Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 UPDATES

24447-1

Statement From Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
re: Discovery of Children’s Remains at Former Kamloops Residential School

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 10.42.05 AM

Discovery of Children’s Remains at Former Kamloops Residential School

Transfiguration of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church

Dear parishioner,

Late Friday afternoon, the provincial government announced further restrictions to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, given the alarming increase in new cases over the past 10 days. The new measures have a direct impact on places of worship as part of an extended stay-at-home order, which will be in place until at least May 20, 2021.

The Cardinal has asked “churches, that are able to do so safely, to continue to remain open for private prayer and, where feasible, to offer Holy Communion Services on weekends.

In the light of this, I am happy to inform you that we will continue with what we were doing here in our church until there is some information to the contrary.
This is to say:

1. Our parish church will be open every week, Monday to Saturday, from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. for Private Prayer
2. The church will be open Sunday morning for Holy Communion Services.
(Please see below for times and how to register)

PLEASE DON’T FORGET

– Due to Provincial restrictions, only 10 people are allowed in the building at a time including the priest.
– Social distancing, masks and sanitizing hands are mandatory inside the Church
– We are not allowed to gather in groups in the parking lot where we will also be required to practice social distancing and wear our masks.

Please stay safe; stay at home unless you have a pressing need to go outside.  We must do all we can to make this pandemic a thing of the past.

With my every best wish, as always, for God abundant blessings.

WE ARE RE-OPENING
Welcome back to Transfiguration of Our Lord Church.
Thank you for your patience and support.

The provincial government announced changes to the restrictions on places of worship currently in the Grey (Lockdown) Zone. As of Monday, March 15, 2021, churches in the Toronto and Peel Regions will be permitted 15 per cent capacity for religious services. With distancing measures in place, the maximum capacity for our parish is 120 people.

As we prepare to re-open churches, please be aware of the guidelines and restrictions.

If any family members have a fever, please remain home for the health and safety of all. Consult your family doctor.
If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, please remain home at this time – cough, fatigue, loss of appetite,
shortness of breath, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, headache, runny nose, sore throat, chills with shakes.

Arriving at church

Maintain physical distancing at all times – 2 metres (6 feet) from others – in the parking lot, church entrance and in church itself.

Upon arrival, put on mask/face covering before entering Church. Mask is highly recommended.

We will be using one entrance only. Follow direction of volunteers at all times.

Sanitize hands upon entry and regularly wherever possible.

Pews and aisles will be marked to note physical distancing requirements.  Families and households living at the same residence may sit together;
the same 2 metre (6 ft.)  distance should be maintained concerning others. Follow direction of ushers for seating at all times.

Like before we will be continuing first come, first served basis for all services.
Church will be opening 15 minutes before each service. There will not be any communion services moving forward.

  If you would like to volunteer to help at the parish, please contact the parish office. Separate guidance will be provided to lectors ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, etc.

Guidelines for Returning to Church – Resource for the Faithful

As we prepare to re-open churches, please be aware of the following guidelines. We recognize that they may be awkward/uncomfortable and contrary to our culture of hospitality and community. In working to foster a safe environment for all, we thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation.

Before coming to church:

·         Please check temperature of all family members before coming to church. If any family members have a fever, please remain home for the health and safety of all. Consult your family doctor.

·         If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, please remain home at this time – cough, fatigue, loss of appetite,  shortness of breath, muscle aches, loss of taste or smell, headache, runny nose, sore throat, chills with shakes.

Arriving at church

·         Maintain physical distancing at all times – 2 metres (6 feet) from others – in the parking lot, church entrance and in church itself.

·         Upon arrival, put on mask/face covering before entering church (for all those over the age of 3)

·         Parishes will likely be using one entrance only – it may not be the entrance you are familiar with. Follow direction of volunteers, signage as appropriate.

·         Sanitize hands upon entry and regularly wherever possible.

·         Pews and aisles will be marked to note physical distancing requirements.  Families and households living at the same residence may sit together; the same 2 metre (6 ft.)  distance should be maintained concerning others. Follow direction of ushers for seating.

·         Pews will be emptied of prayer books, hymnals, etc.  Parish bulletins will not be published at this time.

·         Holy Water fonts will be empty and not in use at this time.

·         If your church hall is used for overflow purposes, it will also be marked for physical distancing – same guidelines apply.

Celebration of the Eucharist

·         Please listen carefully to announcements before the start of Mass. Follow direction as advised.

·         Altar servers, lectors will be kept to an absolute minimum during this period of time. Please do not enter the sacristy unless you have been asked to assist during Mass.

·         Other than a cantor or choir appropriately physically distanced, there will be no singing at Mass until further notice.

·         There will be no offertory procession or collection. Please leave donation in the designated basket upon entry/departure as directed.

·         We ask that people do not hold hands or shake hands during any portion of the celebration of the Eucharist. At the Sign of Peace, a nod or bow to others is appropriate.

·         Masks/face coverings should be removed prior to reception of Holy Communion and put back on after consumption.

·         During this time of pandemic and under the guidance of local medical health officials, the faithful are asked to receive Holy Communion in the hand by placing one on top of the other, allowing the Eucharistic Minister to safely place the Body of Christ in one’s hand without contact.

·         Follow direction of ushers for communion flow ensuring physical distancing at all times

·         Follow direction provided for dismissal and departure – exits may be different than those you are accustomed to.

·         Following Mass, please depart the church so that cleaning may commence. While it is our nature to congregate/socialize in the foyer or parking lot, we ask you NOT to do so at this time. Please maintain physical distancing.

General

·         If you suddenly feel ill, start coughing or sneezing, please leave the church for the health and safety of others gathered.

·         Children’s ministry, prayers groups and other ministries that gather in the church/church grounds are either suspended or operating virtually only at this time.

·         Please use washrooms only if absolutely necessary. One person or family at a time should be in the washroom.  Ensure that all wash their hands with warm, soapy water after using washroom facilities. Please respect physical distancing outside the washroom.

·         If, within 14 days of attending Mass, you learn that you or someone in your family who attended Mass with you has tested positive for COVID-19, you are asked to:  a) contact the Ontario Public Health Authority; and, b) contact the parish office.  Your identity will not be revealed to anyone other than the Public Health Authority, and only to ensure that any spread is contained

·         If you would like to volunteer to help at the parish, please contact the parish office. Separate guidance will be provided to lectors ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, etc.

A Call to Action from Cardinal Collins: End Covid-19 Restriction Inequities

March 5, 2021

My dear friends,

A few days ago, a movie scout contacted one of our churches to inquire whether the basement hall could be used to feed a crew of 50 people. “We have dispensation from the province and strict protocols will be enforced.” Later in the week, the priest presided at a funeral in the same church, limited to 10 people inside (including himself).

Which of these do we consider more essential?

I have been providing updates to you throughout this period of pandemic. We have also been working closely with the Government of Ontario to ensure that restrictions are respected as we collectively fight a virus that has, thus far, taken the lives of more than 22,000 Canadians.

I do not believe that our elected officials and medical officers of health consciously intend to suppress religious freedom; I realize that they are in an extremely difficult position. We do, however, ask to be treated equitably. In recent days, it is becoming more difficult to believe that is happening.

It is now appropriate for us to respectfully amplify our concerns. I am asking you to take two minutes to write to your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). A copy of your letter will also be shared with Premier Ford.

The province has relaxed restrictions in Grey (Lockdown) regions, with retailers permitted to operate at 25 per cent capacity. Yet places of worship, regardless of whether they seat 100 or 1,000 people, must remain at a hard cap of 10 people. Next week, a funeral at St. Michael’s Cathedral (capacity 1,500) will be capped at 10 people, while around the corner dozens can enter the local liquor store and thousands will visit the Eaton Centre. This makes no sense.

I encourage all of you, whether you are in the Grey Zone (Toronto and Peel Regions as of March 8) or an area where churches can open at greater, but still greatly limited capacity, to respectfully request that any restrictions for places of worship use a percentage of capacity as opposed to an arbitrary number. This is an interfaith initiative with participation from many faith communities.

We are still in the midst of fighting a pandemic and we must be prudent in our actions. Our strict WorshipSafe protocols in our churches have proven to be effective. It’s time to address the growing inequities facing our faith communities. I hope you will take a moment to share your concerns with your MPP. I am grateful for your patience and perseverance during these most challenging days.

May God continue to bless you now and always.

Sincerely in Christ,
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto

 ~*~

Dear parishioner,

The stay-at-home order instituted by the province yesterday comes into effect tomorrow. Some of us have been wondering how these latest restrictions will impact on what we do in our place of worship.

The Cardinal has asked “churches, that are able to do so safely, to continue to remain open for private prayer and, where feasible, to offer Holy Communion Services on weekends.

In the light of this, I am happy to inform you that we will continue with what we are doing here in our church until there is some information to the contrary.
This is to say:

  1. Our parish church will be open every week, Monday to Saturday, from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. for Private Prayer
  2. The church will be open Sunday morning for Holy Communion Services.
    (Please see below for times and how to register)PLEASE DON’T FORGET

    – Due to Provincial restrictions, only 10 people are allowed in the building at a time including the priest.
    – Social distancing, masks and sanitizing hands are mandatory inside the Church
    – We are not allowed to gather in groups in the parking lot where we will also be required to practice social distancing and wear our masks.

Please stay safe; stay at home unless you have a pressing need to go outside.  We must do all we can to make this pandemic a thing of the past.

With my every best wish, as always, for God abundant blessings.

 ~*~

ATTENTION
Please be advised that some parishioners are receiving requests, purportedly from the pastor or the associate pastor, for iTunes gift cards, either by text or email. 
In addition, there are reports of a variety of COVID-19 scams cropping up, including one where people call or visit homes trying to sell “COVID-19 testing kits.”
We would like to advise all parishioners to exercise caution when checking email messages, taking phone calls or responding to those at the door. Think before you click or open attachments, and always verify suspect messages by phoning the sender on a known phone number (not the phone number in the suspect message).
Thanks for your continued cooperation.
 ~*~

Cardinal’s Letter (20Nov2020)

 ~*~

Dear Parishioners,

We want to thank all the parishioners of Transfiguration of Our Lord for their ongoing support during this period of great uncertainty. It has been wonderful to see so many of you at Mass since we re-opened in June. We are especially grateful to the volunteers who have helped ensure our church is a safe place to gather – they have done incredible work!

As you know, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Greater Toronto Area have increased significantly in recent days and, at present, Toronto and Peel Regions are in the “Lockdown Stage” as identified by the Province of Ontario. In addition, Premier Ford announced on November 20, special emergency measures that need to be taken in our area.

For this reason, as of Monday, November 23rd, we must restrict attendance inside the church to 10 people, including priests. Sadly, due to these measures, public Masses must be temporarily cancelled. Priests will continue to celebrate private Mass daily for the intentions of parishioners and for those suffering from Covid-19.

Our church will remain open for private prayer, Monday to Saturday 10 am to 1 pm,  and Sunday 8 am to 10.00 am.  Weddings, funerals and baptisms will now be restricted to 10 people, including those who are involved in ministry (priest, cantor, etc.) without mass.

While I recognize it is not a substitute for attending Mass in person, I encourage you to view online/livestream/televised Masses.  You can visit our website www.transchurch.ca. All of our masses are livestream. Daily Mass will be taking place at 9.30 am Monday to Saturday and Sunday Mass will take place at 10.30 am Sunday. You can also visit the Archdiocese of Toronto’s website www.archtoronto.org where you can find a listing of parishes that livestream the Mass, including St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica.

The Daily Mass is also televised on Salt+Light TV,  EWTN and VisionTV among other locations.

Also, all non-essential meetings in the parish will move to virtual meetings or they may be postponed. Our staff will also be working remotely in large part wherever possible.  Please call us or leave a message if you need anything. We will call you back as soon as possible.

We recognize these measures are extremely challenging. I am also so incredibly grateful for the efforts of our heroic volunteers who have been faithfully welcoming parishioners and cleaning the church between services, ensuring that we can operate safely and responsibly. Your selflessness and generosity is inspiring!

So many of the faithful rely on the reception of the sacraments and our churches to find solace, peace and support during this period of pandemic. Despite these new restrictions, we will make every effort to continue our outreach to you. We also ask that you find opportunities to assist those who are vulnerable or alone among us.

We will continue to update you, as the situation changes. Please visit our website for any update. We pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. May God continue to bless you now and always!

Sincerely,
Fr. George Parayil,
Pastor

~*~

Un’informazione di p. George, il pastore

Vogliamo ringraziare tutti i parrocchiani della Trasfigurazione del Nostro Signore per il loro continuo sostegno durante questo periodo di grande incertezza. È stato meraviglioso vedere così tanti di voi alla Messa da quando abbiamo riaperto a giugno. Siamo particolarmente grati ai volontari che hanno contribuito a garantire che la nostra chiesa sia un luogo sicuro in cui riunirsi: hanno svolto un lavoro incredibile!

Come sapete, il numero di nuovi casi di COVID-19 nelle zone di Toronto è aumentato in modo significativo negli ultimi giorni e, al momento, Toronto e la regione di Peel sono in “fase di blocco, cioè, il lockdown” come identificato dalla Provincia dell’Ontario. Inoltre, il 20 novembre il Premier Ford ha annunciato misure speciali di emergenza da adottare nella nostra zona.

Per questo motivo, da lunedì 23 novembre, dobbiamo limitare la presenza all’interno della chiesa a 10 persone, sacerdoti compresi.

Purtroppo, a causa di queste misure, le messe pubbliche devono essere temporaneamente annullate.

I sacerdoti continueranno a celebrare quotidianamente la Messa privata per le intenzioni dei parrocchiani e per coloro che soffrono di Covid-19.

Riconosco che non sostituisce venire alla Messa in persona, nonostante vi incoraggio a partecipare alle messe online / in diretta streaming / televisive.  Potete visitare il nostro sito web www.transchurch.ca. Tutte le nostre messe sono trasmesse in live streaming. La messa quotidiana si svolgerà alle 9.30 dal lunedì al sabato e la messa domenicale alle 10.30. Potete anche visitare il sito web dell’arcidiocesi di Toronto www.archtoronto.org, dove troverete un elenco delle parrocchie che trasmettono in streaming la Messa, inclusa la Basilica della Cattedrale di San Michele.

La Messa quotidiana è anche trasmessa in onda sul  Salt+Light TV,  EWTN e VisionTV, tra altre località. Inoltre, tutti gli incontri non essenziali nella parrocchia si sposteranno in riunioni virtuali o potranno essere rinviati. Il nostro staff lavorerà anche da remoto in larga parte dove possibile. Chiamateci o lasciate un messaggio se avete bisogno di qualcosa. Vi risponderemo il prima possibile.

Riconosciamo che queste misure sono estremamente impegnative. Personalmente, sono incredibilmente grato per gli sforzi dei nostri eroici volontari che hanno accolto fedelmente i parrocchiani e pulito la chiesa tra i servizi, assicurandoci che possiamo operare in modo sicuro e responsabile. La vostra generosità e altruismo è fonte di ispirazione!

Tanti fedeli fanno affidamento sulla ricezione dei sacramenti e delle nostre chiese per trovare conforto, pace e sostegno durante questo periodo di pandemia. Nonostante queste nuove restrizioni, faremo ogni sforzo per continuare il nostro contatto con voi. Vi chiediamo inoltre di trovare opportunità per assistere coloro che sono vulnerabili o soli tra noi.

Continueremo a tenervi informati man mano che la situazione cambia. Vi preghiamo di visitare il nostro sito web per qualsiasi aggiornamento.

Preghiamo affinché voi ed i vostri cari rimaniate sani e salvi. Possa Dio continuare a benedirvi ora e sempre!

Fr. George Parayil,
Pastor