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November 27, 2020  

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we recently received new orders from the Provincial Health Authorities restricting at least for 2 weeks the public celebration of Mass and as disappointing this news is, I want to assure you that Holy Mass will continue to be celebrated privately each day and offered for you and your intentions by our Priests in every parish of our Diocese.

I am very grateful to all Priests and parishioners, particularly volunteers for what you have done and are still doing with our diocesan COVID protocols and precautions to keep our parishes safe.

During this temporary restriction, please continue to check the diocesan and your local parish website for live-stream Mass updates.  I have given an option to our priests to distribute Holy Communion to the faithful who attend Mass virtually.  The procedure for receiving Holy Communion after attending virtual Mass will be as follows:

Wait in your car in the designated area assigned by your local parish.  When the priest comes to your car, roll down your window and then extend your hand out the window to receive Holy Communion, remove your mask, and consume the Eucharist. At this time, Holy Communion is given only on the hand.

Our churches remain open for people to have private prayer as well as visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will also continue to be offered.  As we are committed to the safety and well being of all those entrusted to our care, please continue to observe all our COVID protocols and precautions.

As discouraged as you may feel, now is not the time to give in to our frustration and anger. Turn our feelings into something more positive by becoming more prayerful, understanding, patient and grateful. We must continue to be people of Faith, Hope and Charity. In the life of the Church and through the Saints, we have learned that God often uses challenges and difficulties like these moments to reveal Himself to us and we are called to trust in him and know that he turns all things into the greater good for our salvation.

Please continue to pray and offer our sacrifices to prevent further spread of the virus, to heal those who have been affected in so many ways by this pandemic, and that our churches may reopen for Christmas celebrations so that we may celebrate with community the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, our living Hope.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. John Vianney, our Diocesan Patrons, continue to protect and accompany us through this challenging pandemic.  

Sincerely yours in Christ,  

Joseph Phuong Nguyen

Bishop of Kamloops