The Government of Ontario has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the government has ordered all public Masses be cancelled.
During this difficult time, here are some ways to stay connected to the life of the Church that do not require being in a physical church building.
Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion - a Sure Support in Time of Trial: Prayers, supplications, and the Pope’s homilies edited by the Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See.
Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic.
Pandemic and Universal Brotherhood: A note on COVID-19 from the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops highlighting the importance of faith and prayer during this time.
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity: An ecumenical and interfaith message to Canadians from 80 religious leaders in Canada in response to COVID-19.
Daily Mass with Cardinal Collins from St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica in Toronto. Available through
livestream (Monday to Saturday: 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time; Sunday: 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time) and
archived for your convenience.
Spiritual Communion is a way to be united with Christ when we cannot physically receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. It can be made at home or in church, in front of the Blessed Sacrament or not.
How do I do it?
Start with the sign of the cross and prayer.
Read and reflect on the
readings from Mass that day.
Have a real desire to be united with Christ.
Acknowledge your sins and ask for pardon and forgiveness.
Receive Christ in your soul and pray an act of Spiritual Communion (see below).
St. Alphonsus Liguori's Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now 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.
Take some time every day to read and pray with the
Scripture from the Mass of the day. This helps us stay connected to the life of the Church.
Magnificat is making their online version available to everyone for free temporarily. Included in this offer is online access to
Magnifikid! which provides a weekly newsletter for children featuring the Sunday readings and other prayers.
Videos from various priests in the U.K., based on the daily Mass readings.
Read the Daily Gospel through Art.
You can pray with Scripture using a traditional prayer known as
The Liturgy of the Hours is a way to pray the Psalms while also marking and consecrating time. It allows us to pray in common, even when we cannot be physically together. In fact, it is called the Prayer of the Church.
Universalis is a free online Liturgy of the Hours resource. Keep in mind that the free version uses the company's translation so it might be a bit different than the standard translation in a hard copy of the Liturgy of the Hours. Also, make sure you set your location to Canada. After that, all you need to do is pick your hour on the left sidebar and start praying!
ibreviary is an app and website that provides the daily prayers for the Liturgy of the Hours.
How to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
Pray the Rosary and Regina Caeli with Cardinal Collins every day after the 7:30 a.m. Mass from St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Available through
archived for your convenience.
A Prayer amid an Epidemic by Kerry Weber.
Pray the Litany of Trust, a prayer composed by Sr. Faustina Maria Pia from the Sisters of Life. Ask Jesus to deliver us from the things that hold us bound and to place our trust in His promises.
Start your own Discipleship Quad, an online Prayer Group with free resources from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Online Holy Spirit Novena Retreat featuring various priests from St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto. The retreat is made up of a series of 30-minute video presentations that will be made available on the Seminary's
Facebook page and
Youtube channel. Each video will be released at 7 a.m. daily from Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 31, 2020.
This is not the time to stop learning about our faith! Register today for a
course or seminar from the
University of Dayton.
in English and
Dates: July 12 - August 15, 2020.
Registration begins May 27 and closes July 8.
Certificates of completion offered conjointly with the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Cost: $50 US per course for members of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
For more information, contact Connie Price, Associate Director of Catechesis, at
email@example.com or 416-934-3400, ext. 513.
FORMED: Stream Catholic movies, programs, audio and books. Please contact your parish for access or enjoy a free trial for 40 days.
The Quarantined Catholic Hub: Free resources from Dr. Scott Hahn, including a weekly Sunday Bible Reflection.
The Upper Room: Free webinars, talks, daily inspirational messages and resources from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Alpha Online: Now more than ever people are seeking to have honest conversations about life and faith. Alpha can provide you with all the tools and resources you need to reach your community.
Word on Fire's 8 Principles of Evangelization: A free online course from Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Great Story of Jesus from the Catherine of Siena Institute: The video and guide are available for free until June 1st. The guide contains prayers, reflection questions and related writings from saints, popes and Church teaching to guide individuals and small groups as they encounter Jesus in his story.
Check in on your neighbours and offer help when you can. Even though we should practice social distancing, we can still call or write emails and letters to those who are isolated or vulnerable.
We can pray for all of those impacted by this virus.
The Church depends on the generous offerings of our earthly treasure to continue the work of God. Online giving will be an important lifeline for parishes and the larger community while we are not able to attend Mass.
Please consider making your Sunday offering online and continue giving to charitable causes (such as
ShareLife) as you are able.
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Office of Formation for Discipleship is at your service. Explore the
resources that we have curated for your various ministries and contact us if we can help you adapt these programs to your particular pastoral needs.
Free webinars from Parish Catalyst to help you build a vibrant parish.
Revive: 3-month trial now available for online courses for parish leaders.
Vibrant Faith: A series of free and low-cost webinars on a range of faith formation topics.
Suggestions for Clergy and Parish Staff from the Archdiocese of Washington: An infographic with 10 great suggestions that come with hyperlinks to practical examples.
Tips from the Diocese of Green Bay for working remotely, digital meetings and livestreaming.
#CatholicsAtHome: Prayers and other suggestions from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Training, resources and support from the
Amazing Parish to equip pastors and parish leadership teams for innovative ministry in a time of crisis.
Now is Our Time, Now is Our Moment: Planting Spiritual Victory Gardens: An insightful article by Deacon Ditewig for deacons and for anyone willing to put their professional skills at the service of Christ and neighbour.
RCIA in a Time of Pandemic: A video from the Office of Formation for Discipleship that offers some suggestions, recommendations, and resources for RCIA directors and catechists on how to continue the RCIA journey in this time of global pandemic.
Unemployed Together: Millions of people are now unemployed as a result of the Coronavirus shutdown. During these challenging times, use these six small-group sessions to help unemployed workers in your parish see that God is still working in their lives. The material is free but a free will offering is welcome.
Copyright Information on Streaming and Video-Recording Liturgical Celebrations from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
How to Pray the TV Mass from Home: Some helpful steps from the Diocese of Sioux Falls for creating a sacred space at your home.
Loyola Press offers developmentally suitable guides to each Sunday's Liturgy of the Word.
At Home with Your Faith: A day-by-day compilation of suggestions from the Archdiocese of Baltimore to help you live faith in the domestic church, your home.
Tools for Schools: During this stay-at-home Easter season, Novalis offers free downloadable activities for families.
The simplicity of Taizé Songs makes them perfect choices for children of all ages. Find Lenten selections such as Jesus, Remember Me or Stay with Me, on your favorite music streaming service. The
Taizé Community Choir album is a good choice.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd USA is offering a wealth of resources tailored to a child's developmental stage. These range from how to prepare a prayer table, praying with children at home, developmentally suitable scripture passages, and resources for celebrating liturgical seasons at home.
Elizabeth Foss offers free downloads of her Stories of Grace prayer journal for children, including
a series of reflections on the parables.
Daniel Mitsui offers beautiful
free coloring sheets, suitable for older children.
Growing in Faith Growing in Christ Online Resources: Religion resources for students in grades 1 to 6 available during school closures. Sponsored by the Catholic Bishops of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
The Way of Christ faith formation program: During the COVID-19 quarantine, the St. Philip Institute encourages you to follow the Way of Christ. Download their small catechism for free and work through the lessons using the videos and 10-question quizzes for each lesson.
Articles by Dr. Joseph White, child and family psychologist and catechetical consultant for Our Sunday Visitor, concerning families and children coping with the COVID-19 outbreak.
ProjectYM Live: A live online youth night run every Sunday night, covering a different topic each week.
Life Teen hosts a live event every Sunday primarily for teens. They also have a library of videos that focus on liturgy, current issues, entertainment and Church teachings with a youth audience in mind.
Contact John MacMullen, Associate Director for Youth Ministry at the Office of Catholic Youth, for a listing of online live engagements offered by parish youth ministries across the Archdiocese of Toronto.
ODB Films offers short videos and films for youth that engage various topics surrounding the Catholic faith.
National Catholic Partnership on Disability Covid-19 Resources: This U.S.-based site is updated daily. It contains a wide range of resources that may help those with mental health issues, autism, caregiving responsibilities, dementia, physical and cognitive special needs throughout this time of crisis.
ASL Mass Livestream from the International Catholic Deaf Association, Canadian Section.
Prayers and Stations of the Cross in ASL from Fr. MD's Kitchen Table.
Catholic Cemeteries & Funeral Services, Archdiocese of Toronto.
Funerals in the Time of Coronavirus: Thoughts for Families Reflective suggestions for families who have just experienced a loved one's death from the novel coronavirus.
Prayers and resources from the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).
The New Charter for Health Care Workers is a revision and updating of the earlier 1994 edition, also produced by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. The work is divided into three major sections: “Procreating,” “Living,” and “Dying.” Each lays out authoritative teachings in medical ethics grounded in the traditional resources of the Church.
Divine Mercy: Now More Than Ever: An article that explores the relevance of the message of Divine Mercy for healthcare professionals and patients. It also provides links to the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers, and a free digital copy of the book
Nursing with the Hands of Jesus: A Guide to Nurses for Divine Mercy by Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN.
Washing your Hands, Catholic Style from the Diocese of Dallas: A fun illustrated guide to washing your hands to the words of the Our Father and the Apostles Creed.
The Catholic Register: Free access to the digital edition for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Center for Loss and Life Transition provides articles by its Director, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, related to grief and loss as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updated regularly.
Remaining Spiritually Engaged in Your Own Home: Practical suggestions for the entire family to stay spiritually engaged while confined to home.
How to Flourish During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Ways to grow and flourish the interior reflection during this pandemic. This is the product of research from the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard.
Faith in Isolation is a platform created to spiritually nourish those isolated from their faith practices as a result of COVID-19. The platform features webinars, brief videos on the daily Mass readings, and livestreaming from the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham and the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Brompton, London.
Practical resources from the
Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute on end of life decision-making and advance care planning in light of COVID-19.
Spiritual First Aid for a Virtual Community: Stronger Together While Physically Apart by Dr. Josephine Lombardi.
Pallium, in collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is providing free access to
essential education on palliative care for all health care professionals in response to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This offer expires on August 31, 2020.