Cardinal Sarah writes to the Church on the Eucharist

His Excellency Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, has forwarded to us a recent document from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the importance of Sunday Eucharist, especially during this time of Pandemic.

CLICK TO READ CARDINAL SARAH’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH: Let us return to the Eucharist with Joy

Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

We are reminded of the importance of actual participation in the celebration where possible, and the fact that the various means of digital communication can never replace actual participation in the liturgy.  Furthermore, we are reminded to observe all the protocols set in place by health authorities and our local bishops.

At this time, it is important to remind everyone that all of the protocols  for liturgical celebrations in place in the Diocese of Hamilton are to be strictly observed, without exception.  These include the mandatory use of masks in all of our churches, physical distancing, the prohibition against choirs during this time, and the reception of Communion in the hand only.  These norms apply to celebrations of the Mass in the Ordinary Form and in the Extraordinary Form, and to all sacramental celebrations.  Only the priest, the lector and cantor are permitted to refrain from wearing a mask when exercising their particular ministries in the sanctuary.  Priests and Extraordinary Ministers of Communion are required to sanitize their hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. 

Failure to comply with all of the protocols presently in place risks the closing of our parishes and our inability to gather in our churches for Mass, Adoration and the celebration of the Sacraments.

Devotionals, Missals, etc.

The parish in the past maintained a bulk subscription to several publications used for daily mass, devotional reading, and many parishioners were used to picking up a copy for personal use (for a donation).

The diocesan COVID-19 policy to minimize the distribution of printed materials within parishes means we will be reducing our bulk subscriptions. We encourage those who use these (e.g. LivingWithChrist) to subscribe directly.


LivingWithChrist – Subscriptions

the WORD among US – Subscriptions

Diocese directs no “private events” in parish halls.

The diocese has announced new guidelines for the use of parish halls and centres. These include a ban on “private events” such as funeral receptions and showers.

Groups who used parish facilities prior to the pandemic are permitted to return to booking rooms for their activities. However, COVID-19 protocols must be followed.  All regulations with respect to physical distancing and all precautions with respect to personal sanitation and cleaning of the parish hall are in effect, including maintaining of visitor/participant logs, and all entering the hall completing self-assessment screening forms. Physical distancing will be required (6 ft/2m). Public washrooms are only to be used in emergencies.

To read the full text, click here: 31_August_Use of Parish Halls

CONFIRMATION: the diocesan schedule

His Excellency, Bishop Douglas Crosby is committed to seeing that all our young people desiring the sacrament of confirmation and who prepare for it, receive it despite the restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The diocese has worked out a schedule for her deaneries, assigning each a month in which the sacrament will be celebrated. St. Augustine Parish, as a member of the Hamilton Deanery, will celebrate confirmations  in February, 2021.

Confirmation dates and presiders for the parish are:

  • Tues., February 16, 2021 at 7 PM     – Conferring:  Very Rev. Wayne Lobsinger, Episcopal Vicar;
  • Thurs., February 18, 2021 at 7 PM    – Conferring:  Very Rev. Msgr. Murray Kroetsch, Vicar General  and Chancellor.
  • Wed., February 24, 2021 at 7 PM      – Conferring:  Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI


Confirmation celebrations will be without Mass, and will conform to seating restrictions under mandated COVID-19 protocols. Under these, the church can have a maximum of 18 confirmandi, with seating adequate for immediate family and a sponsor.


Priests will not be visiting schools this fall

The Diocese of Hamilton has sent out directives to our clergy with respect to the Fall semester in our publicly-funded Catholic schools.

  1. there will be no in-person visits from priests or other parish staff to classrooms. This is to help the schools settle into their new routine.
  2. no school masses
  3. no school confessions (at the school)
  4. pastors are to consult with elementary school principals on the matter of preparing pupils and students for the celebration of sacraments in the Spring of 2021 given these guidelines

Click here to read the full text of the memorandum: Memorandum – Norms for School Ministry 2020-2021 in View of the COVID-19 Pandemic

“Match, Hatch and Despatch” guidelines for weddings, baptisms and funerals, plus Masses in the Fall.

Many parishioners have been asking for clarification on our liturgical practice going forward. Can there be funeral masses? When will daily mass resume? etc.

With regard to weddings, we must observe the “30 percent” rule: guests can number up to 30 percent of our overall seating capacity (100 to 130 depending on the mix of individuals, couples and families of four or more) and must be socially distanced according to their respective “social bubbles” (that is, those who live together).

Brides and grooms, along with their witnesses, being seated at the head of the congregation may be unmasked. This is also the case with those reading and leading prayers in the wedding liturgy, much as the practice at a regular mass.

Baptisms are currently only celebrated privately. The “30 percent” rule applies with respect to attendance. These celebrations are scheduled on an ad hoc basis, much as we do with weddings. Sunday afternoons are the usual time for these, but given that these are individual baptisms, the need to schedule on other days is apparent. Baptisms can be celebrated weekdays, both during the day and in the evening.

Funeral Masses are now being celebrated in the Church. The “30 percent” rule, again, applies with regard to number of mourners who can attend.

Mass schedule for the fall, including daily mass, will be released soon. This will be discussed at the upcoming Parish Advisory Council, August 19.

“On Call” priestly ministry returns to Hamilton hospitals

As of July 29, priests may visit hospitals to provide the Sacrament of the Sick and Viaticum (Last Rites). At this time only priests “on call” (each hospital has a schedule of area priests designated for their facility) are to administer these sacraments, and to do so between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Requests for these sacraments must come through hospital staff, not family members, and are to be made only in extremis (danger of death).

Mass Saturday and Sunday

Mass will be celebrated Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m.

Sanitary protocols are to be followed:

maintain social distancing (6 feet / 2 meters)

strongly recommended that a mask be worn

use hand sanitizer upon entering the building

follow the directions of the ushers with regard to entering, seating, communion, etc.

if you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, stay home! (Covid-19 Online Self-Assessment)


Mask “Do’s and Don’ts”

A parishioner was conscientious enough to forward us this link having attended one of our first masses since lockdown. Noting how people were awkward about what to do with their masks at communion, a link was sent along for our information. Please have a read and apply the lessons, not just to Mass, but everywhere.

How to wear a mask.

Just a reminder… The Saint Vincent De Paul Society has been at work all this time!

While its stores have been closed, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) has continued its valuable and life sustaining work through the whole period of the COVID -19 lockdown. While observing the necessary protocols, our parish Vincentians have done visits and provided material help to people of our community in need. That need is sure to grow as the economic impact of the pandemic and the lockdown manifests itself in lost jobs, closed businesses, etc. So please remember the society and its need for financial support through the end of the lockdown period and into the summer months. Parishioners can put a little extra in their offering, and designate it for SVP and the relief of those in need.

Our bell rings out the Angelus once more

If you’ve been by the parish church at 8. 9, noon, 3, 6 or 7:30 recently, you would have heard the curious chiming of our St. Michael bell. It neither rang the hour nor the Angelus (three triple tolls) but a seemingly arbitrary number of tolls. The company that installed our bell ringing system in the early 1960’s, I.T. Verdin of Cincinatti, Ohio sent a representative to us who looked it over and concluded that, in addition to needing some general servicing and repair, the system could use an electrician to sort out some failing switches. This was the cause of the failure to toll correctly.

In steps Ryan Rozario (pictured above). He’s getting married at St. Augustine’s in August, and is understandably concerned about the arrangements in light of the Covid-19 lockdown. Having stopped by to discuss the matter, he was invited, as an electrician, to have a look at the bell. After almost three hours of fussing with switches and circuits in the dark and dust of the bell tower, he got the striking mechanism to sound the Angelus once again!

God bless and thanks to Ryan! And all the best on his wedding day!

First parish of the diocese, Hamilton 1827

Our  parish of St Augustine’s is the Mother Parish of the Diocese of Hamilton. In 1827, Fr. James Campion built a small wooden chapel in Dundas, marking the beginning of  St. Augustine’s Parish. The first baptism recorded in our register is August 06, 1827, and since then a vibrant community of faith has called St. Augustine’s  home to this very day. (photo courtesy of Dundas Museum and Archives – GN-0060)
To learn more, click here: Parish History

Mass and Devotions times

Weekend Mass Times: Saturday at 5 p.m.; Sunday at 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.
Weekday Mass Times: beginning the week of September 13, Wednesdays at 8 a.m.; Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.

Sacrament of Reconciliation: Saturday 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (until September 12)
Starting Week of September 13, Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. (last penitent, 6:10 p.m.);
Saturdays, 4 to 4:45 p.m. (last penitent, 4:40 p.m.)

Children’s Liturgy: Suspended until further notice
Public Rosary: Suspended until further notice. following the weekday morning Masses.
Eucharistic Adoration: Suspended until further notice. Wednesdays from end of morning Mass to 7 p.m. (ends with benediction)
Perpetual Help Novena: Suspended until further notice. Thursdays at the morning Mass.
Compline (Night Prayer): Suspended until further notice. First Sundays of the month, 7 p.m.



Pastor’s Reflections

Anger Management

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“God forbid it!”

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Parish News

Pastoral Letter – Sept. 2, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The parish, and our diocese, has now been offering regular masses for three months without incident in respect

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Patricia Anderson, recently retired from her position as our parish pastoral minister has sent a message of thanks to the parish for their prayers and

Farewell Fran!

This week St. Augustine’s bible study group said “good-bye” to a long-term member and good friend, Fran Donnelly. Fran is heading to Chemainus,

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