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Welcome return to Mass

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Adelaide’s Catholic community has welcomed the State Government’s decision to further relax COVID-19 restrictions on places of worship to enable larger numbers of people to attend Mass.

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The latest directive of one person per two square metres with no cap on numbers came into effect on Monday June 29.

Parishes are required to complete a COVID-Safe Plan and ensure strict hygiene practices are in place.

Outlining the impact for churches of stage three of the State Government’s roadmap to the easing of restrictions, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan said it was important that the Archdiocese comply with government regulations and demonstrate “our collective concern for public health, hence preventing the further spread of the virus”.

This includes continuing to make hand sanitiser available, regular wiping of surfaces and cleaning of churches, encouraging those who are unwell to stay at home and avoiding physical greetings such as hugs, kisses and handshakes.

The guidelines will remain in place until further notice along with the continued dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass.

“We are grateful for the patience and goodwill of our people during these challenging times,” Archbishop O’Regan said.

At St Joseph’s Church, Brighton, parishioners were pleased to be back at the Saturday Vigil and Sunday Mass on June 27/28.

Pastoral associate Clare Thewlis said the Mass was fully booked and the parish was looking forward to up to 180 people attending once the two square metre rule came into effect. Other services would also resume from June 29.

Barbara Laing sanitises her hands at St Joseph’s Church, Brighton.

Parishioner Barbara Laing said she was “happy to be here” and was looking forward to seeing her friends from the 8.30am Mass which she usually attends. However, she was also “very grateful” to have been able to watch Mass on Zoom during the restrictions and said in some ways it made her feel more involved.

St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral can now take 240 people for Mass and bookings are required for weekend services. The 11am Sunday Mass is continuing to be live streamed and replayed on Channel 44.

Masses shown on the Adelaide Archdiocese’s YouTube channel during the restrictions have attracted more than 150,000 views.

Analysis of the viewing statistics from March 29 to June 22 shows the majority of people watching the live streamed services were from within Australia (60.9 per cent) but there were also high numbers watching from overseas including India (11 per cent), United States (6.9 per cent), the Philippines (4.3 per cent) and Malaysia (4.1 per cent).

A diverse range of age groups were represented with 38.4 per cent aged over 65, 15.7 per cent aged between 55-64 years, 14.2 per cent 45-54, 14.8 per cent 35-44 and 11.5 per cent 25-34.

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