My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I hope and pray that you are all well and safe!
As a result of the COVID 19 Lockdown that has been ordered for the City of Toronto, beginning on Monday, November 23, 2020, and lasting for at least 28 days, there will be no public Masses celebrated in Toronto. Under this lockdown order, churches may only admit 10 persons, including clergy, at a time. All publicly celebrated Masses during this time have been cancelled.
During the lockdown, the parish offices are also closed and all meetings in the parish have been cancelled.
Each morning, I will be celebrating Mass at 6:00 a.m. privately in our Church for the intentions of the parishioners. If you have any need that you would like me to remember at Mass, you may call and leave a message at the parish office: 416-534-4219. I am still living and working at the parish. If you wish to speak with me, please call. Although the parish offices are closed, if I do not answer when you call, I will call you back as soon as possible.
The church will be open from Monday to Friday at 7:30 a.m. and I will be available in the church from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, the church will be open from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and I will be available in the church at this time. This will also be the case on Sunday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. During these times, no more than 10 persons will be permitted in the church at a time.
Each morning at 7:30 a.m., Cardinal Collins is livestreaming the celebration of Mass, the Rosary and the Angelus for the day. You can access these events live, or watch them at your own convenience, by visiting the Archdiocesan website at: www.archtoronto.org.
There are many other spiritual resources that you can find on television or online. The Canadian Catholic network, Salt and Light, has Mass and many other devotions each day. Vision Television also has many Catholic and Christian broadcasts. Some may also wish to access the American Catholic television station EWTN—the Eternal Word Television Network. All of these provide excellent Catholic resources to feed us at this time when we are unable to visit our parish church and celebrate the Eucharist with our faith community.
I will post my Sunday homily each week on the website. The parish will not be livestreaming our Sunday Masses, as I believe that this is best done by the Cardinal each day.
Please, also, if your situation allows it, remember the financial needs of your parish during this difficult and challenging time. Contributions can be mailed to the parish, left in the mailbox of the Sister of Life door, or made online through “Donate Now” at the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto—www.archtoronto.org. If you donate through the Archdiocesan website, please be sure to select your parish for the donation—St. Peter’s Church – Toronto.
During this time, let us pray for all those who have contracted the coronavirus and their loved ones, that they may have a speedy recovery and know God’s presence in their suffering. Let us also keep in our prayers all those health care professionals who care for them.
Let us all keep before us the central reality of our faith in these uncertain times—Jesus is our Savior.
Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me if you wish. Be assured of my prayers for you and your families and I ask you to keep me in your prayers.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Michael McGourty
P.S. I would like to leave you with Pope’s Francis prayer to Mary for the people of Rome during the CONVID 19 pandemic. In his version, the prayer was offered for the Roman people. Where he had said “Roman people,” I have changed the prayer to read “all people.” I hope the Holy Father will forgive me this change to his prayer.
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of [All] People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.