A MEMO FROM BISHOP GARY GORDON SEPT 9, 2021
“Following the memo and revised Directives issued on August 25, 2021, we received much feedback from members of our Diocese. Based on this, and the continuing high Covid-19 case counts in the Island Health Region, we will now require face coverings for all people born in 2009 or earlier for all activities in church buildings in the Diocese of Victoria, including worship services.
The B.C. government has also recently announced that proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will soon be required to access some events, services and businesses. All worship services are exempt from the requirement for proof of vaccination. As always, we urge all Catholics who are able to do so to follow the example of Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Bishop Gary and receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Receptions following worship services, meetings that have a worship component, and essential services are also exempt from the requirement for proof of vaccination. This includes, for example:
• Baptism, wedding and funeral receptions immediately after the service
• Parish pastoral or finance council meetings
• CWL, Knights of Columbus, RCIA, catechism and youth group meetings
• NA/AA group meetings and soup kitchens
Proof of vaccination is required for all other uses of church buildings with more than 50 people in attendance. This includes, for example:
• Parish social or fundraising events such as dances, spaghetti dinners, bazaars, etc.
• Hall bookings to external groups
It is the responsibility of the pastor / administrator or their designate to verify proof of vaccination in these situations. The Province has provided information on how to do this at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof/businesses#verify-bc
The previous General and Liturgical Directives issued on August 25, 2021 still apply, with the exception of these changes. Any questions about face covering or proof of vaccination or requirements can be directed to the Chancery by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the implementation of these new requirements.”
• Parishioners in the Diocese of Victoria remain dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass at a church. Anyone who is sick or not feeling well must stay home.
• Parishioners are to be reminded not to shake hands or hug each other during the Kiss of Peace, unless they are sitting together as a family unit. Continuing the sign of peace with a gesture, such as bowing, is recommended.
• All people distributing Communion must either stand behind a clear Plexiglas screen or wear a face covering.
• Communion in this Diocese will continue to be distributed on the hand only.
As Pope Francis said in his video message on August 17th, “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love… small gestures for a better future”.
widespread vaccination is our path to restriction-free liturgical gatherings, activities, and visits.
Please keep in prayer the many places in our world that do not have the kind of health care system that we do, nor an equitable access to vaccines. Thank you for your prayers and efforts as we work together during these challenging times.”
Bishop Gary Gordon
Saturday 5:00 pm Mass at St. Elizabeth's
Sunday 8:30 am Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption
Sunday 10:30 am Mass at St. Elizabeth's
CELEBRATE MASS ONLINE
Sundays and Weekday Masses are online
As we continue to journey and pray together during these challenging times, please join Bishop Gary Gordon and other celebrants for Mass through live stream from the Cathedral. To access the live stream link from the Diocese of Victoria website, simply click on the following link at Diocese of Victoria's Live Stream.
Sundays at 10 am: Monday to Friday at 7 PM
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