25 March 2020
We have certainly heard and seen on the news that the Coronavirus has infected many people in our country, and all around the world. We are all affected by this terrible pandemic, which has become more and more disturbing. Given the current difficult circumstances, the parish clergy and I truly understand that many of you are longing to gather as a parish community to celebrate our weekday and weekend Masses, and are hungry to be united with Christ in Holy Communion. But it is not possible at this time.
Having received the Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB yesterday followed by the recent announcements made by the Prime Minister last night, where broader measures were put in place, and we are now asked to close all places of public worship. This means we are not even allowed to have our parish church open for private prayers until further notice. At this challenging time, although all public liturgical celebrations are not permissible and we are unable to meet in person, I will work with the Parish Pastoral Council to give you updates and be in contact with you as much as I can remotely by telephone, internet, email, and social media. I appreciate your patience and understanding at this time of uncertainty. The parish clergy and I are very thankful for your unfailing support and your unceasing prayers. We too have been praying for all parishioners at St. Thomas More, Bateman Parish in our daily Mass. Thank you sincerely to those parishioners who have kindly provided some home-cooked meals for us at the Presbytery.
I have attached an updated Parish Notice and the Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter (dated 24 March 2020) to be posted on our parish website. I will also place these copies up on the church’s windows and notice board as some of you may like to call in for a short visit and offer your prayers even just being outside in the quadrangle or the veranda of our home parish church. If others are around, please remember to maintain social distancing.
I encourage you to offer your prayerful support for one another at home during this time of trial, for our local community, our country, and our world. We remember those who have died from this infectious Covid-19, the families who are grieving for their loved ones, those who are severely suffering from this pandemic, and all those whose lives are deeply impacted by it in many ways. As we commemorate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord today, we pray through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may she be present to us and teach us to have the courage in saying “yes” to God. As we entrust ourselves to God in the months ahead, may we find comfort in the words of the angel Gabriel saying to Mary, “do not be afraid”. Let us also pray constantly that the light of Christ will shine in the darkness of our lives, so that together we will overcome this battle of world health crisis.
With God’s blessings upon you and may all our parish families remain safe in the Lord.
Yours sincerely in Christ
Fr. Phong Nguyen
Please click on the link to Parish Notice