This is my first blog and I am writing it Sunday afternoon, March 22nd. It is an explanation as to what has happened in the Meadow Lake Cluster since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the directions we have been getting from our Bishop and from the Saskatchewan Health Authorities.
On March 6th we received an email from our Bishop. Here is the link:
This letter urged us to take precautions!
On March 17th our bishop sent us a second letter giving us further direction:
While we were trying to figure out how to implement that in our Cluster of parishes, on March 18th our bishop, Bishop Albert Thevenot M. Afr sent another letter to us informing us that we were to cancel all our masses and restrict our activities according to the guidance offered by Saskatchewan Health.
On March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph, our parish leadership, Pastoral Council, Finance Council and other parish leaders gathered for a meeting to figure out how we could respond.
At that time we committed to developing a website, a Facebook page and a phone tree so as to communicate essential information to our parishioners.
The phone call informed people that:
- all our weekday and Sunday liturgies were cancelled and that they could share in the mass through the Diocesan Facebook page and Diocesan website.
- we would have the Church in Meadow Lake open from 10:00 am till 12 noon everyday except Monday.
- Fr. Doug would try to be available at that time if possible.
- Fr. Doug would be in Green Lake on Wednesdays from 11:00 am till 2:00 pm.
- the Parish Office would be open from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
- we would be creating a Facebook page and a website - Meadow Lake Catholic Church
- to seek good information from the Canada Health website and the Saskatchewan Health website and the Diocesan webpage and Facebook page.
- it would be good if we could pray for each other and practice safe social distancing.
- people could phone the parish office at 306 236 5122 if they had any questions or needs.
Our Leadership group also agreed that we would meet again and assess our response to the parish situation. We also committed to nurture the 40 Cans for Lent program so as to help the Door of Hope in their care for people. We discussed our own Financial needs and noted that it would be good if people could (given that some of our parishioners are going to be laid off) continue to offer their Sunday contributions. We agreed to receive contributions (food and Sunday envelopes) at the parish office.
We realized that it will be hard to keep our Church clean. We emphasized the importance of people exercising caution in their visits to the Church. In addition to using 'hand sanitizer', practicing social distancing and touching as few surfaces as possible we realized that there is little we can do to make sure that people are safe when they come to the Church. As a group we appreciated the opportunity to gather.
We are still trying to figure out how I might serve the needs of the people at Waterhen Lake. What is needed and when is a good time to provide it.
Hi! My name is Fr. Doug Jeffrey, OMI and I am the pastor of the Meadow Lake Cluster. I serve the faith communities of Our Lady of the Smile, Waterhen, St. Jude's, Green Lake and Our Lady of Peace, Meadow Lake. I arrived in the cluster on August 15th, 2019. You can see more information about me on the home page!