Friday 20th March 2020
This week the Prime Minister announced that non-essential indoor gatherings will be limited to 100 people, and outdoor events of more than 500 people will be disallowed, effective today. Given the seriousness of COVID-19, St. Anne’s Parish supports this measure as being responsible and sensible, and we encourage everyone to follow public safety guidelines respectfully.
The Bishops of the Province of Victoria have given this prayerful and considered reflection, and have determined the following actions:
- Immediate suspension of public liturgies, celebrations of the Mass, until further notice.
- All other gatherings are suspended.
For St. Anne’s parishioners, we are very aware that this restriction will be particularly difficult for families who are planning liturgies such as funerals, weddings and baptisms. Deferring these liturgies may also be an option that is offered to families at St. Anne’s.
In light of this, all Catholics in Victoria are dispensed from their Sunday obligation until further notice (canon 1248). We encourage you to continue active participation in the life of the Church, through activities such as time in personal and family prayer, reflecting on the Scriptures, making a spiritual communion, or participating in a Mass online such as:
Although Masses are suspended, we will have Expositions from 8.00am until 11.00am each Sunday. The church will be open from 10.00am until 12.00pm during weekday office hours (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and you are welcome to come for private prayer time. We ask you to follow health guidelines as are currently in place.
We encourage our parishioners to please leave your Thanksgiving offering in the provided basket during this time. If you wish to consider changing your contribution to direct debit, our bank account details are:
Account Name: St. Anne’s Church
National Australia Bank/CDF Account BSB Number – 083 347
Account No: 64340 4615
If you wish to begin paying via credit card, please email or call the Parish Office with your details.
This also means that our Sacramental Program for our candidates must be postponed. The sacraments will take place later in the year but we cannot yet advise when at this time. We ask our families to continue praying together and discussing each weeks’ readings, particularly in the coming weeks until Holy Week and Easter. This information is available on the Newsletter page of our website.
We assure you that while you are not physically present, you still participate spiritually and that you are close to the hearts of your pastors in the Eucharist.
All of this is happening during the Season of Lent, a time of preparation for the Easter mysteries. While we are invited to be self-sacrificial at this time, we must remember the words of Jesus upon appearing before his disciples after his resurrection: Again and again he said ‘peace be with you.’ (Jn 20:19) Let us not panic, nor be anxious, nor reduce ourselves to caring only for ourselves. This is a time to be sensible, practical, prayerful, and to share Christ’s peace with those who are struggling to feel calm and safe. Thank you for all your patience, prayers and resilience.