All Souls’ Plenary Indulgence Extended

Special Bulletin: surgery delayed, Helena bumped (Oct. 21, 2020)

After a very stressful night’s vigil, we arrived at the hospital at the appointed hour. Helena was prepped for surgery, but because of a bed shortage, specifically a post-operative icu bed, the surgery could not go forward.

It is rescheduled to next Wednesday, 9 a.m. I will be returning to my duties in the meantime, after some sleep, and decompression!

We appreciate everyone’s prayers and best wishes. We will need them again for next week.

Special message from Fr. Whitfield (Oct. 17, 2020)

Beginning Wednesday, I will be formally absent from the parish (but still resident) for an expected period of a week to ten days. The reason for this is that our daughter, Helena, will be undergoing brain surgery this Wednesday morning.

This is related to the cancer she had almost ten years ago, to address a side-effect that has arisen from radiation therapy in the past.

Her surgeons and oncologist are very positive about the plan of treatment which is simply removal of the small tumor that has appeared. If all goes to plan, she should be home within a week, convalescing in the rectory.

The removed tissue will need to be analyzed to determine its nature (histology). This will take about ten days. Her medical team is optimistic that this will prove to be of a type that poses no threat once removed. Assuming this to be the case, what will follow is monitoring through more frequent MRI scans in the next year.

Msgr. Edward Sheridan has agreed to take the masses and offer confession as scheduled for next week, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. He is prepared to offer a further week’s coverage. He will also be available to the parish in the event of other pastoral needs.

I apologize for the short notice. While we had known that there was an issue for some months, had a consultation last week with McMaster medical and surgical staff, we were given the expectation that the surgery would be still some weeks off. We got the call Thursday.

Please know that Biserka, Helena and I are feeling confident about all this, and we are very grateful to find ourselves in the supportive community of faith of St. Augustine’s.

God bless you all.

Fr. Scott Whitfield

No hymnals, no problem: access words of the hymns on your phone! (Oct.17, 2020)

Available for the Saturday, 5 p.m. Mass, and Sunday, 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. Masses

To access hymns and mass responses using your cell phone or other wireless device:

Turn off “notifications” or set to “Do not disturb.”

If you have “data”, turn it off.

Scan for wireless signals

Find “Mass”

Connect. It will indicate “connected” and “no internet”

Open your browser, type in the url line, “”

A screen should appear with all the hymns and your parts of the mass.

Tap to open each. To return to the first screen, tap the menu button, don’t use your device’s or browser’s back button.


Welcome to our new volunteer coordinator and screening officers (Oct. 7, 2020)

The parish welcomes as its new volunteer coordinator, Karen Kiely who will be the parish’s principal contact for those looking to volunteer with the parish. She is joined by Allan Veri who many of you know as one our ushers. Both are longstanding, faithful parishioners.

One of their key duties will be volunteer screening according to diocesan guidelines. Another aspect of their work will be to assist parish ministries, such as our youth group, with their volunteer needs and other other matters of due diligence when leading groups in activities both on the parish campus as abroad.

Karen and Alan will be conducting a review of our records, and if you are currently a volunteer, or a recent one, you may receive a call from them as they check that our records are correct, and up-to-date.

Karen can be contacted through the parish at


To sign up 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.

Diocese directs no “private events” in parish halls. (Sept. 25 update)

The diocese has issued a clarification for parishes and the use of their halls and other meeting facilities. New restrictions issued September 19 by the provincial government concerning unmonitored private gatherings and organized public events do not apply to staffed facilities such as those operated by parishes for parish meetings of ministry groups and societies. Meetings such as those of the Knights of Columbus, or for Bible study are monitored private events, and may have up to 50 participants indoors with adequate social distancing and observation of mandated COVID-19 protocols.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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: 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

The Greatest Commandment: LOVE GOD FIRST

Mass readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time:Exodus 22.21-27 Psalm 18 1 Thessalonians 1.5c-10 Matthew 22.34-40 What is the greatest commandment? Do we remember it, from day to day? When we hear Catholic celebrities, politicians, heavens, Catholic clergy claiming devotion to the faith; or fellow Catholics defend their opinions as grounded in an authentic […]

Whose head is this?

Jesus today verbally duels with the Pharisees and the Herodians. These are two group that hate each other, but they are making common cause to bring down Jesus. And they put to him a question, but as the gospel tells us, it is not an innocent or sincere question. It is a trap. They hope […]

The Vineyard and the Wicked Tenants

Mass Readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time:Isaiah 5.1-7 Psalm 80 Philippians 4.6-9 Matthew 21.33-43 As Thanksgiving approaches, today’s gospel passage gains a special poignance. Jesus speaks today of how God has provided a vineyard—and we can understand this world we inhabit, derive a living from, in which we raise families and build communities, […]

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Parish News

No hymnals, no problem

Access words of the hymns on your phone! Available for the Saturday, 5 p.m. Mass, and Sunday, 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. Masses To access hymns and

Food & Faith 2020

The Youth Ministry’s first ever “virtual” Food & Faith! The Youth Ministry’s “Food & Faith” series is one of our most popular Ministry

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