You will be aware through the media that this virus which originated in China is unfortunately gaining momentum and the World Health Organization has now declared a public health emergency.
As a result of this declaration and also advice from the NSW Department of Health, and after consulting Bishop Vincent the following directives apply in the celebration of Mass in the Diocese of Parramatta from 1 February 2020.
- In those parishes and communities in the Diocese of Parramatta where Holy Communion is distributed in Both Kinds, this practice will cease. Communion of the Precious Blood will be for the celebrant only.
- For the time being priests/deacons are not to invite parishioners to exchange the Greeting of Peace.
- All ministers of Holy Communion (both Ordinary and Extraordinary) are to use hand sanitisers before the distribution of Holy Communion commences.
These measures will be reviewed in due course and when advice is received that the threat of the virus has receded, and the emergency declaration is lifted, you will be advised accordingly, and the measures will be reversed.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Very Rev Peter G. Williams
Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia
Diocese of Parramatta