Before updating you on the latest Covid-19 developments, we want to take a moment to say how incredibly blessed we are in our parish and how truly grateful we are to everyone in the Lourdes community for your ongoing support during this period of great uncertainty. It has been wonderful to see so many of you at Mass since we reopened in June. We are especially grateful to all of the amazing volunteers who have helped ensure our church is a safe place to gather -- they have done an incredible service!
As you know, the number of new Covid-19 cases in the Greater Toronto Area have increased significantly in recent weeks and, at present, Toronto and Peel Regions are in the "Lockdown Stage" as identified by the Province of Ontario. In addition, Premier Ford announced on November 20, 2020 special emergency measures to be taken in our area.
For this reason, as of Monday, November 23rd, we must restrict attendance inside the church to 10 people, including priests hearing confessions or a staff member or volunteer to monitor capacity restrictions. Sadly, due to these measures, public Masses must be temporarily cancelled. Our Priests will continue to celebrate private Mass daily for the intentions of parishioners and for those suffering from Covid-19.
Lourdes will remain open for private prayer daily from 8am to 6pm (excluding Sundays 11am-1pm) and for the faithful to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (link to Mass Times).
While it can never be a substitute for attending Mass in person, we will be live-streaming our Sunday Mass and holding our daily Masses on Zoom, and we encourage you to participate as you are able. As well you will find our revised office hours and protocols.
We recognize that these measures are extremely challenging. We are incredibly grateful for the efforts of our heroic volunteers who have been faithfully welcoming parishioners and sanitizing the church between Masses, ensuring that we can operate safely and responsibly. Your selflessness and generosity is inspiring!
So many of the faithful rely on the reception of the sacraments and our churches to find peace and support during this period of pandemic. Despite these new restrictions, we will make every effort to continue our outreach -- such as resuming our Lourdes Connect & Care Ministry, reaching out to those who are vulnerable or alone among us.
We will continue to update you as the situation develops. Be sure to check our website www.lourdes.to and watch for our Flocknote updates (we have some wonderful things planned for Advent).
Please be assured of our continuing prayers for you and your loved ones. Keep healthy and remain safe. May God continue to bless you now and always!.