Important information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) – communique #5

Over the weekend the Australian Government announced new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings that, although they are to be reviewed monthly, it is expected that these measures would be in place for at least six months. You can get the details of these restrictions at: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-220320, but what does this mean for all our Parish services?

From a pastoral perspective, Mass and sacramental services are postponed until further notice. Links to online services were provided in the Parish Bulletin over the weekend but we are also looking at alternative ways to deliver Mass locally and stay engaged with Parishioners.

This morning NSW Premier Gladys Berejilkian stated that while no child will be turned away from NSW public schools, she is encouraging parents to keep their children at home for the rest of the term. We are now awaiting advice from the Catholic Schools Office as to what that announcement means for Catholic schools of the Diocese. Our schools have plans in place for educational continuity and you will be hearing directly from them in due course. Our early education centres are vital to ensure ongoing continuity for all of our services as well as businesses across the community, however we will still be guided by the Government’s decisions in this area.

Our aged care services are already implementing visitor restrictions, which will continue and may even escalate. The Marian Centre and St Agnes’ Food Services will remain open, as will the Presbytery office. Some services in Home Care and NDIS that do not comply with social distancing guidelines will be changed. Closures will be in effect, or already are in effect for the MacKillop Centre and The Francis Retreat. I also expect that the Parish Admin Centre may close to outside visitors soon, but will be available to receive calls and have staff still based onsite. Donnelly House will also remain open with strict protocols in place.

Once again, thank you for your resilience, your resourcefulness and your steadfast belief in what we do.

Adam Spencer – Chief Executive Officer