From Fr Greg's Pew: 26 March

Dear Everyone,

My heart reaches out to you all, knowing that many of you will be finding this past week very challenging, especially with the prospect of lockdowns and financial challenges in the weeks and months ahead. 
Know that I am offering the Mass each day for all of you, even though I find the absence of the regular Churchgoers quite strange and sad. I really miss seeing you in the pews, hearing responses to the prayers of the Mass, and enjoying some sort of friendly banter with you before and after the masses.

I know that it is hard for many of you being deprived of the Eucharist you have grown so accustomed to receiving, and I can well understand it. I feel a bit guilty having the privilege of daily Mass when civil laws prevent you from being able to participate.

We are, however, working towards having our live streaming of weekend Masses up and running by Saturday. It is a bit of a challenge due to the difficulty of getting good transmissions from inside SCB Church, but we hope to have a reasonable solution by the weekend.

Our intention is to offer Sunday Masses live streamed four times per weekend. Tentatively speaking, we are looking at having Masses at 5 pm Saturday, 8 and 10 am and 6 pm Sunday. In any case, even if you miss the live broadcasts, the Masses will be available for viewing afterwards as well.

Please keep your eyes peeled for further eNews with the details as we work out the technical issues involved.

During the week, guidelines of prayer are being transmitted by voice on Whatsapp, similar to what has been given every morning in both SCB and OLQP Churches at 7 am. You can receive an invitation to listen to these short reflections on either the first reading or the Gospel of the day by sending a text to our Parish mobile on 0413 226 508.

Daily Mass is also being live streamed, although this service is still a bit lacking in technical perfection (!!). Hopefully by Tuesday this will also have been resolved. Fr. Daniele is normally the enthusiastic celebrant of these Masses, and he would love to invite you to participate with him at 9.20 am every day just as we have done before in our local Churches. It will be available on either Youtube or Facebook, and the details will be communicated to you tomorrow.

I would also invite you to keep your eyes peeled for next week's edition of TWT, as they are going to publish a pre-Easter message from me, which also explains why the lights of the Church are shining out through the windows of both SCB and OLQP Churches every night. In the article I submitted this morning to the TWT, I said the following:

"For our part, we've made a decision that, since we are prevented by public health and safety guidelines from opening the doors of our Churches to our people, who may need Christ now more than ever, we will at least be keeping the lights on all night long at Saint Charles Borromeo Ryde and Our Lady Queen of Peace Gladesville, for as long as this coronavirus crisis lasts.

We want you to know that Jesus has not forgotten y
ou, and that the Church is still "open for business" even if the doors be closed. For "Christ is our Light" is the great message of Easter Sunday."

I apologise for the delay in getting this information out to you. It has been a week full of changes, and we have had difficulty trying to keep abreast of them all. We are constantly looking for more creative ways of being able to make up for the loss of access to the Parish Churches and your physical participation in the masses and liturgies within.

I pray that you will keep in the intentions of your daily prayers someone else who perhaps is doing it even tougher that you, and that you will reach out every day to needy people to bolster them in the midst of the present Coronavirus crisis.

Your brother in Christs' tireless service,
Fr. Greg