Bishop Bergie's Easter Letter
Diocesan Policy Regarding the mandatory use of face coverings
July 30, 2020
CHURCH REOPENING: INFORMATION FOR PARISHIONERS
JUNE 13, 2020
We look forward to welcoming our Catholic community home again!
Please contact your parish for information about their reopening schedule which will vary across the 44 parishes in the Diocese of St. Catharines. Church opening schedules will depend on each parish’s readiness, including having a team of cleaners and other volunteers, and availability of sanitizing and other PPE.
Since COVID-19 is still a public health threat, Catholics are dispensed from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
Many parishes will continue to livestream Masses and other liturgical celebrations.
Churches may be open to a maximum capacity of 30%.
Funerals and weddings in churches may be celebrated to a maximum capacity of 30%. Outdoor funeral services are limited to 50 attendees.
Please take appropriate precautions including taking your temperature before leaving home to attend Mass, ensuring proper hygiene especially hand washing. If you have any symptoms that might be COVID-19 related, or if you have been in contact with someone suffering from possible or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms, please remain at home and contact your doctor/public health.
Screening and public health protocols are in place. It is strongly recommended that parishioners over the age of three wear a mask when attending any church service. BYOM.
There will be no Children’s Liturgy of the Word at this time. Crying rooms will be closed.
We are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone who comes into our churches. However, there can be no guarantee of complete protection from infection. There can be risks of contracting viral infection in large gatherings of people.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms in the days following your attendance at Mass, please phone/email the parish office, in addition to contacting your doctor/public health.
Parish offices remain closed to the public at this time. Parish ministries, meetings and activities are still on hold.
Please address any questions or concerns to your parish, or you may direct them to the Diocesan Catholic Centre at .
Bishop Bergie's letter regarding the re-opening of churches on June 12, 2020
May 29th, 2020
In a previous Memo (April 3), I offered May 30 as a possible date to open our parishes and chancery. Unfortunately, I was being a little too optimistic. This will not happen until our provincial government, under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, gives approval. The bishops of Ontario are currently in discussion with these individuals in order to facilitate the lifting of restrictions as soon as possible. I am hoping and praying that I will be able to offer you a specific date in the near future. Please share this information with your parishioners.
This Monday marks the beginning of the month of June. This month has traditionally been dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Please continue to promote this devotion in your parishes. I include for your information, the twelve promises made to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Jesus for those dedicated to His Sacred Heart.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion
on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
"Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."
May 15, 2020
The Government of Ontario has begun to lift restrictions concerning COVID-19. Although we are still under a state of emergency, the first phase of the three-stage process of ‘opening up’ the province has begun. Unfortunately, opening up our churches is not part of this initial step. In preparation for the day when this will happen, the Executive of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario is developing a protocol. These guidelines will assist dioceses in the process of reopening parishes. From what I understand, it is suggested that this too be done in stages. There is also an ongoing discussion with government and health care officials to ensure that the reopening will begin as soon as reasonably possible. Like all of you, I long for the day when we can, once again, publicly celebrate the sacraments in our churches.
April 24, 2020
In solidarity with a number of Episcopal Conferences throughout the world, all dioceses and eparchies in Canada are asked to consecrate their dioceses to Mary, Mother of the Church, next Friday, May 1, 2020. We are asked to seek her maternal protection during the coronavirus pandemic. I will be doing this at the Cathedral, during a live streamed Mass in honour of St. Joseph the worker. The Mass will be celebrated at 12 noon.
On Sunday, May 3, there will be a Holy Hour at 3 p.m. in the Cathedral to celebrate The World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This will be live streamed, and I ask that you make this known to your parishioners. We should all be praying for an increase of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and to the consecrated life in our diocese. Although you cannot be present physically, please join me spiritually in prayer and adoration.
I ask that you continue to remember in your prayers the victims of the mass shooting in Nova Scotia. We also pray for all of those affected by this senseless tragedy, especially the grieving family members of those who have died. May our Lord grant them comfort and peace.