Message from Father David- May 22-2020

Dear All,

I hope people are keeping well in body and in spirit.  Attached is the link to this weekend’s Sunday Mass; hopefully it will be less eventful than last week!

A little while… (cf John 16:18)

On Thursday I received the following e-mail from the Bishop’s office;

Plan to Re-open Parishes: 

Bishop Bittman is using the recently published guidelines of the provincial health authorities to re-open our province, to provide pastors with a safe plan to re-open our churches for Mass and prayer.  As there are many things to consider to keep everyone as safe as possible, it will take time to establish this plan.  We ask for your patience during the next few weeks and offer the confidence that you will have the option to be back at Mass soon.  Your parish bulletin and the diocesan website will provide updates as soon as they are ready.  In the meantime, livestreamed Sunday Mass will continue.  Thank you all for your support and prayers as we, too, pray for you during this pandemic.

Quite often the Church uses an abundance of caution out of love and respect for its members.  The bishop does not want to rush into changes without having carefully thought through all that is needed to keep people safe.

Now while we might rejoice that our churches will open again soon, we need to hold on for some time yet before we are back to normal.

Over the last couple of weeks the medical authorities in Britain have done a large survey and concluded that only about 5% of the population has had the covid virus.  This means that 95% have not had it.  Canada is not as badly affected by covid as Britain is, and particularly B.C. has not be hit so hard.  Therefore there might be significantly more than 95% of the population in areas like ours that hasn’t had the virus.  So when this time of restrictions ends, we are as vulnerable as we were back in March when we were told to stay at home.  Covid has not passed by and gone, rather it is still a very significant threat.

If we look back to the great plagues throughout history, mostly they come in several waves.  This was true of the Black Death in 1300’s Europe, the Bubonic Plague some centuries later, and world wide, the Spanish flu came in three clear ‘waves’.  What is more, commonly the second wave is often worse than the first.  In 1918 the second wave of Spanish Flu killed more than the first and third waves combined.

In 1918 around 50,000 Canadians died during the pandemic.  To put this in context, if we scale that up to take account of Canada’s larger population today, that same proportion would be about a quarter of a million.  So far in this pandemic, very sadly, in Canada we have lost just over six thousand lives to the disease.  So there is absolutely no room for complacency.

We do not know what restrictions will be put on us when our buildings are opened, but it will not be business as normal.  The most important thing is to think of others; all the care we take is because we are following the command of Christ to love one’s neighbour:  We keep our distance from people because we love and respect our fellow parishioners; we wash our hands regularly to protect everyone, and we do not come anywhere near church if we have even the slightest cold symptoms (even if we think it is an allergy or whatever) because we are putting others first.

Also, if things get worse, then we might have to close the churches again.  There are a few parishes in the US which have opened and then had to shut again.  The Holy Ghost parish in Houston, Texas is reported to have had an outbreak of the virus in the congregation and their priest died as a result and many others are ill.  So we are not out of the woods by any means, accordingly please do not expect things to be normal for some time yet.

In Our Prayers

This week Fernie parish lost two more long time residence from Rocky Mountain Village.  Maureen Lento died very peacefully at home on Tuesday.  Diane McGee died on Thursday after a battle with cancer.

So in Fernie this week there were three funeral Masses because they also had a Mass for Marcel Kremer who died last week.  None of these deaths was from Covid, it was just a very difficult week for the parishioners in Fernie.

So we do hold Frank Lento, along with Mark & Val, Marnie and the grandkids, plus very many friends and relatives of Frank & Maureen in our prayers.  Diane will be missed so much by her brother Bobbie Sumka who was with her almost every day, so are prayers are very much him as well as Diane’s two kids.  Plus Lorrie Kremer and her four children are still in our prayers as they grieve.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.

And there are many other situations in our parish and beyond that will obviously be the focus of special prayers at this time, so you can see how much our parish’s mission of being a praying community is needed by the whole of the Elk Valley.

Zoom Software

Don’t forget, the Zoom software is being updated and if you use the Zoom ‘app’ on your tablet, phone or computer, by next weekend you will need to have “Version 5.0”.

With thanks,
Fr. David


Link to Sunday Mass

Fr. David is inviting you to be part of our Sunday Mass.
Topic: Topic: Mass for the Feast of the Ascension
Date & Time: Sunday 24th May 09:00 AM Edmonton

To Join Zoom broadcast:

If you have the Zoom app, you can join via Meeting ID: 250 423 6127

Or for audio only, tap:  +17789072071,,2504236127#,,#

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