Celebrating “simply” this year – Diocese issues guidelines and directives for worship in Lent and Holy Week.

It is with some disappointment that the parish announces its liturgical plans for Lent and Holy Week. Owing to our region’s status as a COVID-19 “red zone” much of the traditional practice and ritual requirements will be set aside to conform to public health protocols.

Among the major changes for this year are:

  • Palm Sunday is effectively omitted and the Sunday before Easter will be celebrated simply as “Passion Sunday” with the traditional reading of the Passion. There will be no blessing and distribution of palms, or a Gospel reading of the Entry into Jerusalem.
  • Holy Thursday will not have the traditional foot washing by the priest – an important ritual of humility for our clergy.
  • No vigil at the end of the Holy Thursday mass.
  • Good Friday will be simplified. There will be no procession of the cross, or of individual reverence of the wood of the cross (i.e. no queuing to approach the cross).
  • No liturgies in the church on Holy Saturday apart from the Easter Vigil
  • There will be no gathering around the Easter Fire; only those necessary to be present for the tending of the fire and lighting of the Pascal Candle.
  • There will be no “sprinkling” of the congregation at the vigil or at Easter Sunday masses

Other simplifications and paring back of practice will be done in the light of the diocese’s very cautious approach. Fr. Whitfield will be consulting with the liturgy office and other relevant diocesan authorities, and conferring with colleagues, to clarify and better determine the best liturgical plan of action.

With respect to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, priority will be given to children who have prepared for First Reconciliation. The diocese is advising against offering confessions on anything other than on a “by appointment” basis. Nonetheless, Fr. Whitfield will continue to offer the usual 45-minute period prior to the Saturday 5 o’clock Mass.

There is a shortage of clergy owing to the understandable reluctance of our retired clergy to take up pastoral and sacramental work until they have been properly vaccinated. This has particular impact on First Reconciliation. We will be scheduling several hours for the sake of children receiving this important sacrament. However, much of this (or all of it!) will be done by Fr. Whitfield alone.


His Excellency, Bishop Crosby, will celebrate the Mass of Chrism on Monday, March 29th, 2021 in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King, Hamilton.  This year, due to COVID capacity limitations and social distancing requirements, attendance at the Chrism Mass will be limited to Priests only.  Each year at the Mass of Chrism, the Bishop blesses the Oil of the Sick, and the Oil of Catechumens, and consecrates Sacred Chrism.  The blessed and consecrated Oils are taken to the Parishes of the Diocese to be used in the celebration of the Sacraments for the coming year.  The Priests serving in the Diocese, together with the Bishop, renew the promises of their Ordination in which they committed themselves to serve this local Church in imitation of Christ the Priest, Prophet and Shepherd.  Let us pray for all who minister to God’s holy people in our Diocese – our Bishops, Priests, Deacons, lay leaders, and all God’s holy people.

Silver Rose comes to St. Augustine’s

photo: Paul Kiely

To learn about the Silver Rose – click here

Photo gallery – click here

To view the video click here


Senator Batters on morally disastrous bill to extend “assisted dying”




“God, for ever and ever” – change to the liturgical text of the Mass

In response to a request by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a Decree of Implementation, no. 2020-01-E, regarding the Trinitarian ending of the Collect and similar prayers, effective Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2021. The change omits using the word “one” from the conclusion of the Collect and similar prayers. Should celebrants wish to become accustomed to the change in advance of Ash Wednesday, they are permitted to begin to use the new formula at this time.

The change revises paragraph 54 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal concerning the Trinitarian ending of the Collect and similar prayers. Presiders will conclude the Collect and similar prayers using one of the following options:

    1. if the prayer is directed to the Father: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, GOD, for ever and ever;
    2. if the prayer is directed to the Father, but the Son is mentioned at the end: Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, GOD, for ever and ever;
    3. if the prayer is directed to the Son: Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, GOD, for ever and ever.

For a fuller explanation of the reasons for the change, click here.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word – ONLINE!

Limited seating at our Sunday liturgies, and an understandable anxiety over little ones being able to sit through the whole of the Mass has meant many of our families with young children have not been attending; and those who come also have missed out on a special time with our children’s catechist, Katelyn–it’s been suspended as part of the our COVID-19 protocols.

Katelyn has responded to their need to hear and understand God’s word on their terms despite the restrictions we currently operate under as a parish ministry. So, she’s going online!

Please click this link for instructions on having your children participate in Sunday’s Children’s Liturgy of the Word via Google Classroom.

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.

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: Wednesdays at 8 a.m.; Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.

Sacrament of Reconciliation: (Available by Appointment)
In the Parish Centre – 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) from end of Wednesday 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

Be afraid?

Mass readings for the 2nd Sunday of Lent:Genesis 22.1-2, 9-13, 15-18 Psalm 116 Romans 8.31b-35, 37 Mark 9.2-10 “Peter did not know what to say, for they were terrified.” Curious, strange and fearful things happened on Mt. Tabor. The famous Transfiguration we hear about today becomes something curiouser and curiouser the more one thinks on […]

The politics of righteousness

Mass readings for the 1st Sunday in Lent:Genesis 9:8-15 Psalm 25 1 Peter 3.18-22 Mark 1.12-15 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee…” The gospel writer is careful to make us aware of the danger Jesus faces. This is a time of political crackdown, a policy of intolerance toward all dissent and a […]

Choose to be chosen

Mass readings for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time:Leviticus 13.1-2, 45-46 Psalm 32 1 Corinthians 10.31 – 11.1 Mark 1.40-45 Those who read the Bible are apt to know that in ancient times, sickness and other misfortune was popularly seen as punishment for transgressions against the divine. For Jews this would be sinning against God’s […]

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Work on the Parish Centre continues, albeit it at a slower pace that we had planned. The big issue is the supply-chain slowdown that we've all been

Our Bell sounds again!

It may have come as surprise to some to hear the Angelus sound at 7 a.m. this Saturday. That signals the return to service of the St. Michael bell at

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