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Recent News

Welcome to our News Page! Here you will find news stories from the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, the Church in Canada, and beyond! We also invite you to submit your own articles to our Communication Services Office. Selected articles may be included here, as well as our Weekly News Bulletin sent to all parishes in the Archdiocese. Questions and submissions may be sent to communications@archwinnipeg.caGod bless!

Note: Click on the small arrow beside each news heading to expand to the entire article. 

Archdiocese of Winnipeg Section

Memo from the Archbishop: Updated Protocols in the Archdiocese
May 21, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - "The following protocols look to the near future. As the number of people allowed to gather in our churches expands, these protocols will be adaptable. In addition, the unfolding of these protocols will vary, somewhat, according to the size of each parish community. For instance, if the number of people able to gather reaches 50, some of our parishes and missions may be able to open completely. This of course means that social distancing and sanitization requirements continue to be followed." Click here to view Archbishop Gagnon's memo in its entirety

May 2020 Sacerdotal Anniversaries
May 19, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Let us give thanks to God for the gift of the ministerial priesthood! Let us remember in our prayers Reverend Michel Nault and Reverend Dominic Yuen, who celebrated their Silver Jubilee (ordained 18 May 1995), as well as Reverend Monsignor Michael Moore who celebrated his Golden Jubilee (ordained 16 May 1970). May they continually be blessed with good health and faithfulness to the Lord and the mission of His Church. 

Goodbyes in a Time of Pandemic
May 19, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - It has been an amazing time of sadness and grief for families who have lost loved ones since the beginning of the pandemic.

It has been especially hurtful for those who could not say goodbye in person due to the very strict safety screens in effect at our hospitals and nursing homes.  Yes, one can understand that hospital patients and residents are extremely vulnerable to the virus and as a result these precautions have to be in place, but when one last saw their loved one being taken away in an ambulance...

Death is never an easy event in our lives.  No matter how ill a person may be, or even how long they have been ill, death is always "sudden".  We see it in the obituary columns all the time, "suddenly, after a long illness", it may say.

The support mechanism that normally comes into play with one's death is absent.  Neighbours can't come and visit.  Family who are away face fourteen days of isolation if they return for the funeral.  Friends and colleagues cannot gather to provide their support as only ten people are allowed to gather at any one time.  It is a very difficult and lonely time for those suffering loss.

Our churches and funeral homes are doing their best to provide some sense of dignity and prayer to honour the person's life   Some provide streaming services so all, who have access to computers, may watch the service.  Some even put the links in the death announcement. 

But presiding at a funeral, whether in a church or at a funeral home, is very sad.  Everyone seated six feet apart, the normal closeness so necessary for comfort and intimacy is absent.  The hollow echo of an empty church adds to the loneliness effect.  We priests try to do our best in support of the family and to comfort them in their loss.  Home visits to be with the family are not permitted, funeral arrangements are made on the phone, masks and gloves separate us even more.

I would ask you to pray for those who have recently suffered loss.  Pray that they understand the rules and regulations of safety at hospitals and nursing homes.  Pray that they have peace in their hearts and that they are not alone as they grieve.

When we return to a more normal time, it will be an opportunity to express love, support and affection as we celebrate Memorial Services and have the opportunity to hug, laugh and share stories of those gone to join our Creator.  Be blessed and be safe.

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This article was written by Rev. Gerry Ward.

Disruption as a Means of Growth
May 19, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Some time ago I had the opportunity to walk through a burned out rental property. Although the occupants were home the day the blaze broke out, they were, thankfully, able to escape without injury. What was left after the fire was extinguished was a charred structure and evidence of lives interrupted: an unmade bed, the remains of a snack enjoyed while watching television and a kitchen calendar marked with ‘x’s, indicating days already passed, that was no longer current. Walking through the building elicited a physical reaction – a heightening of the senses that seemed to be responding to an evil presence that always seeks to destroy.   

The coronavirus acted like such a fire in that it also interrupted the flow of daily life. Schools were emptied of their children and buses sent to wait in their compounds. Surgeries were cancelled and dental offices closed. Streets once congested by early morning commuters became quiet. The interruption extended to our faith life as well. Although some churches remain open for private worship, the absence of song and vocal prayer, together with the wide berth occupants offer one another, belies our collective nature. As well, signs that Easter has arrived are, in some cases, contrasted by palm branches that wait to be taken into homes and bulletins that declare us to be in the third week of Lent. The contents of these is a reminder of children’s liturgies not celebrated, readings not proclaimed, fish fries not enjoyed, and sacramental preparation classes that did not result in an entry to the Church at the Vigil. The impression of a communal life on hold is foreign and unsettling.

Fire, disease, loss, and destruction are part and parcel of living in a fallen world. Events, large and small, interrupt our lives at regular intervals. Each new loss initiates a corresponding period of dismay or mourning. With time, however, comes perspective and a realization that, while difficult, the experience often gives rise to an improved situation. A lost document can lead to a more succinct second draft; a lost love to one better suited as a spouse. Lost health can cause the individual to set aside seemingly important matters for those important in the eyes of God. The result is often peace of mind and improved relationships. Death too has a positive end in that, thanks to Jesus, it has been reduced to a door through which we must pass in order to enjoy life eternal in the presence of God the Father.

A forest fire can seem like a catastrophic event, yet in most cases, healthy, mature trees come through relatively unscathed. The consumption of those that were already dead or diseased opens the canopy to let in sunlight. New shoots quickly spring up from roots, scorched stumps, and pine seeds released by the heat from their place of captivity inside serotinous cones. The fresh young browse attracts wildlife so that before long one can see that the old forest has been replaced with one more diverse. The sweep of COVID-19 is leading to permanent changes on our urban landscape in that some closed businesses have already indicated they will not reopen and some new ways of doing business have already emerged.

One can expect that we will see similar changes in our local churches once restrictions are lifted. Well established groups should reemerge quickly and resume their usual activities, while those that struggled may disappear altogether. It may be the case that these are replaced with ministries that serve new needs. It is likely, too, that some familiar faces will be missing, that some may make their way back slowly over the course of weeks or months, and that new people may show up unexpectedly and in surprising numbers. Over time we may find that the disruption of services has led to a regeneration we could not have imagined. Like a forest, our renewal requires that seeds of inspiration fall on the good soil of hearts open to the Holy Spirit where they may bask in the light of Christ.

On the first of May, Canada and the United States joined together to consecrate our respective countries to the protection of the Blessed Virgin.  While we are wise to turn to our mother during the pandemic, it seems this may be an opportune time to encourage Marian devotion as a way of life. As the first and most perfect disciple and Queen of Heaven, Mary understands the necessity of the Cross that leads to life. Given to us as Mother at the foot of the Cross, the Blessed Virgin holds out her hand and invites us to allow her to accompany us on the road to our own sanctification. For the sake of ourselves, the Church, and the world, let us pray that we may be humble enough to accept her grasp.

O God, Father of mercies, whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung upon the Cross, chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother, to be our Mother also, grant, we pray, that with her loving help your Church may be more fruitful day by day and, exulting in the holiness of her children, may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

CCCB, Consecration of Canada to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church in Time of Pandemic,
May 1, 2020

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This article was written by Linda Chiupka, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod Implementation Coordinator. You can reach Linda at lchiupka@archwinnipeg.ca

Non-Critical Services Update
May 8, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Further to Archbishop Richard Gagnon's memorandum of April 13, 2020, and in line with Government of Manitoba announcements, the Catholic Centre will remain closed until Monday, June 1, 2020. Please click here for the memo from the Archbishop.

Growing in Virtue
May 5, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - On March 12, 2020, I attended a deanery meeting in Camp Morton. When I left home that morning the coronavirus was, for the most part, something that was happening ‘elsewhere’ in the world. By the end of the day that situation had changed. Somewhere between the hours of the previous evening and the time of my drive home, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the US called for a travel ban to European countries, and Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for the virus, as did an NBA member of the Utah Jazz. This last bit of news resulted in a suspension of the basketball season and by the next morning fear of transmission led the NHL to do the same. You know the news is serious when Canada cancels hockey. Like falling dominos, these first cancellations were quickly followed by similar decisions regarding other major sporting and cultural events in North America. Locally, Winnipeg reported its first suspected case of the virus.

That day, more than seven weeks ago, seems to be either a few days in the past or a lifetime ago depending on my frame of mind, which generally correlates to the amount of cloud cover. Days that I am busy I barely notice a change, while at other times I am frustrated with imposed restrictions that prevent us from freely engaging in those activities that used to be part of ‘normal’ life. Speculation from government officials, news reporters and the general public all suggest that things will never be as they were, but rather that we will all have to conform to new standards of care that will affect almost every aspect of daily life.

Impatience, frustration and discontentment, like COVID-19, are viruses that can easily infect and wound others. They are spread through complaining, harsh words and indifference. Emotions such as these lead us to focus on the negativity that corresponds to our own frame of mind, or to dwell in an imagined future in which we perceive things will be better. Fostering pessimism turns our gaze inward in a way that constricts the heart and degrades the soul. Such a condition, that might be called a ‘failure to thrive,’ is marked by lethargy, the absence of gratitude, and an inability to perceive the spiritual gifts we possess that are intended for the sake of the world.

Our fallen human nature means that we will periodically fall victim to such emotions, but these are neither effective in serving ourselves nor Christ’s mission. Rather than entertain these negative feelings, we should offer them in solidarity to the One who, in becoming incarnate, experienced those same emotions during the course of his life and ministry. Turning to Jesus we invite him to enter into our own experience and heal our suffering. Although this may not change our situation, we can be assured that he will bestow on us an increased trust, a calming of the nerves, and a greater ability to ride out the storm.

While our current situation is certainly frustrating, it offers us a chance to practice the virtues of patience, and trust in God’s providence, that are uncommon traits in our increasingly polemic and secular society. As we grow in these, our outlook will begin to become a noticeable contrast to what has become more commonplace. The difference might be one that invites curiosity, allowing us to offer a reasoned defense of the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).  Such testimony, expressed with gentleness, has the power to become a soothing balm capable of healing the wounds of an afflicted world. Like the oxygen mask in the plane, however, we must tend to our own situation first so that we are in a better position to serve others. An increase in faith, hope and charity - the three theological virtues – is ours for the asking. Let us pray for these in abundance during this time of COVID-19 and at all times, so that, by our lives, we might inspire others to do the same.  

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (Jn. 14:27)

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This article was written by Linda Chiupka, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod Implementation Coordinator. You can contact Linda through lchiupka@archwinnipeg.ca

New Director of Pastoral Services Appointed
May 5, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - "After nine years of service Deacon Ted Wood is retiring as the Director of Pastoral Services for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg... I am pleased to announce the appointment of John Acosta as the new Director of Pastoral Services effective May 1, 2020." Click here for the full memo from Archbishop Gagnon.

Institution of Oliver Omega as Lector
Apr 30, 2020

Pictured here with Archbishop Gagnon are Fr. Peter Nemcek (left) and Oliver Omega (right).

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - It is with great joy that I’d like to announce to you that our seminarian Oliver Omega is going to be instituted into the ministry of Lector by Most Rev. Richard J. Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg, on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 during the 11:00 am Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Winnipeg. It’s indeed very fitting to have Oliver instituted on a day when the Universal Church throughout the world celebrates the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. 

The ministry of formally instituted Lector might not be familiar to the faithful. Before the reform of Pope St. Paul VI, man preparing for ordination to the ministerial priesthood would receive minor orders before being ordained to the major orders, Subdeacon, Deacon and Priest. Most of these minor orders have been suppressed, such as the order of Porter and Exorcist. The other two – Lector and Acolyte – were transformed into ministries and are currently conferred almost exclusively on men who are on their way towards ordination to permanent diaconate or ministerial priesthood.

What does the instituted Lector do or who is he becoming? 

Instituted Lector assists during the liturgical celebrations by proclaiming the readings except the Gospel and in the absence of a Deacon announces the intentions for the Universal Prayers. Perhaps the best summary of the ministry is from the Rite itself where the bishop says to the man being instituted lector: 

“In proclaiming God’s word to others, accept it yourself in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures, and in all you say and do show forth to the world our Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Rite of Institution of Lectors and Acolytes)  

Conclusion

Oliver Omega is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg who has finished two years of seminary formation at Sacred Heart Seminary in Milwaukee. Let us give thanks to Almighty God who looks favourably on our Archdiocese in calling Oliver to this ministry and let us continue to pray for Oliver that he would continue to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit with a generous YES. On this day we pray for all men from our Archdiocese whom the Lord is calling to Priesthood, Permanent Diaconate, religious life or sacramental marriage that they would respond wholeheartedly to His invitation of becoming His labourers in the harvest and faithful husbands and fathers. We pray for all women who are seeking their vocation in life that they would hear and answer the call of their Master and Lord as Mary did, whether it be in religious or married life. Lastly let us pray for our families that they would become seedbeds for vocations.

 For all of these intentions let us pray together our Diocesan prayer for Vocations:

 O God, who have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and who by Baptism and Confirmation have called of us to build up your Holy Church.  Bless our married couples and help them live out their vocation through Christian family life, a true Domestic Church, always open to your voice.  We earnestly implore you to choose from among us, your children, many Priests, Deacons and Religious Brothers and Sisters who will love you with their whole heart and will gladly spend their entire lives to make you known and loved by all.

Amen

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This article was written by Rev. Peter Nemcek, the Archdiocesan Vocations Director and Pastor of St. Nicholas Tavelich Parish in Winnipeg. Father Peter can be contacted at vocations@archwinnipeg.ca.

The Fruits of Adversity
Apr 28, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - For the past two years our Archdiocesan family has been focused on how to continue to grow in faith and service. During the recent Archdiocesan Synod, delegates voiced their Spirit-informed recommendations that were later grouped into three overarching categories: forming the baptized as missionary disciples; passing on the faith to the next generation and others; and reaching out to those in need and on the peripheries. Then, just as individual parishes were planning their own Listening Sessions, that would generate community initiatives, the world was hit with the coronavirus. The pandemic seemed to cause all our efforts to come to a grinding halt as non-critical services and public gatherings needed to be restricted.

While expected to be temporary, the situation resulting from the pandemic has turned our attention away from the Synod to our own personal health and financial well-being and that of family members. At the same time, however, we miss our spiritual communities and parishes. Despite these worries, we should trust that our Synod continues to unfold according to a Divine plan. In every age, God works to enliven the Spirit in those he has called for a particular purpose. Our openness to the Spirit leads to a deepening of faith that inspires new works. This is why times of adversity often give rise to periods of renewal and growth that lead to a new ‘normal’. Such was the case when the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed and God’s people were taken into captivity in Babylon.

Prior to its destruction in 586 BC, the Jerusalem Temple was the only place the Jewish people were permitted to offer sacrifice. Not only was it the centre of their faith, the Temple was the heart of their culture and the lifeblood of their economy. The destruction of the Temple, and their capture by the Babylonians, was a devastating blow to their identity as a people. How, they wondered, could they preserve their faith in a strange land, and in the absence of those sacred rituals demanded by God when he gave the Law to Moses? Fear and uncertainty led the Israelites to turn to one another for comfort, support and encouragement. We now know their place of gathering by its Greek name, ‘synagogue’, which simply means ‘place of gathering’. There, those who had studied the Torah, offered explanations as to how the Sacred Books should inform the people’s lives. Because of the loss of Temple, the Torah became the focus of worship and the rabbi, or teacher, emerged as a new spiritual leader. Listening to the Word of God, receiving instruction, and singing the psalms became a new manner of public prayer that continued alongside worship in the reconstructed Temple after their return to Jerusalem. Their experience in the synagogues would sustain the Jewish people after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, and would influence our own Christian culture.

In the absence of COVID-19, our church communities would be well underway in developing our parish plans. But it is likely that there would have been a few in each parish who would have been very active and many more who would have remained interested observers. Our tendency towards passivity is what led Pope St. John XXIII to convene the Second Vatican Council.

What is needed, and what everyone imbued with a truly Christian, Catholic and apostolic spirit craves today, is that this doctrine shall be more widely known, more deeply understood, and more penetrating in its effects on men's moral lives.” (Pope St. John XXIII, Opening Address)

This time of social distancing, which includes missing our parish communities, may serve to inspire us to become the Church Pope St. John XXIII envisioned. Recent circumstances have not prevented us from developing parish plans, as much as they have created an immediate need for all of us to act on the Synod priorities in the absence of a plan. Unable to gather for Eucharist, thousands have gathered in virtual parishes to pray, sing the psalms and listen to the Word of God. Many who had not previously attended to their spiritual formation, or who had not engaged in a life of prayer, are turning to the internet to participate in live-stream discussions, listen to Scripture scholars and participate in groups dedicated to the recitation of the rosary and other devotions.  

Families are spending more time together as a result of having to homeschool, or because parents themselves are prevented from working in their usual manner. In the absence of Mass and Catechetical programs, they have found new ways to engage the faith of their children and are sharing these with one another. Washing feet, covering crosses and other sacred images, lighting candles for the Vigil, and painting windows to look like stained glass, are some of the many ways families recreated the familiar sights and rituals in their own homes during the Triduum and Easter celebrations.

People have also been very creative in terms of outreach, engaging in every kind of activity to help and encourage their neighbors. Some are posting messages of hope and affirmations of God’s love in their windows for passersby to see; some are sewing masks for local hospitals or delivering groceries and prescriptions to elderly neighbours; and some who run companies have reconfigured their equipment to produce much-needed protective equipment and hand sanitizers. Virtually all of us have been monitoring our own behaviour that we now know affects everyone with whom we come into contact.

In terms of implementing the Synod, this time of social distancing is not being wasted. Rather it has become a time when, forced by circumstances, we have been able to test methods of achieving our goals in our homes, among family members, and with respect to our neighbours. Our time of trial will be followed by one in which we gather to discuss the needs we identified during the days of social distancing and our experiences addressing them. It will be a time in which we put the best of these suggestions to paper so that the spirit of generosity so many exhibited continues in the months and years ahead. Like the Jewish people, I expect that we too will emerge from our period of exile with a faith that, watered by adversity, brings forth new fruit.

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This article was written by Linda Chiupka, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod Implementation Coordinator. You may contact Linda at lchiupka@archwinnipeg.ca

Catechists keep community alive by 'going online'
Apr 21, 2020


Archdiocese of Winnipeg - People around the world are currently facing fear, isolation, significant financial and health issues, and the disruption of the normal flow of their daily lives. When the Province of Manitoba announced the directive of physical isolation and the shutdown of non-critical services, and the indefinite suspension of classes at school, our Faith Formation Coordinators and Catechists began working from home and expressed their feelings of uncertainty. It became challenging to reach out to families and volunteers, while taking care of their own families. Some also had responsibility to care for the elderly and vulnerable members of their family.

Families have prioritized schoolwork, along coping with a drastic change in their lifestyles. Because of this, there has been hesitation among our teams to contact the families they serve and to send them pastoral resources as a guide in their faith.

This brought me back to our Synod process, and here I would like to quote Archbishop Richard Gagnon: “The answer to such situations which are not uncommon in the Church, is living our Church life in a synodal way.” Dark times may be challenging but these challenging times can also be an opportunity for prayer and listening, an opportunity be heard, and an opportunity for undivided time to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church for the good of all.

Our community of faith is blessed with many gifts. One of the most vital and remarkable treasures is the commitment of my co-servants in Catechetics. In God’s grace and with the gift of technology, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg Faith Formation Coordinators and Catechists walked together in prayer and reflection through “Zoom”, meeting for the first time digitally on April 2 to share life giving experiences amidst these extra-ordinary times of pandemic. Some sent their prayer and sharing through email.

Responding to the Synod Implementation in times of physical isolation can be challenging; but these limitations can also be a time to practice and discover new ways to catechize and evangelize. Let us be reminded that the Gospel can’t be in quarantined.

Baptism brings us so many gifts. As catechists, we have a vocation of service to the Church. What we have received as a gift from the Lord should in turn be transmitted to others. We must constantly return to that first announcement of the kerygma (proclamation of the Gospel), which is the gift that forever changed our lives.

Through the Gift of the Holy Spirit, Catechists can share “the art of accompaniment” to the families they serve. Ministry of Presence is so crucial at this time, more than programmatic approaches to our pastoral service. In prayer, trust and confidence, we can assist the families in recognizing that the Home is a Domestic Church, and parents, now more than ever, can walk their children in the life of prayer and faith.

It may be difficult for some families, and it may also make some of us uneasy, but we believe that the Holy Spirit stirs up each of our hearts in the new norm, for a renewed, intimate and personal relationship with God. As missionary disciples striving to be present to others, we will continue to pray and walk together as catechists serving the Church, and will seek God’s empowerment for God’s greater glory.

With churches closed, many are awakening to the importance of faith and prayer in our lives. The coronavirus may have revealed our fragility and limitations, but we are an Easter people, serving in hope, joy and gladness, bearing Christ’s light in these times of darkness.

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This article was written by Judith Vasquez, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Director of Catechetics and Faith Development. You can contact Judith through catechetics@archwinnipeg.ca.

The Archbishop Section

The Archbishop's Friday Report
May 15, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Through the Friday Report, Archbishop Richard Gagnon gives us an update about our Archdiocesan community and our life in faith amidst these unprecedented times. He also answers a number of questions submitted through our web and social media platforms.

This week, Archbishop Gagnon shares with us an interview he conducted with Very Reverend Geoffrey Angeles, Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral. They discuss the recently-published Archdiocesan Protocols regarding the re-opening of our churches and its application to the Cathedral parish community.

 
Do you have a question for the Archbishop? E-mail us at communications@archwinnipeg.ca.
Archbishop Gagnon's Memo on Praying the Rosary
Apr 30, 2020

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - "The month of May has, by long tradition, been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, in a special way, to the praying of the Rosary... The Holy Father encourages 'everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually: you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities.'" Click here for the rest of Archbishop Gagnon's memorandum.

In the Community Section

"Resuming worship slowly, faithfully" - Winnipeg Free Press article
May 26, 2020

In the Community - After two months of worship spaces being vacated due to the global pandemic, local religious leaders say reinstating services in churches, temples, mosques and synagogues will take more time to work out.

Not only do they have to implement cleaning and distancing protocols as mandated by public health officials, they also have to figure out how to get people in and out of the building safely, said Rev. Geoffrey Angeles of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.

"It’s so easy to say 25 people inside, but what goes on outside is a completely different story," Angeles said of how people enter the downtown Winnipeg cathedral through doors off St. Mary’s Avenue and Hargrave Street.

This week, provincial officials increased the number of people who can meet inside a building to 25 (from 10).

Already stocked with nearly 100 litres of hand sanitizer, Angeles said a committee of eight people is working on protocols for spacing people inside the cavernous cathedral, serving communion, and where to walk or stand. The cathedral plans to reopen to the public June 2.

"There’s not a one-size-fits-all (plan)," he said, referring to protocols released Thursday by Archbishop Richard Gagnon for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, allowing parishes to celebrate mass on weekdays and Sundays with a limit of 25 people.

"Our situation downtown is so different from other parishes."

Parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface will keep their numbers to 10 for this weekend, and increase to 25 on May 31, said spokesman Daniel Bahuaud.

During the shutdown, parish priests held private masses and the archdiocese livestreamed Sunday masses on its website.

"We’re going to start talking about public, limited and controlled services," Bahuaud said, adding parishes will likely ask people to sign up to attend mass to keep under groups to the allowable limit.

Some denominations will wait until the gathering size is increased to at least 50, and others, including the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land, will issue reopening protocols next week.

Winnipeg’s mosques will not likely open up until the gathering size is much larger, in order to accommodate the many Muslims who would like to gather for prayer, said Urooj Danish of the Manitoba Islamic Association.

Synagogues are also still working out how to reopen safely, said Ian Staniloff of Congregation Shaarey Zedek.

"It is still very early in the process, and we are not yet comfortable with opening for services," he wrote in an email.

Although the restrictions have eased, it will take time to move back from online to in-person worship, said Jim Poirier of Christian Life Church.

Whenever the 100 or so people of his congregation gather again, Poirier said it won’t be the same as pre-pandemic worship.

"We’re in for some significant and unprecedented change."

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This article was written by Brenda Suderman of the Winnipeg Free Press.

St. Amant launches COVID-19 wellness line to support people with developmental disabilities
May 26, 2020

Winnipeg, ManitobaOperated by St.Amant counsellors and social workers, the St.Amant COVID-19 Community Wellness Line was developed in response to COVID-19 for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families and support networks.

Understanding that at the best of times, people with disabilities access specialized resources and can have unique needs. Add in a pandemic with lots of uncertainty and changes to how many services operate, and we know that people with disabilities and their support networks may be experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety.

“The goal is to offer compassionate support over the phone, and potentially link callers with services they may need,” said Tracey Kolbauer, a social worker with St.Amant.

Operators will provide supportive therapeutic listening, resource sharing, and clinical skills to assist in areas such as coping, de-escalation, and problem-solving, as appropriate. This is not a crisis line, however, if a caller is deemed to be at risk, the operator will provide emergency contact information. 

“Disability supports are unique. Many community organizations and the Province of Manitoba have developed phone and online supports, but we felt there was a gap in this unique area of support specifically for people with developmental disabilities and their supports,” said Kolbauer.

The St.Amant COVID-19 Community Wellness Line is open 9 am – 9 pm Monday through Thursday is available to any Manitoba family affected by disability. To access the line call: 204-258-7076 or 1-877-858-7076.

For more information contact: 
Chris Schiffmann, Corporate Communications Coordinator
cschiffmann@stamant.ca
m: 204-918-0232

Catholic School of Evangelization Rental Opportunities
May 26, 2020

Catholic School of Evangelization, St-Malo - With the loosening of the restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus we are able to offer our facility for rental groups of 25 or less. If you are looking for a place to spend time as a family, to have a small retreat or another function, we would love to welcome you. Rental dates are available starting mid-July barring any changes to restrictions regarding COVID-19. For any further information or to book call or email the CSE at (204) 347-5396 or rentals@catholicway.net

Caritas Award Dinner Postponed to April 2021
May 19, 2020

In the Community - In the light of COVID-19, The Catholic Foundation of Manitoba has deferred the Caritas Award Dinner to Thursday, April 22, 2021.  All tickets purchased in 2020 will be honoured for the rescheduled date.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 204-233-4268 or by email at cfmb@mts.net.

Please change the date on the poster we mailed to you and help us notify your parishioners by publishing this announcement in your bulletin. 

La fondation catholique du Manitoba reportera le Gala Caritas au jeudi, 22 avril  2021. Tous les billets achetés en 2020 seront honorés pour la date reportée. Si vous avez des questions ou des inquiétudes, veuillez communiquer avec notre bureau au 204-233-4268 ou par courriel à cfmb@mts.net.   

S.v.p. changer la date sur l’affiche qu’on vous a envoyé et nous aider à notifier vos paroissiens en publiant cette annonce dans votre bulletin.

We ask for God’s blessings – especially for those suffering directly from the effects of the pandemic and for our health care professionals and others that are working tirelessly to deal with it.

Winnipeg Free Press article on the May 1 Marian Consecration
Apr 30, 2020

Photo by Cheryl Girard from the Free Press files

Winnipeg Free Press - "Gagnon said he hopes the service will give people hope, inspiring them to show the same motherly care as Mary by "helping their neighbours" and by performing "loving actions towards others." Click here for the rest of John Longhurst's article.

 

A 'New Normal' for the Point Douglas Soup Kitchen
Apr 28, 2020

Winnipeg - "The nuns of the soup kitchen at 167 Aikens Street are known to us as the Sisters of Mother Teresa. Officially, their congregation’s name is Missionaries of Charity (MC), a congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, now a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

The current CoVid-19 pandemic has closed the drop-in centre to the public. As a result of the public health emergency restrictions, the sisters and their volunteers are unable to serve sit-down meals for their recipients in the convent's dining room. Social distancing rules do not allow such gathering (of 15 people at a time) in their small basement." Click here for the rest of the article submission from Ernie Samiana, a parishioner of St. Anthony (Hungarian) Church.

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We thank Ernie for his article submission, and for sharing a Faith Story with our entire community!

Parishes in the Archdiocese Section

"Virtual worship a daily habit"
May 12, 2020



Photo from the Winnipeg Free Press's Ruth Bonneville.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Winnipeg - The Winnipeg Free Press embarked on a special project in light of their 'critical mission' of local journalism in our city. "Beginning at the stroke of midnight on May 6, we set out to capture an hour-by-hour account of what we are all facing and how we are responding, complete with all the frustration and fear, the resourcefulness and resilience. At the top of each hour, we moved to the next story and didn’t stop until the clock struck midnight again," said Free Press Editor Paul Samyn. Nine o'clock a.m. was dedicated to one of our parishes, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Winnipeg. Read more.

St. Columba Parish in Swan River join in prayer with Nova Scotia
May 8, 2020

St. Columba Parish, Swan River - St. Columba Parish, Swan River, Manitoba, remembers our brothers and sisters in Christ who have recently lost their lives in the tragic rampage shooting in Nova Scotia. Our thoughts and prayers for the deceased and for their friends and families.

St. Charles Parish on CTV Winnipeg
May 5, 2020

St. Charles Parish, Winnipeg - "Most Sunday mornings, around 300 worshippers pack St. Charles Parish for Mass. But on this Sunday, the parking lot is empty and pews are quiet, except for a handful of worshippers preparing for a live-stream. 'I never thought I’d see the day when I would be using social media to get the message of the gospel out,' said Father Michael Wollbaum." Click here for the video aired on CTV News. 

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The text above is from winnipeg.ctvnews.ca. 

St. Charles's Face Mask Project
Apr 28, 2020
St. Charles Parish, Winnipeg - "On April 3, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Annette Kohut received an alarming email from her daughter Sharon, a nurse in the maternity unit at  Wetaskiwin Hospital. The hospital is located 70 kilometres south of Edmonton, Alberta. Sharon told Annette that the nurses on her floor were running out of protective gear - scrub hats and masks. She asked Annette for assistance in obtaining these crucial items to help staff through this crisis." Read more of Eva Arsenault's article here.

The Universal Church Section

Memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska
May 28, 2020

The Universal Church - On Monday, May 18, 2020, the Holy See published the attached Decree concerning the inscription of the Optional Memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska, virgin, in the General Roman Calendar. The date which the optional memorial can be celebrated is October 5, 2020.

Click here to view the decree.

Click here to view the memo from Archbishop Gagnon.