Fr. Timothy Shea

Blog #24: Various Variants and Some Loose Ends

September 9, 2021

If I was a sports announcer, I would say that we are in Stage Three but being threatened by the Fourth Wave…

Usually in a parish September is a new beginning, not only for our school but also for parish meetings, organizations, programs and social events. A year ago now, I was anticipating that by September 2021 we would be almost back to normal, but this Delta variant has interfered with our plans.

It turns out that a virus needs targets to continue to evolve. Most Canadians have embraced the vaccination program in order to avoid being targets of the evolving COVID-19. However, before we had vaccines and now with some people not being vaccinated, variants of COVID-19 have emerged. Scientists name these variants according to the Greek alphabet. Here is the history of the COVID-19 variants: Alpha (December 2020, United Kingdom), Beta (December 2020, South Africa); Gamma (January 2021, Brazil); Delta (May 2021, India); Eta (March 2021); Iota (March 2021, USA); Kappa (April 2021, India); Lambda (June 2021, Peru); and Mu (August 2021, Columbia. As I understand it, if you have not been vaccinated, you give the virus a potential mutation playground. Then the virus is able to play with some of your body’s characteristics to change some of its own characteristics. To become a variant, most of the time the variant closely resembles the original virus, but the Delta variant became much more contagious and much more dangerous. As a result, it has hindered our Stage Three recovery.

Here is what I mean: in Ontario we have a thing called “Worship Safe”. It is an agreement between Provincial Public Health authorities and religious leaders. According to Stage Three of ‘Worship Safe”, all religious congregations will continue with physical distancing, face masks, no congregational singing and improved ventilation. However, Stage Three does allow for missals and prayer cards in the pews and distribution of bulletins and envelopes. Also, vigil candle stands can be opened; collections can be taken up; and hand sanitation is optional.

So here are our loose ends: because the Delta variant is a threat, our parish will continue with hand sanitizing; we will continue with the collection basket near the altar so you can make your donation when you come to receive Holy Communion; our vigil candles will be available; and prayer cards will be in the pews.

Hopefully more people will get vaccinated so that variants will be stunted and we can avoid a big fourth wave and get to Stage Four of “Worship Safe”.

To all of you, thank you so much for your support, for your many prayers, for your strong faith and for your generous financial donations which have allowed our parish to pay all our bills. Thanks to you, our parish is in great shape spiritually and financially. God Bless You.

Mailing Address:

3 Briscoe Street
Amherstview, ON
K7N 1X2