A message from Fr. Alan (15 May)

New Guidelines from the Archdiocese Thursday 14th May 2020

On Tuesday night all the Parishes in Melbourne received new guidelines from the Archdiocese because of the State Government’s announcement on Monday May 11th about easing restrictions.

The Archdiocese advises that Parish Churches are permitted to reopen under strict number and hygiene regulations. It has been left to the parishes to assess whether they have the resources available to move forward.

I met with the Parish Pastoral Council (via zoom) last Tuesday night 12th May. The decision was made to reopen our church from Monday 18th May. Mass will be offered in our church from Monday to Friday for the next weeks at 9.15am. In addition, the Church will be open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1.30pm-2.30pm for the next two weeks commencing Tuesday 19th May 2020. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at those times. It was decided not to reopen for Sunday Mass for the next two weeks given the severe limitation on numbers who can attend. The number of parishioners who can attend each time is limited to ten. This applies to both Masses and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Given the current limitations it was determined that the fairest way of managing this is to give as many parishioners as possible the opportunity to attend either Mass or Adoration on one occasion only for the next two weeks. It is understood this is not perfect, but I believe it is the best we can manage given the circumstances. Should you wish to attend either Mass or Adoration in the next fortnight you are asked to contact the Parish Office giving your first and second preferences for the next two weeks.

The Parish Office must be contacted by Friday 15th May at 4pm giving your first and second preferences for Monday May 18th. After that the Parish Office needs to be contacted by 12pm the day before for all other occasions. You will be notified by email confirming the day you are able to attend. You must contact the Parish Office at least 24 hours prior if you are unable to attend your allotted date so that the place can be offered to another parishioner.

Those attending Mass are required to be there between 8.50am-9.05am. The doors of the Church will then be locked, and no further admittance will be allowed. Those attending Adoration are to be there between 1.05pm-1.20pm. After that time, the Church doors will be locked with no further admittance allowed. Anyone attending Adoration are free to leave when they choose within the hour. Car parking will be open in front of the Church.All attendees at Mass and Adoration will have their names checked off on the list by a volunteer upon entry into the Church.

Attendees at Mass are required to use hand sanitizer three times: at the beginning, before communion and upon leaving the Church. Communion will be given by the Celebrant only and can only be received on the hand at this time.

Attendees at Adoration are required to use hand sanitizer twice: upon entry and leaving the Church. At the conclusion of both Mass and Adoration all those attending will asked by the Celebrant to leave immediately to allow the necessary cleaning of the Church to take place. To adhere to the rules of social distancing, directions of how to leave will be given at that time. Please follow all directions from either the Celebrant or the assigned parish volunteer for that day. These guidelines will be reviewed again at the end of May.

I appreciate that these are extraordinary measures. I ask for your patience and understanding during these extraordinary times as we begin the long road back to normality.