Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,
As we prepare our return to celebrating public Masses safely, we have been working on implementing best practices, which we shared with our community earlier this week. There is a steep learning curve for all of us as we find ways to reopen in a manner that protects our community. As we assess the realities of resuming public Mass, we would like to draw your attention to the following changes to our approach:
- For the safety of our Pastor, who is over 70 years of age, Fr. Jim will not be distributing Holy Communion at Masses. Communion will be distributed by Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.
- If you are over 65 years of age, please consider the heightened risk involved in participating in public gatherings as you make a decision on whether to return to Mass at this time.
- While the Government of Ontario and the Archdiocese of Ottawa allow for 30 percent capacity in places of worship, which is 165 in St. Joseph’s Parish, we have reassessed whether this figure accommodates adequate physical distancing. Out of an abundance of caution, we are reducing the capacity at all Masses to 90 parishioners.
- This reduction in capacity means that we will need to turn to online registration for all Masses. We are asking all parishioners who are able to do so to please complete the appropriate registration below for the Mass that you plan to attend. It is not our intention to exclude anyone from attending, but having a better idea of attendance at each Mass will go a long way in helping us plan for a safe return to public liturgies. If we reach capacity at any given Mass, the appropriate form will become disabled.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we do our best to resume public liturgies safely.