Encouragement and support to soothe COVID restrictions
Archbishop Christopher has started pastoral parish visits of the Archdiocese at its western tip Lake Cargelligo. Due to COVID restrictions, this round of visits will be his first since visiting parishes and communities affected by the bushfires in January.
During the coming weeks he plans to visit most parishes and many school communities in the Archdiocese.
“I hope to provide encouragement and a sense of connection for the many communities and individuals within the Archdiocese who have had to endure difficult times of isolation due to COVID restrictions,” Archbishop Christopher said.
WEST WYALONG MISSION
From Fr Dominic Byrne
On March 22 the Sunday obligation was lifted and that began a time of quiet during Lent that I had not experienced. This allowed me to delve even more into prayer and do a little reading. It slowed Easter down, however, at a time when there should have been movement, joy, and noise. After all this changed and we moved out of lockdown the Government restrictions were appreciated, as our community is still COVID free today. My heart goes out to people in nursing homes who have not been able to see their children or family, but the country spirit of acceptance lives on.
During lock down I was pleasantly surprised to find people delving into Mass online. Many were delighted to see Fr Trenton and others who have ministered here.
I realised we had few email addresses and mobile phone numbers of parishioners on our database. This was brought together just in time for Easter, allowing us to email and text out Prayer Kits.
This was a time of quiet, and for some a time to draw deeper into prayer.
I have thought that phoning people can be just as beneficial as a Pastoral Visitation.
One of the major differences is that St Vincent de Paul’s conference work has stopped. This may be due to the Job Seeker and Job Keeper payments taking the place of conference benefits.
On Archbishop Christopher’s visit to Young, he prayed the rosary with parishioners. This was followed by adoration, and Archbishop Christopher blessed everyone praying God’s protection and guidance over the Mission.
In his homily, he spoke on the readings of the day and the general panic of the time, especially the Church’s approach to coping with the pandemic.
Contextualising 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, he pointed out the thrust of our Christian Faith to be Jesus’ passion and death, his resurrection and eventual presence with us (the Church) in the Holy Spirit. To strip the church of this foundational teaching was to operate a secular organisation devoid of faith, hope and love, he said.
He expressed concern over the pandemic, especially the isolation affecting faith. He, too, felt isolated as much of his interaction with people is by virtual means. This has created a new pandemic of isolation – a pandemic of loneliness.