Message from Fr Sean Cullen | Re-opening the church

September 30, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Please note the following two paragraphs from Bishop Brian Mascord, outlining the road map for re-opening our Churches in the Diocese of Wollongong. 

“STAGE ONE – WHEN 70% ARE VACCINATED – ESTIMATED DATE 11 OCTOBER The stage begins when 70% of eligible people are fully vaccinated – expected to be 11 October. Even though we would be entitled on this date to open churches to the vaccinated only, following consultation with the Council of Priests and other advisors, I have decided to wait a further two weeks until we reach the point where 80% of those eligible are fully vaccinated before re-opening our churches to the public, and conducting public Masses etc. 

STAGE TWO – WHEN 80% ARE FULLY VACCINATED – ESTIMATED DATE 25 OCTOBER At the 80% fully vaccinated milestone we will open our churches and ceremonies to “mixed” congregations (fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and yet unvaccinated); the 4 sqm rule will apply, and masks must be worn indoors. At this time, we will not be required to check a person’s vaccination status. We continue to urge everyone to be vaccinated, and so to reduce their risk of serious illness or even death. We will do all that we can to keep safe: there will be good ventilation, social distancing, hand sanitising, no congregational singing, and the wearing of masks, etc.”

In summary, this means we will not be returning to Mass until the weekend after 25th October (presuming that is when 80% is reached).
The 4 square metre rule will remain in place, which means the capacity of Holy Family Church will be no more than 150 people. 
Face masks will be required to be worn when we re-open.
Because of the size of Holy Trinity Church Minto, Mass will not resume there until later.

November and December will be especially busy months, with baptisms, weddings, Confirmation and First Holy Communion needing to be celebrated.  

With November being the month of the Holy Souls, all Masses will be offered for the intentions of the deceased. If you would like Mass offered for a particular intention, please write name(s) clearly on an envelope and drop into the parish once we open up.

Now with some clarity about our return, we can look forward to parish life. I hope to see you in person as soon as we open the doors of the Church, and ask that you encourage all you come in contact with, to join us again at Mass. All will be welcomed to a safe, comfortable and loving home – the Church.

With blessing for the coming week,

Fr. Sean.