3 June 2020

Dear Members of the Diocesan Family,

The Western Australian Government is now implementing the Covid-19 Roadmap to recovery from this virus. Presently we are in Phase 2.

From midnight on Friday, the 5th of June, we will be moving into Phase 3 of the roadmap. This is an exciting time for our community and for our Catholic community It will mean being able to open all our churches this coming weekend for Sunday Mass due to the allowed attendees inside the church increasing from 20 to 100.

I have been delighted with your support and commitment given to the Government directives and public health advice. This unity has kept us all safe as a community in Western Australia and around Australia.

However, I know it has been very difficult for you to not be able to attend the Sunday Mass within their parish church and school community. This was the same experience, Catholics had 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu.

So, I thank you for your faith and trust that these measures have enabled us to stay safe and well.

As we now move into Phase 3, it is important we continue to follow all the protocols required to ensure that we, as a Catholic community, are in sync with our wider community of W.A. keeping us safe and well. I further encourage you to download the Covid Safe App enabling our community to protect itself against any spread of this virus.

There is still the important requirement of social distancing of 1.5 metres between people. There is an important change from the 4 square metre rule now becoming the 2 square metre rule.

Remember if you are unwell, FEEL unwell, have flu and respiratory symptoms, elevated body temperatures, or who has been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed, or suspected, with Covid-19 to not enter any Church building, Diocesan or School premises.

Fr Robert Cross will send out some more information on some of the requirements that will be required in Phase 3 for us to adhere to especially the provision of the COVID Safety Plan for Phase 3.   What I wrote in my May directive is still in place for Phase 3. I encourage you to reread that directive.

Most importantly, the requirement to attend Mass on Sunday is still voluntary as many of you, for a variety of health reasons, and other personal reasons, might find it difficult to attend Mass at this stage.

Any Liturgy that is celebrated within the church, including Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals can have up to 100 participants or attendees, plus those who lead or organize those Liturgies or Mass.

Everyone who will attend Sunday Mass or Liturgies will be required to provide their contact details as a protective health measure. I ask you to adhere to the directions of where to sit and move in the church during the Sunday Mass. This will reduce close contact with each other. It might seem strange to have no community singing except for Cantors but this is a requirement for Phase 2 and 3.

Five months ago, we could not have imagined we would be in this situation. However, with our care and concern for each other, we have done very well keeping ourselves safe and well during this Pandemic which is still affecting many countries in the world very severely.

Once again, this is great news that our churches are reopening this coming weekend for Sunday Mass. I encourage you again to read my 15th of May Directive concerning Phase 2 of Western Australia’s Covid Roadmap. This outlines all the information required for the celebration of the Mass and other sacraments within the church. What has changed in Phase 3 is that the number has increased to 100 inside and 300 outside, with all the same requirements as in Phase 2.

Thank you again for your commitment to keeping our community safe and well.

I wish you every blessing.

Yours sincerely

The Most Rev. Michael H. Morrissey
Bishop of Geraldton