COVID-19 Updates

This is your place to access on-going communications from us about COVID-19, specifically how this pandemic is affecting the diocese and parish, and how we are responding to it.

SUNDAY MASS: Saturdays at 5pm; and Sundays at 8:30am, 11:00am**, and 2:00pm (effective June 11, 2021).
We welcome you to join us celebrating Mass in-person* or online.
We also invite you to interact with us on the live chat!

DAILY MASS: Join us for daily Mass in-person*** on Tuesday evening (6:30pm) or Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday morning (10:00am)

* Registration required for in-person attendance
** 11:00am Mass will not be livestreamed
*** No pre-registration needed – Just come. Our maximum number in the church, safely-distanced, is 115 persons. Mass will not be livestreamed

COVID-19 SURVIVAL KIT: The Holy Family Parish COVID-19 Survival Kit is a collection of resources to help you and your loved ones feel the peace and love of God during these difficult times.
 Download the survival kit by clicking here.


January 4, 2022: COVID-19 Update (Update #22) from Bishop Dabrowski
Letter from Bishop Dabrowski

In light of the information released by the Province of Ontario on Monday (January 3), it is necessary to update our protocols. The changes are things we have seen before, but which need our attention in order to continue following proper procedures. In addition to those changes required by the government, we have added further requirements out of an abundance of caution. These changes are effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, 5 January 2022, and apply for the next 21 days or until other notification is given.

1. The celebration of Mass, other liturgies or devotions
The directives released yesterday limit gatherings in worship spaces to 50% capacity. With the mandatory requirements of two-metre (six-feet) physical distancing that are still in place, this means no real change in the numbers we can allow at any one time. The use of masks, along with contact tracing and our other protocols for our worship spaces, are all still mandatory.

For the 21-day period, congregational singing is suspended. Concerns about aerosol transmission and the prevalent use of non-medical-grade masks in the general population make this a prudent move. Cantors may continue to lead singing without a mask from the choir loft, a stand or the ambo in the sanctuary, by which three-metre (ten-feet) distancing is observed.

The Windsor-Essex Health Unit requires active screening when people are entering worship spaces; i.e., asking the specific questions about symptoms. All other areas may simply continue to refer people to the posted signs for their self-monitoring.

2. Offices in the Diocese
All employees are to work remotely unless the nature of their work requires otherwise. Staff must have permission from their supervisor before entering an office or church building.

3. Meeting spaces / Parish halls
All meeting places, including parish halls, are to be closed. This does not apply to those groups meeting as “social services” such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Volunteer groups, such as money-counters, would be allowed to meet in halls to a maximum of five people at a time.

With the closure of all restaurants and other indoor venues for eating, there can be no food or drink served in parish halls. Food preparation, limited to a team of five people maximum, may be done for service to the poor. Food preparation for fund-raising is deemed non-essential at this time, and is suspended for the 21-day period.

These measures are being taken to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant. Continued vigilance in physical distancing and the use of masks are important means by which we can do our part to stop the spread of this and other variants.

In Bishop Fabbro’s absence, I thank all you, along with the staff and the many volunteers who work with you. We continue to pray for an end to the pandemic, for all who have fallen ill because of it, and for all our health-care and front-line workers.

Most Rev. Joseph Dabrowski, C.S.M.A.
Auxiliary Bishop of London


November 12, 2021: COVID-19 Update (Update #21) from Bishop Fabbro

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

The Episcopal Council met earlier this week to discuss, among other things, some questions
specific to our COVID-19 protocols. With the Province of Ontario opening more venues and the
lessening of some restrictions, we are able to make some changes.

  1. Singing During Liturgies Now Allowed
    In light of the higher number of people who are vaccinated across the province, the WorshipSafe Working Committee reviewed safety protocols regarding singing. Singing is now allowed during our liturgies. All who attend any celebration in our churches are still required to wear masks that cover nose, mouth and chin, and good ventilation is expected to be in place.
  2. Dispensation from the Sunday Obligation Extended
    The dispensation from the Sunday obligation is now extended to the last Sunday of Winter Ordinary Time, that is up to and including 27 February 2022. The month of March may see further lessening of restrictions, at which time this decision will be reviewed.
  3. General Absolution Not to be Given
    The practice of celebrating General Absolution was given in the early months of the pandemic but rescinded earlier this year at the end of the Easter Season. The permission is no longer in place and is not given for the coming season of Advent.

October 18, 2021: Letter & Vaccination Policy for Priests, Deacons, parish staff, and volunteers
Letter and Policy from Bishop Fabbro (and DIocese of London)

As a Diocese, we are committed to providing safe places for our parishioners to come to worship, celebrate the sacramental life of the Church, and to be strengthened in their work as disciples making disciples for Jesus. We are committed, at the same time, to providing safe workplaces and meeting spaces in our parishes and offices across the Diocese. Vaccinations will make it possible to do ministry in hospitals, long-term care homes, homes for seniors and any place where home-bound parishioners live, along with schools and community centres, since getting a vaccination helps protect our most vulnerable.

[…]

In light of my recent letter on the teaching of the Church on this subject, and those reasons briefly iterated above, I hereby decree that the attached policy on vaccinations comes into effect this day, on which I attach my signature and diocesan seal, 18 October 2021.

Bishop Fabbro

Additional information including the Ontario government’s statement on the necessity of vaccinations, along with Frequently Asked Questions, can be found here: https://dol.ca/vaccinations


August 9, 2021: COVID-19 Update (Update #20) from Bishop Fabbro

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

The recent addendum was written “in light of the increasing rate of vaccinations, relaxed provincial anti-COVID restrictions and greater scientific knowledge concerning COVID-19” with a view to “safely reduce the necessity for full pandemic safety measures”. It cannot be stated enough, though, that the protocols issued earlier, unless otherwise changed herein, remain in
effect. To keep people safe, we must be responsible to follow all the protocols that we have been given. This is no time for self-interpretation or premature relaxation.

Bishop Fabbro, Covid-19 Update, #20

Here is a brief summary of the update from the Diocese of London. Please click on the Letter (above) for the full update:

  • The Importance of Getting Vaccinated
  • Aerosol Transmission
    • continue wearing masks;
    • ventilate the air in buildings frequently as effectively as possible; and
    • maintain reduced numbers of people in contained spaces through physical distancing.
    • no changes are to be made to the setup in our churches, since physical distance remains mandatory.
  • With relaxed restrictions, the following changes may be implemented immediately:
    • Changes that Affect our Church Spaces
    • Changes that Affect our Celebrations
    • The Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance
      • With easier access to churches, the permission for General Absolution is hereby withdrawn immediately
    • The Sunday Obligation
      • the dispensation from the Sunday obligation will continue until the end of the liturgical year, that is 27 November 2021. As before, we will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Concluding Note
    • “We have much to be grateful for in our country, with the benefits of our health care services and the availability of the COVID vaccine. Many countries do not enjoy these benefits. We are grateful for all who continue to put themselves at the service of others to care for the sick and to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in all its manifestations. As we see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”, let us remain steadfast in our care for others – especially the most vulnerable – and for our families and ourselves.”
June 8, 2021: Step 1 of Ontario Roadmap to Reopen (effective June 11, 2021)

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

  • Indoor religious services to resume at 15% capacity
  • Communication regarding how the changes affect parish halls and offices will be forthcoming.
  • Continuation of Sunday dispensation
  • Permission to continue General Absolution
May 14, 2021: Extended Stay-At-Home Order

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

  • Mass for all those suffering during the Pandemic
  • Continuation of Sunday dispensation
  • Permission to continue General Absolution
April 23, 2021: Restriction Clarifications

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

  • Baptisms
  • Extended Dispensations
April 16, 2021: Government of Ontario strengthens enforcement of province-wide Stay-at-Home Order
  • Places of worship will be locked-down as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, 19 April 2021.
    Directives from Bishop Fabbro:
  1. Masses should be celebrated in the churches to pray for the needs of our people. Where possible, these celebrations may be live-streamed or recorded and up-loaded. One person may participate in the celebration to proclaim the reading(s) and Psalm, along with one instrumentalist and one cantor. Deacons do not assist at these Masses.
  2. Baptisms should be discouraged until the lock-down ends, but may be celebrated in danger of death.
  3. Celebrations of First Communion are deferred until the lock-down ends.
  4. Confessions should be discouraged until the lock-down ends, but may be celebrated if the pastor determines a serious need; to be determined on a case-by-case basis; to be celebrated only by appointment.
  5. Confirmations are to be deferred until the lock-down is lifted, but may be celebrated in danger of death.
  6. Weddings may proceed with the maximum number of ten people.
  7. Funerals may be celebrated with the maximum ten people allowed.
April 8, 2021: Stay-at-Home order
  • Churches can remain open for services and there is no change to the capacity limit of 15% indoors
    • The dispensation from the Sunday obligation remains in place up to and including Pentecost Sunday
  • For the duration of the Stay-at-Home order, church halls and/or other “overflow” rooms should not be used to add to church capacity
  • Offices are to remain closed, except for essential business; staff should work from home
  • Halls remain closed with a few exceptions: “child care centres and authorized recreational and skill building programs (as described in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014), court services, government services, mental health and addictions support services (for example, Alcoholics Anonymous), permitted to a maximum of 10 people, social services, collective bargaining, so long as more than ten people are permitted to occupy the rented space, contact information recording required (except for court services)” and blood donor clinics
  • Funerals are limited to 15% of church capacity
  • Funeral services at cemeteries are limited to 50 people where physical distancing can be maintained
  • For an interment service at a mausoleum, please contact the cemetery manager in that area for limits

    For other information, please see: https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown.
April 1, 2021: ‘Emergency Brake’ Lockdown
  • A new lockdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Holy Saturday (3 April).
  • Recent directives from the government allow all places of worship in “Grey-Lockdown” zones to admit up to 15% of their seating capacity. Our current allocated spaces for guests in our parish is under this allocation.
February 26, 2021: Reopening

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

  • More directions about Stations of the Cross (YouTube Fridays 7pm), Catechetical Sessions, Masks during Liturgy, and Parish Offices.
February 16, 2021: Reopening

Letter from Bishop Fabbro

  • The provincial Government of Ontario has lifted the “Stay-at-Home Order” effective Tuesday, February 16, 2021. In-person Mass will resume the First Sunday of Lent – February 20 & 21 – under “Red – Control” zone restrictions.
January 29, 2021: Lent and Easter
  • Bishop Fabbro extended dispensation from Sunday obligation until the end of the Easter season and gives direction to what Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Easter might look like with or without lockdown orders.
January 14, 2021: State of Emergency
December 26, 2020: Province-Wide Lockdown
  • Per Provincial Lockdown announcement and Bishop Fabbro’s direction, public celebration of Mass is suspended until January 23, 2021. The parish office is also closed. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
  • COVID-19 update from Bishop Fabbro
June 13, 2020: Bishop Fabbro’s directives about re-entry into our churches: