Dear Parishioners,

I’m happy to announce that St. Michael’s, Corkery and St. Peter Celestine, Pakenham will be reopening the doors for Masses this weekend (June 13/14). It feels all too long since our respective parish families have been together to worship God and to enjoy fellowship with one another. It seems that the good Lord had a hand in this early reopening as it is the Solemnity of Corpus Christ (The Body and Blood of the Lord). On this Solemnity our Lord Jesus Christ’s words are very apropos for why we all felt such a longing to return to church, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have not life in you” (John 6:53). It was the Lord’s will to restore to us on this weekend the nourishment by which we life, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me” (John 6:57).

As we look to come back to pews this weekend I am reminded of the beautiful words which St. John Vianney wrote in his little catechism, “When the bell calls you to church, if you were asked, “Where are you going?” you might answer, “I am going to feed my soul.” If someone were to ask you, pointing to the tabernacle, “What is that golden door?” “That is our storehouse, where the true Food of our souls is kept”…“O God! O God! How Thou hast loved us!” Let us return this weekend with our hearts filled with gratitude and awe at the graciousness of God. Let us worship Him as though it was the first, the only, time.

Now, as we return to the pews, I have to keep in mind that there are protocols that we must keep inside the church, and even in our parking lots. The Archdiocese has required them and we have worked hard at both churches to meet them. Please take the time to read the remarks below as well as any that are in the church. Also, please be courteous with our ushers who have generously given of their time to make sure that the protocols set out are followed so that we can be open our doors this weekend. Please follow their instructions, and the current norms of public health.

Capacity Control

On June 8 the Ontario government announced that places of worship may re-open starting on June 12. The limit on the attendance is 30% of capacity and physical distancing continues to be required.

In order to live up to these requirements the Ottawa Archdiocese has set out guidelines for churches to follow. Both our churches have obvious markings on the floors and signs in key places to direct people. Please respect these directions. For those returning this will likely mean that you may not be able to sit in your usual spot. For those coming from elsewhere, please follow direction for our ushers.

Those who are sick

According to the Archdiocesan regulations parishioners are strongly encouraged to self-screen before attending church, including taking their temperature. Those with a temperature at or above 37.5 C/99.5 F are asked to not attend Mass. Those who exhibit fever or any other indications of a viral infection are asked to seek medical attention before coming to church. If you know that you should not come, please be prudent and stay home.

For those who are fearful of being in large crowds, and may not want to attend Holy Mass on the weekend, we will be opening our churches for regular weekday Masses. It is normal for numbers of less than 10 persons to be at those Masses, so you may have an easier time attending.

This weekend’s Mass Schedule at St. Michael’s

I ask that our regular Mass Schedule of Saturday 4:30pm and Sunday 11am be reserved for our regular parishioners as we can fit them at their regular Masses while still observing all protocols.

For those coming in from other parishes we are adding two extra Masses this weekend at St. Michael’s at 8am and 9:30am, which will be sign up events only and limited to 50 people per Mass. You are welcome to come if your parish does not have Holy Mass this weekend, but please respect the fact that we have to keep the numbers limited in order to comply with current regulations. Please see the link to Everbrite on our parish website to register and bring your electronic or printed copy of the ticket when you come on Sunday.

Confessions by appointment only.

This weekend’s Mass Schedule at St. Peter Celestine

I ask that our regular Mass Schedule of Sunday 9am be reserved for our regular parishioners as we can fit them at their regular Masses while still observing all protocols.

Confessions by appointment only.