The new limit came into effect on Friday June 19, the feast of the Sacred Heart, which was cause for celebration as more than 50 worshippers joined Archbishop Patrick O’Regan and Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ for Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.
Archbishop O’Regan said it was wonderful to be able to celebrate such an important feast with members of the congregation present. He also welcomed concelebrating priest Fr Paul Cashen, representing the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
He said the feast day reminded us of the “extraordinary unconditional love of God” that was for the whole human race.
From June 29, under stage three of the lifting of restrictions, the four square metre rule will apply with no cap on numbers.
Archbishop O’Regan welcomed the easing of restrictions on places of worship but stressed the need for social distancing and hygiene practices to continue.
“People of faith will be pleased that there is increased opportunity to attend Mass, with a strict hygiene regime put in place to ensure their safety,” Adelaide Archbishop O’Regan said.
“For the Catholic community, the deprivation of the Eucharist and attending Mass has been a great sacrifice. To be able to open our churches, particularly on Sundays, to more people in a controlled way will bring much joy and relief.
“However we also acknowledge the importance of stopping the spread of the virus by limiting numbers and advising people who are unwell or at risk to stay home. We remind people that the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass continues.”
While small weekday Masses (up to 20) resumed in many parishes from June 5, the latest directive will enable more parishes to safely resume Sunday Mass services.
“We are grateful for the patience and goodwill of our people during these challenging times,” Archbishop O’Regan said.
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