It is already close to the beginning of my fifth year as Pastor serving Our Lady of Fatima Parish Community. I have also completed 36 years of ministry as a priest in the diocese. Change is a constant in our lives: I am grateful for the regular ongoing help of retired archbishop of Kingston, Brendan O'Brien.
Since I am the only one shepherding this large parish community, I rely more on your collaboration as we strive to build up this faith community to be welcoming to all whom we encounter!
Since Mid-March, we have been thrown into an unprecedented challenge with Covid-19. I am sure many individuals and families have some anxiety as we face an uncertainty future in the building-up of our Christian Community. Until recently at the beginning of July, for three and a half months we were unable to worship in person and I had to scramble to learn to live-stream the Masses, the source and summit of our Christian life. We relied on weekly emails and phone-calls to keep in touch with parishioners. Even now, we can only accommodate worshipers at 30% capacity, following the guidelines of the province. We hope to move forward and regain some form of normalcy.
The journey forward will be a challenge that we face together. We endeavor to ensure the safety and security of those who join us for worship. I am glad that the province made wearing masks mandatory, as this appears to be the most effective way of fighting the virus. Your cooperation in protecting one another is to be lauded!
Meanwhile, we continue to celebrate sacraments, including baptisms, sacrament of the sick, later in the Fall, first communions, and of course, funerals which we celebrated even during the height of the lock-down! In the celebrations of sacraments, we have to adapt to the new reality of Covid-19.
We are still unable to resume some Masses, especially the popular and well-attended Saturday morning at 9 am, Wednesday Devotions with Mass, Masses at long-term care facilities will only be resumed when deemed safe to do so.
We continue to unite with one another in prayer, that no challenge and hardship will come between us and the love of God made manifested in the self-giving of Christ our Lord. This is reason for our trust and hope!