Fr. Timothy Shea
Blog #20: Some Stats
March 9, 2021
One year ago, I was like you wondering about this pandemic thing…what would it be like? How long would it last? Would I get sick? For a while it seemed to be in other places: China, Italy, New York…then we shut down…it was here…I was naive!!! I thought it would last a month - maybe 2 months at most…then basketball and hockey games were cancelled; you could not find any toilet paper to buy; schools, churches and businesses were closed, etc.…
It has been quite a year since then. Our churches were closed from mid-March to the end of June and from Boxing Day to mid-February. As a result, we went from distributing 22,025 Holy Communions at Blessed Sacrament Church in 2019 to just 5,850 in 2020. At St. Linus Church we went from 4,230 in 2019 to 1,760 in 2020. However, thanks to you and your generosity our parish revenue did not dip much because parishioners who did not come to Mass continued with their regular donations; and when Masses were permitted again, the parishioners who attended Mass increased their donation to help make up for those who could not attend.
Also, like you I am now wondering when I will get the vaccine; when will we be able to have our usual parish celebrations and activities. Some parishioners have asked me about the vaccines... the answer is take whatever vaccine is available for you. The most important thing right now is for you and as many people as possible to have immunity to COVID-19.
Last year we were not allowed to have any Holy Week celebrations. So far it looks like we will have them this year, but they will not be like past years. No Adoration time after the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Because we are allowed only 30% capacity in the church and worship services have to be shortened, we will have two Good Friday services: 11 am and 3 pm. You will need to request assigned seating for those services and for Easter Sunday Masses.
So far Canada has had almost 900,000 COVID-19 cases and 22,258 have died. Ontario’s share of those numbers is 315,000 cases and 7,061 deaths. We have been very fortunate in our area being in a green zone, thanks to our proactive public health team and dedicated healthcare workers. “COVID fatigue” has become a factor for all of us, let us continue to pray for the repose of the souls of those who have died and for all our healthcare heroes.