Our thoughts and prayers are with all those infected by the Coronavirus in China and around the world, for those who care for them, for health specialists and authorities who are combating the spread of infection, and of course for all who at this time are feeling anxious, especially for those with friends and family in the infected countries and here in New Zealand.
While it is our faith that the sacraments are a means of grace and not of sickness, they are physically ministered, and we should take physical care. As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious diseases.
It has been advised that all parishes and parishioners adopt the following practices at this time:
If you have a cold or feel unwell, please stay at home.
Wash your hands – if you are a priest presiding at Mass, Eucharistic Minister, Altar Server and Sacristan, please use hand sanitizers, wipes and gloves that have been provided.
From the weekend 7/8 March, there will be communion under only one kind – the host. This will be handed to each person. Taking the host via the tongue will not be available.
Pastoral visitors to homes and hospitals should observe all precautions in personal hygiene before and after such visits.
If the spread of the Coronavirus increases, Communion to the Sick will be suspended. Until then, if the person is old, infirmed, or seriously ill only take communion if it is required.
Until this crisis has passed, please refrain from shaking hands at the sign of peace.
If this virus continues to grow and begins to impact our daily lives, decisions regarding weekday and
Sunday Masses will be addressed.
The health and safety of our parishioners, priests, staff, and the wider community is our top priority