Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As the entire province of Manitoba moved into code Red Alert as of Thursday November 12th, people are no longer permitted to attend weekday and Sunday Masses. Some have expressed their sorrow at missing Eucharistic celebrations as we cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion. I believe that this feeling is very legitimate.
However, we are not to forget that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, in which we are its members (see 1 Corinthians 12:27). In this unexpected situation, we are called to a more serious reflection on and a deeper awareness of the living communion between the members of his Body in prayers, charity, service, and sharing of gifts. Covid-19 can close churches, but it cannot stop us from living our faith, hope and charity.
In this spirit, as your pastor, I strongly encourage you to keep in touch with me and the parish via email and phone calls. Do not be hesitant to call me if you want to share your joy and your hope, as well as your concern and your sorrow.
The parish also wants to get connected with you through our on-line Masses and Ministries:
The Ambassador Program is a brand-new program that has caring for each other at its heart. Approximately 20 parish families are assigned to each ambassador who will reach out to these families to get to know them. During this time of Covid-19, our ambassadors want to know how you are doing, and whether you have any needs the parish can help with. In addition, if you can offer your time, please consider becoming an ambassador.
Our Marriage, Family, and Life Teams are presenting a five-week on-line Covid Support series that may be of use to anyone feeling disconnected from the parish community, stressed from Covid-19, or simply in need of some emotional support.
The Prayer Ministry is offering several online means to prayer. Every two weeks, the Prayer Group posts a link on our website to a Self-Led Prayer PowerPoint that takes you through prayers, the Rosary, songs and reflections. In addition, every night at 9 pm, people are invited to gather virtually for an online Rosary.
I invite you to learn more about the ministries. More information about these ministries can be found on our parish website. My hope is that they will be good resources that help you to discover God’s will and to live your life in hope and joy even during this challenging time.
I also invite you to get in touch with the parish if you would like to minister to others during this time. We could certainly use your help in ministering to fellow parishioners. Please let me know if there is anything that the parish can do to serve you better. As we care for you, we would like to hear from you.
I pray that not only will our faith survive this pandemic, but that we experience the riches of faith which may manifest in a more profound way during this difficult time.
May the Lord keep you in safety and peace.
Fr. Jean Baptiste Anh Duy Nguyen
Pastor, Mary, Mother of the Church