COVID Restrictions - FAQs

FAQS - 27/11/2020

The changes surrounding the sacramental life of our Church are evolving daily as a result of COVID-19.
Indoor Religious Ceremonies: permitted with up to 150 people indoors plus a faith leader. Those necessary for the Mass e.g. lectors, laptop operator, live streaming technicians etc are included in the permitted attending.

All Victorians over the age of 12 must wear a face covering whenever they leave their home, unless a medical exemption applies. 

Celebration of Mass: Priests (mask as you enter and removed during the Liturgy); Lector (may lower the mask for reading); Masks must be worn at all times, except to receive communion. When receiving communion, parishioners should receive the host, step aside, remove their mask, consume the host and recover their face. Please note face shields, scarves and bandanas are not a legal replacement for masks.

Normal Mass Times resume with 150 people in attendance

Masses will be live streamed Monday to Saturday at 9.30am and Saturday 6.00pm & Sunday 9.00am.

Sunday 7.30am, 9.00am, 10.45am & 6.00pm 

 

Please do not ring the parish office for Mass bookings

As attendance numbers are limited Mass bookings are strictly online only.
Mass bookings for weekend and weekday Masses can be made online through the parish website link at https://stagathas.org.au/
Masses can only be booked one week in advance.

When the attendance numbers increase Mass bookings will be taken for those who do not have internet access in the coming weeks by contacting the parish office.

DUE TO THE LIMITED NUMBER OF PARISHIONERS PERMITTED IN THE CHURCH.
WE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT YOU ONLY BOOK TO ATTEND 2 WEEKEND MASS PER MONTH.
(Mass bookings will be monitored regarding this request)
PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS.


Please arrive early to Mass as the Church will doors will be locked 15 minutes before Mass begins.

How can I continue to make my offering to the Church Stewardship & Presbytery collections?

St Agatha's Catholic Church, like all Places of Worship, in Victoria Metropolitan area have been closed and now open to limited numbers.

As parishioners have not been able to attend Masses on weekends or weekdays, and with no Baptisms or Weddings, we have not been receiving our usual donations, collections and Stewardship offering envelopes. These funds are used to help with the everyday running of the Parish.

We understand and appreciate that many generous people may no longer be in a position to contribute to collections due to the impact of COVID19 crisis on their family.


For those who would like to continue their contributions to St Agatha's Parish or to make a donation, you can do so by Electronic Funds Transfer or Credit Card or we can set up a Direct Debit from your account  To download the form NAB Direct Debit & Credit Card Authority

Our banking details are:

FIRST COLLECTION OR DONATIONS


For Donations, Stewardship Giving & Mass Offerings please credit the


Church Account:
Account Name: St Agathas Parish
BSB: 083-879 Account No: 489181088
So we can identify your deposit please use one of the following references:

For Donations: Surname Donation
For Stewardship: Stewardship number and name i.e. Smith PG 723
Loose Collection: B Smith Church Coll
Mass Offerings: Name of Offering & date of Mass i.e. Henry 4 May


(Mass Offerings can be booked by contacting the Parish Office at least one week prior)

SECOND COLLECTION


For donations to the Second Collection, which supports the Priests & Presbytery please credit the

Presbytery Account
Account Name: St Agathas Presbytery
BSB: 083-879 Account No: 367718393
Please put the following reference on your transfer - Surname Pres Coll

 If you would like to donate to our parish Stewardship or Presbytery Untitled

                                                                                                       Online Pay  Click Here

We thank you in advance for supporting our parish community

 

Can I still offer a Mass? 

Masses can be offered for my intention or my loved ones.
At your request, a Mass can be offered for your intention. This can only be arranged by telephoning the parish office on 5996 1985 on Monday 1.00pm to 3.00pm or Tuesday to Friday between 8.30am – 3.00pm. Only Two Mass offerings taken per Mass, where possible we request you book at least one week in advance.
Please phone the parish office to book your Mass intention before paying with CDFpay online, Thank you.  

 

Sunday Obligation

 
The faithful can keep holy their Sunday by setting aside some time for prayer at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online, and asking God for the graces they would normally receive in Holy Communion (canon 87 §1, canon 1248 §2)


Can I receive Holy Communion?

 
You make Spiritual Holy Communion by participating in the online Mass. However, the priests are available to give Holy Communion to the dying as Viaticum.


What is an Act of Spiritual Communion and how do I make one?

 
Catholics have long been encouraged to partake in the practice of “spiritual communion” when extraordinary situation or distance make it almost impossible to physically receive the Holy Communion, (for instance – being homebound). Simply put, it is coming before the Lord in prayer – expressing our deep desire to be united to Him despite the fact that we are unable to be united to Him in receiving the Eucharist. In making an Act of Spiritual Communion we ask the Lord to give us the graces that would come to us if we were able to receive Him sacramentally (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity). Reciting the prayer written by St. Alphonsus Liguori below is simple and common way of making an Act of Spiritual Communion.


How do I prepare for Spiritual Communion?

 
It is a matter of consciousness, preparation and an interior disposition.
The heart of a Spiritual Communion is to rest there in that special moment of desire and openness, reception and gratitude. It is a moment to be with Jesus, as he is with me. There is no need for words in that moment. A soul says "Amen" at peace. Our hearts express their gratitude in quiet but deep emotion.
In this time of crisis, Jesus longs to be in communion with us as we are longing to be in communion with him.


The way we prepare to receive Spiritual Communion with Jesus is very similar to the way we prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. In these times, we might participate in a Mass on TV or on line.
If we can't do any of those, we might want to read the readings of the day.
If we are unable to do either of those, we might just prepare ourselves in the ways we'd prepare for Communion at Mass. It begins with an act of contrition or sorrow for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment (a change of heart and resolve to not continue that behavior or habit). It then moves to a desire, which we can put into words, telling our Lord how much we desire to receive him into our heart. We can tell him about our need for him at this time and of our gratitide for his desire to be with us. Finally, we can simply say what we say at Mass, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."


An Act of Spiritual Communion

 
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Anointing (or Last Rites)

 
Yes, a priest will still come to anoint the seriously ill in an emergency and dying.


Baptism Preparation Program


1st Sunday of the Month starting 6th December 3.00pm to 5.00pm. Bookings through our Parish Website

Baptisms

Baptisms will be celebrated on Saturday at 11.30 am and Sunday at 12.30pm.

Bookings of up to five families per session. The Parish offers live streaming for Baptisms if you would like to know more information please contact the parish office.


Funerals

Will be limited to 150  mourners (infants under 12 months of age not included in this number). 


Weddings 

Permitted outdoors with a maximum of 150 attendees, including the couple and two witnesses, but not including the celebrant and photographer. Children under 12 months are also exempted from the number. Weddings do not need to occur proximate to a place of worship.

Online Sacramental Preparations

In preparation for 1st Communion and Confirmation this year, Sacramental Preparation meetings will be conducted online; more information will be available in the coming weeks. The ceremonies will be determined by the restrictions.

First Reconciliation

 

Will be determined by the restrictions and numbers on religious gathering increase, in anticipation ceremonies will be scheduled for the 1st week of December.

Confession/Reconciliation

Friday & Saturday after the 9.30am Mass. Please wait outside the Church and someone will direct you.


Can I go to Confession over the phone?


It is not possible to go to confession over the phone. Real presence is necessary in person, either face to face or in a screened booth. Privacy is of key importance to the sacrament of reconciliation to preserve the seal of confession – electronic communications lack this level of privacy.


Can I get Holy Water?


We are sorry as it is not possible to get holy water from the Church as the church is closed.


Can I receive a Birthday blessing?


Birthday blessing are available, social distancing rules must be adhered too.

Christmas


 In preparation for Christmas depending on restrictions and weather conditions Masses may be celebrated outside on the oval.



If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Parish Office 03 5996 1985.
All contributions will be greatly appreciated and will help meet the needs of our Parish.

We will continually update this page with questions and answers as they arise.
Thank you.

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