As of Monday, April 19, 2021
- Parishes must restrict attendance inside the church to 10 people, including priests hearing confessions or a staff member/volunteer required to monitor capacity restrictions. Due to these measures, public Masses must be temporarily cancelled. Priests are asked to celebrate private Mass daily for the intentions of parishioners and for those suffering from Covid-19.
- Churches, wherever possible and according to the judgement of the pastor, are encouraged to remain open for private prayer and for the faithful to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Parishes may also proceed with Holy Communion services on Saturday afternoon/evening or Sunday as in the past, if desired. A sample service will be provided next week. Weddings, funerals and baptisms are restricted to 10 persons, including those who are involved in ministry (priest, cantor, etc.). First Holy Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmations should be postponed at this time.
- No meetings should take place in parish halls or other church spaces at this time. The only exception would be those deemed as essential services eg. Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous Meetings, Food Bank distribution, etc. These activities should be restricted to 10 people and ensure that all appropriate health and safety measures are in place (use of masks, hand sanitizer, physical distancing, etc.). Virtual meetings should replace in-person meetings wherever possible.
- Parish offices should continue to operate at Phase 1 – Parish Offices Closed/Significant Operating Restrictions. Only essential staff in the office. Employees should work remotely wherever possible. Parish offices closed to the public - limited essential appointments only. Staff should take direction from the pastor regarding the local situation on the most prudent approach. In larger parishes, it may be possible to rotate staff if they cannot work remotely.
- I also wish to stress the importance of robust health and safety measures in the rectory and office. In addition to keeping our parishioners safe, every measure should be taken to protect our clergy, essential staff and any volunteers who are required to assist at this time.
- Even with extremely limited numbers, I reiterate how critically important it is for every parish to implement our extensive WorshipSafe measures to ensure that we may continue to welcome the faithful safely.
- Please let your parishioners know that the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or other health conditions should be strongly encouraged to remain home. Livestreaming of services should continue where this practice is underway and the dispensation from the Sunday Eucharist remains. A full list of livestream services can be accessed at: www.archtoronto.org