ME M O R A N D U M
DATE: May 15, 2020
FROM: Most Reverend Albert LeGatt Archbishop of Saint Boniface SUBJECT: COVID-19 Pandemic - Weekly Update No. 8 __________________________________________________________________
We are pleased to share Weekly Update No. 8 with you in which we share some new information and provide reminders about certain elements that remain essential.
I. New Items
Multiple Weekend Masses
On May 12, 2020, our Communications Coordinator, Mr. Daniel Bahuaud, wrote to the Government of Manitoba (Health, Seniors and Active Living) requesting some clarifications. We have included a portion of the answer we received this week.
Restrictions on group sizes (10 people), including for church services, are in place in Manitoba, and there is currently no set end date for when these restrictions may be lifted. However, more than ten people may attend services scheduled one after the other, if “shifts” can be done to ensure no more than 10 people are in the same venue at one time. Please visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/soe.html for more information on the Public Health Orders in place in Manitoba.
It is already permitted in the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface to have ten (10) people present for the priests’ “private” masses. This maximum of 10 people includes the priest. Parishes can publish the dates and times of Masses in their bulletins and through other communication means.
Moving forward and given the above message from the government, pastors and Parish Life Directors may choose, in consultation with the PPC (and Parish Administration Board, where necessary), to celebrate more than one Sunday Mass according to the regular weekend Mass schedule in the parishes they are assigned to.
This assumes that all necessary measures are in place to ensure control over the number of people (no more than 10) who are in contact with each other at any given moment. All hygiene and disinfection measures must also be ensured between the Masses.
Ongoing Temporary Cancellation of Gatherings for Liturgical Celebrations
(non controlled gatherings and gatherings open to the public)
In Weekly Update No. 6, issued on May 1, 2020, it was decreed that these gatherings were cancelled until May 18, 2020. As a follow-up to the latest information received from the government and to discussions between the Manitoba Catholic Bishops during our teleconference on May 13, this temporary cancellation now remains in effect until June 1, 2020.
At that time, each diocese (Saint Boniface, Winnipeg, Keewatin-Le Pas, ChurchillHudson Bay, and the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy) will issue a new protocol. The last protocol in the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface was issued on March 19, 2020. The archdioceses will work collaboratively to each prepare a new version of their respective protocols. Each diocesan protocol will correspond to its particular context and will take into account the various developments since the previous version.
I wish to emphasize that the term “protocol” refers to a document that aims to establish the measures to follow over a fairly long period of time, while the interpretations, suggestions, and necessary corrections are communicated with you weekly in a document entitled “Weekly Update.”
Resuming Gatherings for Liturgical Celebrations
The committee composed of Br. Greg Mulligan (St. Alphonsus), Fr. Vincent Lusty (Swan Lake Pastoral Region), and myself, continues to work toward helping parishes prepare for this reopening, which will happen in stages.
Distribution of Communion Outside of Mass
The committee composed of Fr. Carl Tarnopolski, Fr. Joshua Gundrum and Fr. Marcel Carrière is finalizing a document (a type of vademecum) with recommendations and directives regarding the distribution of communion outside of Mass.
+ Albert LeGatt
Archbishop of Saint Boniface