Parish Response to the Pandemic

Українською мовою.


Emergency Restrictions from Eparchial WorshipSafe Guidelines for the Province of Ontario. (2021-01-13)

On January 12, 2021, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Province of Ontario will be entering a state of emergency in an effort to address the increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases in the province. In light of this announcement and other developments we are updating our Eparchial WorshipSafe Guidelines for the Province of Ontario:

Liturgical Services

  • The latest provincial restrictions do not impact our current limit of 10 persons present inside a place of worship at any time (including celebrant and those assisting with ministry). The existing “lockdown” measures relating to places of worship have been extended by the province until at least Thursday, February 11, 2021.
  • The province has also instituted a “stay-at-home order”, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021, asking people to remain at home whenever possible, going outside of the home only for essential activities. These include: shopping for groceries, medical appointments, exercise, etc.
  • It is our firm belief that spiritual sustenance is essential for the spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of the faithful, and that our Church offers essential support for many who are isolated or vulnerable. During this period of pandemic, parishes in our Eparchy should continue to offer livestream services and other creative outreach ministries. With due regard for safety protocols, parishes may continue to remain open for the celebration of Divine Liturgy, other services or private prayers. Our WorshipSafe guidelines are to be strictly followed, with participation limited to no more than 10 people inside the church building at any given time, with participants designated beforehand to avoid a situation where someone needs to be turned away.
  • Pastors/Administrators should also make it clear to the faithful that the dispensation from being physically present in church to fulfill their Sunday obligation remains, but that the Lord’s Day continues to be a day of prayer and rest, as do major feasts. Those who have access to social media should make every effort to participate in worship as a family, preferably with their own parish community. It must be emphasized that individuals who are symptomatic, have a compromised immune system or are at a greater risk of infection, should remain home.
  • Funerals and other services must follow earlier issued Addendums to Eparchial WorshipSafe Guidelines as well as all current additional restrictions. At present, baptisms, weddings and funerals are also limited to no more than 10 persons, including those presiding and assisting.

Parish Offices and Employees

  • As long as “stay-at-home” regulations are in force, pastors/administrators should assess the necessity of bringing employees and volunteers onto church property.
  • If a task is deemed absolutely necessary, employees and volunteers may be called into service, as long as physical distancing, masking and sanitation rules are observed.

The Parish is still praying!

Our clergy are still celebrating the Divine Liturgy every day at 8:30 am.

Sunday Liturgy is reduced to the vigil Liturgy on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

There will not be any Liturgy celebrated at 11:30 on Sunday until further notice.

All Saturday evening and Sunday morning Divine Liturgy celebrations will be streaming live on our YouTube page.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the governemtn we will not be open to the public.

For the possibility of a private baptism, wedding or funeral please contact the parish office for details.


Coronavirus rouses world from delusion of omnipotence

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap (Preacher to the Pontifical Household) : Homily for Good Friday

Excerpt from the Homily delivered April 10, 2020 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“… The cross of Christ has changed the meaning of pain and human suffering—of every kind of suffering, physical and moral. It is no longer punishment, a curse. It was redeemed at its root when the Son of God took it upon himself. What is the surest proof that the drink someone offers you is not poisoned? It is if that person drinks from the same cup before you do. This is what God has done: on the cross he drank, in front of the whole world, the cup of pain down to its dregs. This is how he showed us it is not poisoned, but that there is a pearl at the bottom of this chalice.

And not only the pain of those who have faith, but of every human pain. He died for all human beings: “And when I am lifted up from the earth,” he said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). …

The pandemic of Coronavirus has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and humanity have always been susceptible to: the delusion of omnipotence. A Jewish rabbi has written that we have the opportunity to celebrate a very special paschal exodus this year, that “from the exile of consciousness”. It took merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, a virus, to remind us that we are mortal, that military power and technology are not sufficient to save us. As a psalm says, “In his prime, man does not understand. / He is like the beasts—they perish” (Ps 49:21). How true that is!

God does this with us sometimes: he disrupts our projects and our calm to save us from the abyss we don’t see. But we need to be careful not to be deceived. God is not the one who hurled the brush at the sparkling fresco of our technological society. God is our ally, not the ally of the virus! He himself says in the Bible, “I have . . . plans for your welfare and not for woe” (Jer 29:11). If these scourges were punishments of God, it would not be explained why they strike equally good and bad, and why the poor usually bring the worst consequences of them. Are they more sinners than others?

No! The one who cried one day for Lazarus’ death cries today for the scourge that has fallen on humanity. Yes, God “suffers”, like every father and like every mother. When we will find out this one day, we will be ashamed of all the accusations we made against him in life. God participates in our pain to overcome it. “Being supremely good” – wrote St. Augustine – “God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil.”[4]

The word of God tells us the first thing we should do at times like these is to cry out to God. He himself is the one who puts on people’s lips the words to cry out to him, at times harsh words and almost of accusation: “Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? / Rise up! Do not reject us forever! . . . Rise up, help us! / Redeem us in your mercy” (Ps 44, 24, 27). “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk 4:38).”

Read the full text here:  vaticannews.va


April 2, 2020 – Read the latest Pastoral Letter from Bishop Bryan Baydan.


Following the instruction of Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda and civil restriction concerning the gatherings of persons, all weekday, Sunday and Feast Day Divine Liturgies are hereby closed to the public. This means that our priests will continue to celebrate these liturgies with limited assistants, such as a cantor, for the given intentions, especially for the parish, the sick and deceased. The faithful are dispensed by the Bishop from the canonical obligation to attend Sunday and Feast Day Liturgies.

During this time of trial let us raise our prayers to the Lord, Physician of our body and soul, for the spiritual strength and bodily health so much needed in these days. May He help us through his peace to overcome our anxiety and fear. Through the prayers of the Mother of God and all the saints.

In Christ,

Rt. Rev. John Tataryn, Pastor.

To read Bishop Bryan’s Pastoral Letter, click here.


What is a Dispensation from Liturgies?

A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop releases Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Divine Liturgy). Since public Liturgies are cancelled in the Eparchy of Toronto until further notice, this means that if you live in the Eparchy, the right thing to do is to stay home for your safety and the safety of others. Though there is a sadness for not being able to participate in the Divine Liturgy the faithful are encouraged to offer up their suffering for the sake of those who are seriously ill and for those who have died.

  • What should I do if I can’t go to Church on Sunday?
  • How Do I Make a Spiritual Communion?

The answers to these questions are on our Liturgy and Prayer Page.

Read the article: How can we be the body of Christ when the coronavirus closes our churches?


Holy Mysteries

All baptisms (Rites of Initiation) are cancelled until further notice.

Baptism, confession and anointing of the sick will only be administered in danger of death. Please call the parish office in such emergencies to make arrangements.

For weddings please call the parish office.

Parish office tel: 416-244-5333

The Holy Mystery of Reconciliation (Confession)

Bishop Bryan has issued a decree on General Absolution which the pastor may administer over the next several weeks.

The conditions for receiving General Absolution are:

  • do an examination of conscience in advance.
  • have contrition for sins and a resolution to do better with God’s help.
  • to follow up with individual confession at the nearest opportunity.

To receive general absolution you must ask for it when coming to bless your baskets on Easter Saturday. See the schedule below for times.

To read Bishop Bryan’s Decree on Absolution click here.


The Divine Liturgy  and Holy Eucharist

Please continue to pray and set-aside some time every day to read scripture and pray, especially on Sundays. Some helpful prayer and links are found on our Prayer page, below is the Prayer for Spiritual Communion. As well, make efforts to connect with friends and family by phone and in prayer. Please remember that the clergy of our parish continue to pray for you, and we ask that you remember us in your prayers.

If you would like to dedicate a Divine Liturgy for a particular intention please do not hesitate to call or email the parish office.

Tel 416-244-5333 or email: st.demetrius@stdemetriuschurch.ca

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love You above all things,  and I desire to receive You into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,  come at least spiritually into my heart! I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Click here for more spiritual resources.


Funerals

We strongly recommend that all funerals be conducted in funeral homes. Gathering restrictions must be followed, in consultation with relatives of the deceased. Persons who are at risk should not attend.
A memorial liturgy can be planned for a later date. Public receptions following a funeral are not to take place on church property.


Donations

Dear parishioners and friends,

Please keep in mind that the parish office is still open, the clergy and staff are still hard at work.  The parish has ongoing expenses and bills have to be paid.

You can still make your regular donations by mail, in person or donate online. If you are sending donations by mail (cheque only, no cash), please indicate the purpose of the donation. Your Easter gifts of love for the clergy can also be mailed in or dropped off in person.

We are still taking intentions and donations for vigil candles as well. Our clergy will continue to pray for intentions and our staff will light the vigil candles for you in the church as you pray at home.


Please consider making a donation using the button below. You can pay through Paypal or by Credit Card. To request an intention, first enter the amount and method of payment then press donate to enter the details. Please write a brief description or provide the name for the intention where it says “Write a note” before entering your payment details. Thank you.

Щоб скласти свої добровільні датки, просимо натиснути жовту кнопку “Скласти Пожертву”. Ви можете це зробити за допомогою Paypal або кредитної картки. Якщо подаєте прохання про молитву/намірення на Службу Божу, перш ніж вводити платіжні дані, прохання стисло описати ваше намірення або подати ім`я/імена, де написано “Написати замітку”. Щиро дякуємо!