As a result of the lifting of restrictions from Wednesday 17th February at 11.59pm we are able to resume weekend Masses this weekend under the same conditions we were operating under just prior to this latest lockdown.
The limit allowed to attend each Mass remains limited at 70 people. This includes any child over the age of 12 months. Unfortunately, we are unable to exceed that number due to the current restrictions. Attendance at the past two Sunday Masses prior to lockdown were either at capacity or near capacity which was pleasing to see. In order to ensure that everyone who wants to attend Mass is able to could I suggest attending Saturday night at 6.00pm as an option where there are still plenty of spaces available.
The good news about the QR Code is that the Parish has now changed to using the Victorian Government QR Code starting from this weekend. This allows anyone registering by QR Code to save their details for next time. Therefore whilst registration is still required while attending Mass each time there will be no need to put in your details. They will automatically come up each time you register. Please download the Service Victoria app on your mobile from the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android). We have volunteers available to show you how to scan the QR code or enter the unique six-character location code, via a smartphone camera, QR code scanner app or the Service Victoria app.
Please note that under the latest guidelines from the Victorian Government as of 11.59pm 17 February 2021, the wearing of face masks remains mandatory when entering the Church. This applies to attending Church on both weekdays and weekends. Children under the age of 12 and those who have medical reasons are exempt. If anyone does have an exemption it needs to be mentioned to one of the volunteers when registering.
Masses at Cabrini
As a result of the recent 5 day lockdown Masses on Thursday at Cabrini Chapel will not recommence on Thursday 18th February 2021 as originally planned. I am currently awaiting further advice from Cabrini about a new commencement date.
As a result of the latest lockdown the Mass for Ash Wednesday was pre-recorded and is now on the parish website. I did not bless the Ashes at this Mass as I felt that everyone who would like to receive them should have the same opportunity of doing so. Last week I received notification from the Archdiocese that the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes may be moved to a later date which I can now happily confirm is permissible. Therefore the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes will take place at our Masses this weekend.
Distribution of Ashes in Time of Pandemic
The Priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes. He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything. Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Missal, applying it to all in general: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. The Priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.
Future Planning Group
Late last year I mentioned that a Future Planning Group was formed for the purpose of looking at what is the vision for our Parish in the next 20 years. It was decided that the first step was to consult both our Parish and School Communities. For this purpose a survey has been put together which all parishioners and school families are invited to complete. Please go the link: https://forms.gle/YuMGM7WKZmog2nfe8 I encourage all to please complete this survey. For those who cannot access this survey electronically paper copies will be made available in the Church as soon as it reopens for Masses.
I, along with several members of our Parish Community have recently completed the Alpha Training Programme. We initially completed 8 weeks of training and then asked for an extra 5 weeks as part of our ongoing formation and to keep the momentum going. We plan to meet in the next few days to discern the possibility of running this programme in our Parish in 2021.
Parish Climate Action Group
Earth Hour 2021 will be at 8:30pm-9:30pm on Saturday 27 March. All times are in Eastern Australia Time. Get involved in Earth Hour 2021. Find out how you, your school, your business or your community can take part in Earth Hour on Saturday 27 March 2021 at 8.30pm. By switching off your lights for Earth Hour, you’ll be joining millions of Australians taking part in the largest global environmental movement. Visit: https://www.earthhour.org.au/get-involved