Catholic Communication Notices 20th May 2020

Churches reopened

Currently a maximum of 10 people are allowed to attend church at any given time for private prayer, confession or Mass.

All parishes must ensure that their churches are not left unattended when their doors are open and they must keep written records with names and contact details of everyone who comes into the church at any time and these records must be kept for at least 4 weeks.

Catholics across the country have also been asked to register their attendance at their local parish via www.massregister.com.au in line with the Federal Government’s 3-step framework for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

If a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs in a parish, every person who has registered as an attendee of the parish will receive an email notifying them of the diagnosis and the date and time the infected person attended the church. No other details will be provided.

Parishes that request access to the contact details of their parishioners will need to undertake to comply with privacy requirements and ensure parishioners are given the option to unsubscribe from any email lists.

New Social Media Guide for Parishes

The Australian Catholic Media Council has published a new Guide to Social Media for Parishes (see attachment). It includes useful tips on setting up and administering social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram which are important ways of maintaining communication with your parishioners, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laudato Si

Please find attached a media release outlining a series of activities Catholics may wish to participate in for the remainder of Laudato Si ‘ Week, this week.

As you may be aware Pope Francis issued a call to action and a reminder of Laudato Si some months ago and asked that on the 5th anniversary of its release that we celebrate with activities in May this year.

The links in the media release will take you to a website where you can find information about Laudato Si’ Week Activities.   

(Attached picture is of Catholic Earthcare Director Bernard Holland and Youth Coordinator Clare Vernon who will convene on-line Eco Reflections next week)

Supporting our Seafarers during the Pandemic

Donations of personal hygiene products are urgently sought for Care Packages being put together for the thousands of seafarers trapped on ships coming into Sydney waters.

Chaplain to the Seafarers, Sr Mary Leahy, said donations of shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, knitted beanies and chocolates are desperately needed for the thousands of seamen currently stranded on ships on our waterfront due to the Coronavirus.

Sr Mary has spent the past 20 years helping those who earn a living on the seas and said she has never seen conditions so dire.

St Andrew Malabar, St Charles Borromeo Ryde/ Gladesville, Our Lady Star of the Sea Miranda, All Saints Liverpool and Mary Immaculate Waverley have agreed to be drop-off points for the donations. However if you would like to support the appeal and collect donations please contact journalist Debbie Cramsie at the Sydney Archdiocese on debbie.cramsie@sydneycatholic.org

Virtual Pentecost Pilgrimage

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is an official sponsor of this virtual free pilgrimage which began on Sunday 26 April and will run for 6 weeks.

The pilgrimage is aimed at helping Catholics nurture their faith in the lead up to Pentecost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each Wednesday and Sunday, formative videos from will be released for registered participants to engage online. Each set of videos will reflect on the Sunday readings of that week with a particular focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in our Church and world.

To register for this free online pilgrimage to Pentecost, simply go to www.pentecostpilgrimage.com and enter your details to receive a link to the videos as they are released over the next six weeks. 

Hope Campaign

St Martha’s Parish Strathfield is asking for help promoting its Hope Campaign across the Archdiocese to encourage everyone to spread and carry Hope especially in these uncertain times. Attached is a flyer which outlines the Hope Initiative along with a link to the Catholic Weekly story about what we are trying to achieve https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/even-in-lockdown-st-marthas-keeps-busy/ Any assistance that you could provide to help us promote Hope would be greatly appreciated. I can be contacted on 0421 959 636 should you wish to discuss this request further, Nicolle Mazzaferro

CatholicCare outreach to the lonely and isolated

CatholicCare and the Parishes of the Sydney Archdiocese are here to support vulnerable people in our local communities during lockdown. We can connect local volunteers to people who need help with their shopping and errands or even just for a regular friendly chat over the phone. If you, or someone you know, could use a little help during this time, CCareline 13 18 19 can connect you with a local volunteer from your community. CCareline 13 18 19 is a free and confidential helpline for counselling, relationships, parenting, ageing, disabilities, addictions and mental health. CCareline is here to help. Call 13 18 19 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Please attached Parish newsletter for the contact details.

CatholicCare Marriage Preparations

Marriage Education Goes Virtual: CatholicCare has quickly adapted to social distancing laws, providing marriage education virtually from mid March. If you are engaged and are planning on getting married soon, CatholicCare is still able to provide you with your marriage education course during this time. We expect demand to surge when social distancing rules are relaxed further, so don’t miss out. Book now! Call 13 18 19. “Considering we were attending remotely, [the educator] still made the experience feel collaborative and a safe space in which to share.

Please see attached CatholicCare Newsletter.

Jesuit Refugee Service appeal

During COVID-19 many refugees and people seeking asylum living in Sydney need help to prevent them from becoming homeless or destitute. For many of these men women and children the Jesuit Refugee Service is their only safety net.

To donate to the Jesuit Refugee Service Emergency Cash Appeal please call (02) 9356 3888 or email jrsreception@jrs.org.au. Alternatively, JRS are also seeking essential items and winter blankets that can be dropped off at a number of parishes around Sydney. Please see the attached posters for more information about the items needed and the drop off locations

Petition by Catholics to ask that No One Is Left Behind

As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip, people seeking protection and migrants in vulnerable situations have been left with no safety net. Please join us by signing and sharing the Catholic petition to leave no one behind during the COVID-19 Pandemic:  https://www.change.org/nooneleftbehind

Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal

Online donations are encouraged this year rather than handing in Project Compassion boxes directly to parishes. Please share the attached PDF with your parishioners on how they can donate to this appeal this year.

Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19

To help parishioners with any questions they may have around COVID-19 and its impact on sacraments such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, you may find the FAQs page on the Archdiocese of Sydney website helpful at this time by clicking – here

Prayer Resources during time of Pandemic

The Archdiocese of Sydney has a dedicated webpage with prayers and scriptural reflections to help nurture your faith during these difficult times. You’ll find the webpage here- https://www.sydneycatholic.org/coronavirus-updates/prayer-resources-for-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Catholic Cemeteries Grief Care

Catholic Cemeteries is offering tailored Grief Care seminars hosted over Zoom.  

You’ll find information in the attached flyers and should contact Leonie Duck to register via email: Leonied@catholiccemeteries.com.au

The attached flyers are for (via Zoom):

  • Parent seminar – Supporting your child following the death of someone they love
  • Seasons for Growth seminar for Young people – aged 18 – 30  (Understanding Change Loss and Grief)
  • COVID-19 specific seminar  (Understanding Change Loss and Grief) 
  • Seasons for Growth small group – we have a couple of people keen for this already and are ideally wanting 2 more in order for it to run well.