The Diocese of London has cancelled Sunday masses, due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
“Some Medical Officers of Health across the region are banning gatherings of 250 people or more,” Diocese of London officials said in a press release.
“In light of this and the continuing concern for the health and safety of our parishioners, Bishop Fabbro announced today that all masses shall be cancelled for this weekend. We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with public health officials to determine the course of action for next weekend and subsequent weekends.”
For this weekend and as long as necessary, Bishop Fabbro grants the faithful dispensation from their Sunday obligation, Diocese of London officials say.
“Churches should remain open for private prayer and Eucharistic Adoration,” Diocese of London officials say.
“Daily mass will continue during the week. All other directions from Bishop Fabbro remain in effect at weekday masses, with the additional direction to ensure proper ‘social distancing’, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others as a precaution.”
Bishop Fabbro implemented the following measures on Friday:
– Cessation of hand-shaking which includes the greeting and bidding farewell to parishioners before and after mass. An announcement should be made before the Opening Hymn that the Sign of Peace could be given with a nod or bow.
– Holy Communion from the chalice will be withdrawn until further notice. Intinction is not an option in the Latin Rite. If a parishioner is unable to receive Holy Communion due to gluten intolerance or other reasons, they can be offered the Precious Blood.
– The Host should be placed in the hands. Because the faithful have the option to receive it on the tongue, Pastors can use their discretion to accommodate them. They could also ask them as an act of charity and generosity to receive it on the hand while these precautions are in place.
– Empty Holy Water fonts until further notice.
– Parishes will ensure that those who distribute Holy Communion wash their hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before and after.
“Lastly, but importantly, we ask all the faithful in the Diocese of London to pray,” Bishop Fabbro stated.
“Pray for the comfort of those who have lost loved ones to this pandemic. Pray for all the sick, including those ill with COVID-19. Pray for the healthcare workers who care for the sick and put themselves at risk every day. Pray for a vigilant calm in the face of rapidly changing events. And pray that this pandemic will soon be over without taking any more life.”
Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes:
- Blessed Sacrament, Chatham
- St. Agnes, Chatham
- St. Joseph, Chatham
- St. Ursula, Chatham
- Our Lady of Victory, Chatham
Kent Lambton Roman Catholic Family of Parishes:
- St. Michael’s Parish, Dresden
- Sacred Heart Parish, Port Lambton
- Holy Family Parish, Wallaceburg
- Our Lady Help of Christians, Wallaceburg
South Kent Catholic Family of Parishes in Essex:
- St. Paul’s, Thamesville
- St. Michael, Ridgetown
- St. Mary, Blenheim
Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, ordered various measures on Friday, March 13 to control the spread of COVID-19 and he also declared a local emergency as a result. Details, here & here.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday. Details, here.
For a list of local, cancellations, postponement and further updates, click here.