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COVID restrictions eased

The provincial government has announced their open for summer plan that documents the various stages of easing COVID-19 restrictions. 

In summary, here are the key highlights and relevant updates for places of worship: 

Beginning Friday, May 28, 2021

  • The capacity limit for worship services goes back to the 15% of the fire code occupancy.
  • There will be no change on funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
  • Masks remain mandatory.

Beginning Tuesday, June 1, 2021

  • Wedding ceremonies may have up to 10 people, including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses and any photographers/videographers. Receptions remain prohibited. NOTE: The government has now included photographers and videographers to the 10 people allowed. The Archdiocese does not consider the soloist and the instrumentalist included in the 10 people allowed.
  • Funerals: Funeral ceremonies may have up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Baptisms: The Archdiocese continues to limit the attendees to 10 people for Baptisms.
  • House Blessings: We continue to recommend that house blessings (inside gatherings) happen only after stage 2 begins.

Archbishop on Buddhist Feast of Vesakh

A letter from Archbishop Smith to Edmonton Buddhist communities on the occasion of the Feast of Vesakh.

Sheedy: St. Joseph is a guide to being an everyday saint

Seminarian Andrew Sheedy writes that St. Joseph has much to teach us: about how great holiness can be achieved in our day-to-day lives, about how we can serve Jesus in the people around us, about what it means to be a good father, and so much more.

Langlois: Looking back on my vocation, I fell in love with Jesus

Sister Michelle Langlois writes when she first went through the doors of Calgary’s FCJ Christian Life Centre to find out more about Religious Life in 2011, she believed that I had some idea of what I was getting into.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle renews mission to heal relationship between Church and First Nations

As Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle, focused on the work of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians, we want to renew and celebrate the Spirit of Pentecost. Still relatively new as a coalition, we are convinced of the importance of language, the challenges of unity in diversity, and the impossibility of progress in reconciliation in our Church and communities apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.

Archdiocese announces expanded restrictions

We look forward to the time when we can all worship together, in person. Respecting these restrictions will get our community to that point sooner rather than later. To promote consistency and hopefully avoid as much confusion as possible, the following restrictions will be in effect in all parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton regardless of regions and number of cases in regions.

VIDEO: Archbishop Smith Speaks On New Health Restrictions

There are new worship restrictions province-wide effective immediately.
Stay-tuned for information from His Grace later this week on updated measures. 

From the Alberta government website for places of worship:

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees. 
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times. 
  • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended. 
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed. 

For funerals: 

  • 10-people maximum for funerals, including participants and guests.
  • Funeral receptions are not permitted. 

https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx

Canadian bishops announce new abuse reporting system

Today, the Bishops of Canada launch a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.

Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage 2021 to take place online

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and following upon the counsel of Alberta Health Services, the Board of Trustees of the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage Site has unanimously taken the decision to hold the 2021 pilgrimage virtually, as was done in 2020. The pilgrimage this year will not take place in person.

Archbishop Smith announces new Divine Mercy parish in southwest Edmonton

With great joy, I announce to you the name chosen for the newest parish in the Archdiocese of Edmonton: Divine Mercy Parish. Indeed, “Divine Mercy” is a message we want echoed and lived throughout the Archdiocese. It proclaims the good news of God's unconditional love, which reaches our wounded world as mercy, and transforms suffering into hope.