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.