby and the diocesan committee charged with ensuring safe reopening of our parishes. Hence we can only accommodate under a hundred people due to the 30% factor and social distancing MUST be incorporated into this number. Since we are excused from our Sunday obligation requirement while we are in this pandemic, I would suggest that you consider a weekday Mass at Holy Rosary Parish in downtown Milton, as your one Mass in the week that you will attend. Saint Benedict is unable, at this time, to celebrate daily Mass from Tuesday through Friday. However, Holy Rosary Parish offers Mass on Tuesday – Thursday at 9:00 am and 7:00 pm and Fridays at 9:00 am.
We are uncertain of the number of people who will be returning – so to ensure that all have an opportunity to attend Mass – please consider only attend one Mass per week. If it can be determined that Holy Rosary Church can handle the numbers than a devotion of “daily Mass” can be reconvened.
When you enter the school – you will do so from the south-east door from the parking lot. This will be the only door that will be unlocked. We then ask at the end of Mass you exit by the north-east door into the parking lot. Please follow the directions of the ushers and guides.
One of the major stipulations of the reopening process is the assistance of volunteers to help with directing/ushering and with the sanitizing process after the celebration of the weekend Masses. Please commit yourself to a certain Mass – your assistance is essential. If we cannot secure volunteers – we cannot celebrate the Mass.
Protective equipment is provided to our volunteers. We are asking however, that all who are coming to Mass to please bring your own mask.
Once again, I emphasize, that if you are elderly, have an underlying health issue or do not feel safe coming to Mass – you are dispensed by our Ordinary, Bishop Douglas Crosby OMI, from your Sunday obligation for the time being. The Mass continues to be celebrated on television and on various social media platforms (including Facebook and YouTube).
Deacon Leonard and I are looking forward to seeing all of you and reconvening as a parish community to celebrate our faith once again.
Father Jim Petrie