ACT government responds to church plea and boosts Mass numbers to 100
‘COME back to Mass’ – that is the message to Catholics across the Archdiocese after the ACT government today announced 100 people could attend Mass from next weekend.
The new freedoms kick in at 11.59pm next Friday June 19.
The easing of restrictions follows lobbying by the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn with a petition to the ACT government attracting more than 1300 signatures in just over one week.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced that 100 people would be permitted at religious services with the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule to apply.
He also revealed:
- Cafes, restaurants and bars will be able to serve 100 customers and,
- Local theatres, cinemas and concert venues will also be able to open at the same time.
A delighted Vicar-General Fr Tony Percy thanked Chief Minister Barr for responding to Catholics’ concerns to be allowed to pray and come together for Mass.
“I am thrilled that we are moving forward and that from next week we can come together to celebrate Mass with congregations of 100,” Fr Tony said.
The Vicar-General praised Catholics for mobilising to lobby the ACT government to boost Mass numbers.
“To receive more than 1300 signatures in just over a week is a tremendous response and shows the church is alive and kicking,” Fr Tony said.
“The biggest petition they have ever had in the ACT received 5000 signatories and an average size petition has 500, so we did a super job.
“It shows how much Catholics value what we’ve got, we value our faith.”
The current limit for Mass attendance in the ACT is 20 people while in New South Wales a total of 50 parishioners are allowed.
Good on you, Fr. Percy — well done!
I’m so happy to hear this. I’ve been able to go to the odd mass and online Mass but the latter is just not the same. We do love our local parish communities and it has been a trial not to celebrate with them.
Good work Father Tony,
Maybe a return to ‘normal’ is not far off if the PM is letting people go to the footy!
Gavin – “the PM is letting people go to the footy!”
If the stadium can hold 40,000, then 10,000 are allowed to go.
That’s hardly a return to normal.
I am happy that physical attendance at Mass is going to be possible from next week. However I would like to comment on our experience during the lockdown.
We have been attending Sunday Mass each week at St Francis Xavier at Lavender Bay in Sydney. They have been special Masses & have had a profound i BC mpact on us, especially the homilies. They have always delivered a message that has resonated with both my husband & myself whilst acknowledging our intelligence, & without repeating the same message again & again.
We will return to our live parish masses so we can receive Holy Communion, but will very much miss the uplifting experience we have gained from the Masses we have participated in during the lockdown.
It would be wonderful if there could be some thought given to encouraging quality homilies. We would love to attend Mass & be inspired by the content rather than hearing an initial statement being repeated in different forms.
I am so happy
Thank you that the petition has been accepted.I too look forward to sometimes being with our community.Our priests have generously provided us with online Masses.I also look forward to the 11am Mass from St Christopher’s each Sunday. if that could continue it would benefit many people especially outlying places in the Archdiocese where there is not Mass every Sunday.Thank to all of the people’s who have worked very hard to keep us in touch with our communities.
“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son Of Man and drink His blood you cannot have life in you.” Not being allowed to attend Mass is like a spiritual death sentence. Thank you to all concerned in this reprieve. May we all, regardless of age, soon be restored to the fullness of the Eucharist, so that He may continue to live in us, and we in Him. (The Gospel for to-day, Corpus Christie)
Some churches cannot make use of the 50 limit, so the increase has no impact.
Before everyone gets carried away at this undoubtedly good news, worshippers need some answer to critical questions.
How is this to be managed? Who is to count the attendees? Currently you have to book to sit down at any cafe/restaurant. Do we book with a Parish Office, say by Friday for a place?
What if people arrive and there are already 100 persons in attendance. Quite a disappointment especially for elderly folk (the majority of many congregations) who have put effort into preparing to go out in cold weather; and in many instances have relied on friends for a lift.
More information, please.
My husband and myself would like to attend mass the following Sunday but are unsure as to how.
Kindly post more information as to how we can do so.
Do we have to book our spots in advance? Will we able to attend even if we are not parishioners?
The best option is to contact the parish you wish to attend directly. If you are not sure of the contact details go to https://cgcatholic.org.au/parishes-and-mass-times/find-a-parish/ and use the search tool to find a parish near you
So far so good.