The Public Health Order has been extended to March 19th. The revised Health Order has not changed the general restrictions covering all parts of Saskatchewan. The number of people allowed to gather remains the same as it has been since December 17, 2020.
The specific guidelines for Places of Worship have had additions to clarify a couple of issues.
a) Contact Tracing. Since June 2020, public buildings (including places of worship) have been required to collect contact details for all people entering their facility. The following bullet points have been added to the guidelines to clarify matters.
For the purposes of contact tracing, places of worship are required to collect and maintain a list of people that are present within their facilities for any purposes. Contact details must include date, time, name, address, and phone number or email address.
When collecting contact details, avoid the sharing of pens or other common touch instruments unless disinfected between each use.
Contact registration lists must be maintained confidentially by the place of worship and destroyed after 30 days.
Contact tracing is required at all times. This includes anyone entering the building. Delivery persons are not generally required to provide contact details because of their short duration. Do not forget to include staff, volunteers, and tradespeople on these lists.
Confidentiality of the contact details is essential. Remember that provincial privacy laws apply to membership lists and other personal data collected by faith communities. One person registering shouldn’t be able to see the names and contact information for others also registering.
b) Non-ceremonial gatherings. A number of questions have been forwarded to the government as a result of one bullet point that reads: “These guidelines do not apply to receptions or non-ceremonial gatherings.” Faith communities have asked about gatherings that have a religious purpose but are not ceremonial, such as a scripture study or religious instruction. Others have asked about congregational meetings such as a Pastoral Council Meeting or the Annual General Meeting. The following bullet points have been added to permit such gatherings.
Non-ceremonial meetings are permitted in groups no larger than 30 as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
No food or beverage is allowed.
No concurrent meetings or meetings taking place at the same time as worship services.
Allow enough time for entry and exit, as well as cleaning and disinfection
Seating must be arranged so that two metres of physical distancing can be maintained between non-household gatherings.
Attendees to remain seated except for entering and exiting, as well as using the washroom.
The requirement to stay seated is intended to reduce the risk of breaking the physical distancing requirements.
The restriction on a meeting at the same time as a worship service in another part of the facility is intended to be consistent with the existing ban on concurrent worship services.
All guidelines for worship gatherings will also be applicable to these non-ceremonial meetings: masks are required, 2 metre distancing is to be maintained at all times, contact tracing is required, hands and physical surfaces should be sanitized regularly. Do not share common use items such as pens, paper, hymnals, microphones, etc..
On Thursday, January 21 we celebrate St. Agnes Feast Day. There will be a 7:00 PM mass for anyone who is interested in attending.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Darlene Loucks to pre-register.
Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Agnes, Patron Saint of Pilot Butte Parish
St. AGNES, Virgin and Martyr
January 21—Patron of the Children of Mary
St. Agnes suffered martyrdom during the bloody persecution of the Emperor Diocletian around 304 at the age of thirteen and became one of the best known and most highly regarded of the Roman martyrs. Her name is still retained in the First Eucharistic Prayer for Holy Mass.
The Acts of her Passion, which date back only to the 5th century, are considered to be not entirely reliable but they do tell us something about her. They young noblemen of Rome, attracted by her wealth and beauty, vied with one another in endeavouring to obtain her hand in marriage, but she refused them all, saying that she had chosen a Spouse who could not be seen with mortal eyes.
Her suitors, in hope of sharing her constancy, accused her of being a Christian.
She was brought before a judge and remained unswayed by either his kindness or his threats. Fires were kindled, instruments of torture were placed before her eyes, but, immoveable in her constancy, she surveyed them with heroic calmness. She was sent to a house of prostitution, but the sight of her inspired such awe that not one of the wicked youths of the city dared approach her. One, bolder than the others, was suddenly struck with blindness and he fell trembling.
The youthful saint came forth from this den of infamy uncontaminated in mind and body, and still a pure spouse of Christ. The most prominent among her suitors was now so enraged that he incited the judge still more against her. The heroic Virgin was condemned to be beheaded. “She went to the place of execution,” says St. Ambrose, “more cheerfully than others go to their wedding.”
Amid the tears of the spectators the instrument of death fell, and she went to meet the immortal Spouse whom she had loved better than her life. She was buried on the Via Nomentana, and Constantine erected a church in her honour.
Prayer: All-powerful and ever-living God, You choose the weak in this world to confound the powerful. As we celebrate the anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Agnes, may we like her remain constant in faith. Amen.
St. Agnes’ fundraiser this year will be a Bakeless Bakesale. Instead of donating baking and volunteering time, we are asking for a cash donation. We ask that all donations be sent in by November 15, 2020. A letter is being sent to all parishioners with additional information. Thank you for your generous support!
This year St. Agnes will do the Operation Christmas Child program for anyone who wishes to participate. Boxes will be available for pickup at St. Agnes Church, 5th Street in Pilot Butte after 9 am mass on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Boxes can be dropped off at the church on Sundays after mass but no later than Sunday, November 15, 2020. Thank you for your participation.