I am sure that you have heard that our bishop, Bishop Thevenot, M. Afr., of the Prince Albert Diocese, has given us permission to re-open our Church Buildings and to resume the celebration of our sacramental life with certain cautions and guidelines. If you would like to see his letter (May 22, 2020) and his accompanying resources, you can visit our parish website www.meadowlakecatholicchurch.com or the diocesan website www.padiocese.ca or you can contact our Parish Office for copies.
At the present time, any gatherings are to be limited to 10 people or less AND there are strict rules governing the sanitizing of the spaces we use. In addition, maintaining appropriate social distance (two meters), wearing a mask and frequent hand washing are now strongly encouraged as effective safeguards when we venture out of our homes.
Having said that there are no guarantees that we will not catch/spread the virus. It is being reported that the virus can continue to ‘live’ for as long as three days on some surfaces. Health professionals/infectious disease scientists now believe, because of recent studies, that the virus is spread through droplets of water from coughing and sneezing. More recent studies indicate that it is also air borne and can survive in the air expelled by a contagious infected person when they speak, sing, or shout. This means that when we are in an enclosed space, we can take the virus into our lungs when we breathe. Every time we enter public spaces, we are putting ourselves at risk.
Our Bishop strongly urges us to respect the guidelines set down for us by the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Of interest to the Church, to our Bishop and to me as your pastor, is ensuring the safety of those among us who are most vulnerable. After consulting with people from the three parishes, there is a strong consensus to maintain our present practice (Closed Buildings). There is a sense that our presence on Facebook, our parish website, the emails, letters, and phone calls are assisting us in deepening our faith in the Risen Lord.
While it is the preference of everyone (me included), to gather in person, the common good of all must be considered. Given our care for our people, we will hold off opening our buildings until conditions are more favorable for the health and well-being of all. In that light, we will continue to do as we have been doing until further notice. I will monitor our situation on a weekly basis.
At the present time, with the help of others I am developing plans for our safety and well-being when we do open our Church buildings and can gather as a community once again.
I extend to you my thanks for what you have been doing to maintain the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters. I thank you for your participation in our online events and I thank you for the many ways in which you are ‘church’ in your daily lives. We are “Church-Body of Christ” not because we visit a building – we are “Church-Body of Christ” because of our relationships with God, with our earth and with our brothers and sisters.
Let us continue to be Good News in our actions, our words, our texts, our emails, our tweets, our Facebook posts, our Zoom meetings, and our thoughts. Bearing in mind the wisdom of St. Paul, in all things let us love one another as Christ has loved us and let us not say or do anything to diminish the well-being or the reputation of another.
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!