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Mar 25
Parishes Continue Reaching Out During COVID-19 Pandemic

​The COVID-19 health crisis has changed the daily rhythms of our lives in so many ways. As we continue to adapt to the pandemic, it can be difficult to know what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. 

Although the routines of parish life have changed in recent weeks, many parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto have found innovative ways to continue their ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some creative things happening in the archdiocese that your parish may want to try doing: 

  • Many parishes are conducting telephone outreach to parishioners, especially to the homebound and vulnerable. A few pastors have even used robo-call technology to contact as many parishioners as possible with a short heartfelt message.
  • A number of priests are livestreaming Masses on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media sites. There are so many priests doing this that we can’t list them all. But long-time livestreamers (such as St. Maximilan Kolbe Parish in Mississauga) and new livestreamers (such as St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Vaughan or Saint Louis de France Parish in Toronto) are great complements to the other Masses being posted on the archdiocese’s COVID-19 site. See if your parish is livestreaming the Mass.
  • Fr. Liborio at St. Mary’s Parish in Brampton has been posting light-hearted daily updates on the parish’s YouTube channel. Father Neiman D'Souza at St. Joseph’s Parish in Streetsville has been offering daily reflections
  • Social justice ministries are finding creative ways to continue helping others. For instance, some St. Vincent de Paul volunteers continue to distribute food cards, but now they are mailed instead of entering the person’s residence. Good Shepherd Ministries and St. Francis Table has reduced its in-building meals and is offering bagged lunches instead.
  • And new charitable work is being done to respond to our times (for instance, parishes that have been asking younger parishioners to get groceries and medication for more vulnerable parishioners).
  • Precious Blood Parish in Scarborough is offering a live cam of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • St. André Bessette Parish in Vaughan is using its Instagram feed for live prayers, Mass and Eucharistic adoration. And Fr. Peter has taped selfies that his parishioners sent him onto chairs so they can be with him in spirit as he celebrates his private daily Masses. 
  • In-person events are cancelled at the Newman Centre Catholic Mission at the University of Toronto. However, the chaplaincy is using Zoom, an online video conferencing system, to meet virtually for the rosary, bible study and social time.
  • Parishioners at Blessed Frédéric Ozanam Parish in Markham will be taking part in an online Lenten mission from March 29 to 31. The mission happens every night from 8-9:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You can learn more on the organizer's website, Casting Nets Ministries.  
  • St. Patrick’s Parish in Markham has created an Incident Management Team that meets daily on Microsoft Teams to proactively serve the needs of its parishioners. Their prayer ministry also meets daily on Microsoft Teams to pray for the needs of the community and for the prayer requests they receive. 

There are certainly many more examples of parishes reaching out in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have other examples have parishes coming up with creative ways to do God’s work, please let us know at: 


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