Mass Time: All regular Mass are cancelled
Adult Faith Formation: Tuesday Bible Study is cancelled till further notice.
Youth Faith Formation: Catechism classes are cancelled till further notice.
First Communion Preparation: Classes are cancelled till further notice.
Conformation Preparation: Classes are cancelled till further notice.
Stations of the Cross: Cancelled till further notice.
March 19, 2020
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Pandemic - Weekly Update No. 4
We are pleased to share Weekly Update No. 4 with you. It reviews certain essential elements and informs you of new information and clarifies questions that have been brought forward, especially by the Deans during our weekly Tuesday morning teleconference, and now by the priests, Parish Life Directors, and lay leaders from each of our parishes during our teleconferences with them.
I. New Items
Ongoing Temporary Cancellation of Assemblies for Sunday and Weekday Masses
Liturgical Protocol No III, dated March 19, 2020, decreed a temporary cancellation of gatherings of the faithful for liturgical services, in light of the pandemic, and that until the end of April.
Therefore, there is a question of whether these celebrations will resume at the beginning of the month of May. However, it seems to be very clear that the restrictions imposed by the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, will not be lifted by the beginning of May in order to maintain as much control as possible over the possibility of public spread. The question of prolonging the cancellation period was discussed during the weekly Deans’ teleconference on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, and during the Manitoba Bishops’ teleconference this Friday, April 17.
A final consultation on this matter will take place next week during the Deans’ teleconference (Tuesday, April 21) and a decision will be made concerning the timing and type of cancellation. This decision will be shared with the Archdiocese in the next weekly update on April 24, 2020.
Tridiocesan Catholic Family Conference
A Tridiocesan Catholic Family Conference will be held from 2:00 PM until 4:45 PM on Saturday, April 18, 2020, to mark the National Week for Life and the Family. This year, we are pleased to offer a free special edition that will be livestreamed for families. The conference will be given by Kevin Dunn, our dynamic guest speaker. The theme is Our Children: Embracing God’s Gift of Love - A Gift Within Our Church, Village & Family. You can access the conference from the Archdiocesan Facebook page at
Divine Mercy Sunday
I invite you to participate in the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass which will take place on
Sunday, April 19, 2020, at St. Andrew Bobola Parish.
2:30 PM Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
3:00 PM Recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by Mass
The entirety will be livestreamed on the Archdiocesan Facebook page at
Distribution of Communion Outside of Mass
Many questions continue to be asked concerning this topic, such as how to interpret the diocesan directives, and that in different contexts and at different moments of the evolution and then devolution of this pandemic. We will examine these questions more thoroughly and concretely during our next weekly Deans’ meeting on Tuesday, April 21. We will also discuss this during the pastoral meetings with the deaneries, which are teleconferences with the priests, Parish Life Directors, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Parish Pastoral Councils. Fr. Carl Tarnopolski, V. G. Is preparing documents and resources pertaining to this topic.
Meeting of the Diocesan Council of Priests
The meeting scheduled for April 21, 2020, has been postponed until May 5, 2020, from
1:00 PM until 3:30 PM (via teleconference).
Annual Retreat for the Diocesan Priests
The priests’ retreat which was scheduled for April 27 to May 1, 2020, at Wilderness Edge Retreat Centre, in Pinawa, has been cancelled for this year. However, priests are invited to make a five-day retreat at another time during this year. This will be discussed in further detail at the next teleconference with the Deans.
To the Diaconate
Christian Illunga Mutombo: Friday, June 5, 2020, at 7:30 PM
To the Priesthood
Deacon Jean-Baptiste (Anh Duy) Nguyen: Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 7 PM.
Deacon Brian Trueman: Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 10 AM
These ordination masses will be livestreamed. The number of people allowed to gather for these celebrations will depend on the measures from Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer in effect at that time.
Protocol Level and Places of Worship
Protocol III is still in force. The March 27 directive from Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Public Health Officer, also remains in force: “Public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals.” It is important to remember what this order entails, that is to say what we can and cannot do. As we are still at the level of Protocol III, please refer to this protocol’s text dated March 19, 2020, and to Weekly Update No. 2 from April 3, 2020.
Clarifications From the Chief Public Health Officer
On March 31, 2020, our Communications Coordinator, Mr. Daniel Bahuaud, wrote to the Government of Manitoba (Public Health Office) asking the following three questions. We have included the answers received by the Government of Manitoba.
1. Are churches still able to have up to ten people at assemblies?
Yes, places of worship including churches can continue operating as long as there are less than 10 people in attendance. In addition, it is required to implement measures to ensure that people attending the place of worship are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two meters from each other. (Answered April 1st)
2. Can the diocesan and parish offices remain open?
Faith organizations may operate remotely like an excluded business. This means they can have staff inside for filming/broadcast/office work. However, they must follow social distancing guidelines and are limited to gatherings of 10 people or less. (Answered April 4)
3. Are churches and other faith organizations considered essential services?
Faith organizations are listed specifically in the public gathering order; they are not included on the essential services schedule. (Answered April 4)
Sunday Masses (Every Week)
Presider: Archbishop Albert LeGatt
In French at 9 AM
In English at 10:30 AM
The liturgies can be accessed via the Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens parish YouTube channel:
And on the diocesan Facebook page:
Please Note: the liturgies will begin promptly at the time indicated for the livestream. If you access the Facebook or YouTube page before that time, you may end up joining in the end of the previous liturgy.
Priests’ Private Masses
Please first refer to Weekly Update No. 2, sent April 3, to review the principles and consequences that stem from them pertaining to the pastors’ Sunday and weekday masses. Everything that was detailed in this Weekly Update remains in effect.
In deciding to adopt these measures, we are following the advice of Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, who has advised that the next weeks will be the most critical. This requires the highest degree of physical isolation, which requires that everyone stay home.
Ringing of Church Bells
I would also invite you to ring your church bells at noon on Easter Sunday and on every Sunday until Pentecost, i.e., until the end of the Easter Season. Please ring them for at least five minutes.
In this context, the joyous ringing of bells is to signal our gratitude to all frontline workers throughout our society, all those thousands of people who leave their homes and the security of their good health, to engage in the whole sphere of essential services by which the rest of us continue to live, as normally as possible, be in security and know we will be cared for as we need it.
However, for this to have its maximum effect, we need to inform our parishioners as to why the bells are being rung. If your parish decides to embark on this project, please inform your parishioners of this in the coming days.
We are also trying to invite other Christian Churches and even other faith communities to join similar efforts, each according to their tradition and practice.
The Archdiocesan Centre Remains Open
Despite having closed the Diocesan Centre to the public, all diocesan services, including the Office of the Archbishop, Administration, and Pastoral Services, continue to be offered remotely with as few service interruptions possible.
I wish to sincerely thank the priests, Parish Life Directors, permanent deacons and lay people who are actively engaged in their parishes, for the essential services you have rendered to all the faithful over the course of these last few weeks, and especially during Holy Week and the celebration of Easter. Through you, Christ who was crucified, died and was resurrected, the Living One, continues to be boldly proclaimed, celebrated and
experienced in all our parishes. Alleluia! Alleluia!
In thanksgiving and with my profound gratitude,
+ Albert LeGatt
Archbishop of Saint Boniface