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Coronavirus -- The Church's information and advice

1 June 2020

POPE COMPOSES PRAYERS FOR END OF PANDEMIC

Pope Francis has asked Catholics to make a special effort to pray the Rosary during May and has composed two new prayers asking for Our Lady's intercession to help end the COVID-19 pandemic here.
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POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER FOR 
PROTECTION FROM CORONAVIRUS 

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign
of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain,
with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself,
and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.
Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test
– and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

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STATEMENTS IN RELATION TO
NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 

Letter from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR on gatherings in places of worship restrictions from June 1, 2020 here.

Click here for details of a new national registry to help churches track cases of COVID-19 in a bid to keep parishioners safe during the pandemic.

Letter from the Bishops of Victoria can be read here - May 14, 2020.

Information regarding gathering in our Churches here from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR May 12, 2020.

Click here for informaton regarding easing of COVID-19 restrictions from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR May 12, 2020.

Catholic Health Australia latest media release here May 15, 2020.

Information regarding the celebration of the Chrism Mass (Mass of the Oils) in the diocese in 2020 here from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR March 27, 2020.  

Further information about measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus here - March 24, 2020.

Victorian directive regarding places of worship - click here for the letter from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR issued March 23, 2020.  Places of worship also includes chapels.

Click here for the letter from Bishop Paul Bird CSsR.  This letter follows on from the Victorian Bishop's letter issued March 18 and inclues some additional notes for our diocese of Ballarat.

Click here for letter from the Catholic Bishops of Victoria - March 18, 2020.

See here for information from the Australian Catholic Bishop's ConferenceThe Bishops Conference is providing resources to support people's prayer life, including links to online Masses and a Sunday prayer resource. They can be accessed on this page.

Latest advice on COVID 19 from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services can be found here.

Catholic Health Australia also offer advice.


Links to Mass online in the Diocese:

  • St Mary Mackillop Parish, Western Border:  
    Masses can be viewed here.
          
  • St Joseph's Parish, Warrnambool:
    Masses can be viewed here or on facebook.  
     
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Mildura:  Masses available here.
     
  • St Patrick's Cathedral Parish, Ballarat:  Mass livestreamed daily at 11.30am can be viewed on facebook.

 

Links to Mass online outside the Diocese:

  • St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne: The 1.00pm Mass is streamed live daily (Mon-Fri) and is then available as a recording on-demand until one hour prior to the next Mass.  Sunday Mass is available, with the 11.00am Mass live streamed and it is also available as a recording on-demand. Watch here.
     
  • CathNews YouTube Channel:   Daily Mass on Demand here.
     
  • Mass with Bishop Shane Mackinlay:  Streamed from St Kilian's Parish Bendigo on their website or facebook.
     
  • From the Bishop’s House Chapel in the Cairns Diocese: Streamed on YouTube here, the daily schedule is 9.00am Morning Prayer; 12.00noon Midday Prayer; 3.00pm Office of Readings; 5.00pm Evening Prayer; 5.00pm Mass of the Day; 6.00pm Night Prayer of the Church.
     
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Perth:  Sunday Mass on YouTube here.
  • Pope Francis’ daily Mass: Pope Francis’ daily Masses are available online through the Vatican’s website and YouTube channel. Watch here.
     
  • Mass for You at Home: This program has been allowing the faithful to participate in Mass from their homes for many years. Mass for You at Home is broadcast on Eleven and Network Ten on Sundays and Aurora Channel on Foxtel every day. Watch here or at 10play here.
     
  • Word on Fire: Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire, Bishop Robert Barron has been using new media to evangelise for over a decade. Watch here or on YouTube here.
     
  • EWTN Global Catholic Network:  Daily Catholic Mass here.

 

Resources

  • Sunday Scripture reflections:  Provided by Sr Veronica Lawson rsm are on the diocesan website. 
  • LiturgyHelp:  Access to a website with resources for the people of the Ballarat diocese.  Click here for the flyer, which contains information on how to access the site.  Please be aware that this is not the full version of LiturgyHelp.  Parishes in the Ballarat diocese who already subscribe to LiturgyHelp continue to have their full access to the much broader resources. They should log in as they normally would and may continue to distribute any resources as necessary.  Updates will be provided on the LiturgyHelp facebook page.
  • Emmaus Productions is providing free resources during this COVID-19 Easter and Pentecost season.  As the pandemic continues to restrict community celebrations and liturgy, and as anxiety and uncertainty trouble people’s hearts and minds, we hope these resources help to reassure you that the new dawn of Easter and the Spirit of healing and strength will radiate within your heart and blaze across our world.
  • Pray at home:  Resources provided by the Australian Catholic Bishop's Conference.
  • Pray as you Go:  Daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.
  • Sacred Space:  10 minute prayer and reflection.
  • Magnificat Community:  Daily readings, prayers and hymns for personal or family prayer, now free.
  • Give Us This Day:  Daily readings, prayers, hymns and reflections, now free.
  • The Liturgy of the Hours:  Prayed at certain times throughout the day.
  • Universalis:  Mass Readings and prayers, Liturgy of the Hours. 
  • Ignatian Spirituality:  Ignatian Wisdom for Troubled Times. 
  • Liturgy Brisbane:  Are providing weekly resources for scripture reflection and family activities.  Pentecost Sunday readings with associated commentaries and prayers for families to gather  togther to read the Scriptures. Pentecost Sunday family prayer designed for families with young children with an extract from the Sunday gospel, along with some reflection questions, a family activity and a worksheet for children.
  • Garratt Publishing haved teamed with Liturgical Press in the US to provide a range of resources that can be used to pray and reflect at home.   Check their Facebook Page for updates on more free resources.
  • Psalms and chants from Marist Music - select Easter 3A for the psalm and gospel chant available as sheet music or audio.|

  • Seeking Stillness Playlist from Gen Bryant.  Beautiful psalm music and Gospel meditations.

  • Other helpful websites are the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst and the Archdiocese of Melbourne

Family Activities:

  • Strong Catholic Family Faith:  Tips to help parents talk with children about the coronavirus, a list of fun and educational things to do with kids at home and more.
  • Tiny Saints:  Free downloads and activities for families who may miss school, Mass and other events.
  • CathFamily:  Weekly interactive experience with a short animated video on the Sunday reading, questions to stimulate discussion, a simple activity and prayer. 
  • Sermons 4 Kids: Scripture story reflections, activities such as colouring-in sheets. Shared by different churches.
  • Sunday Connection:  Gospel resources for children of different ages. Detailed Lesson Plans
  • JClub for Kids:  Resources for kids and families. Stories, Activities, Media.
  • Young Catholic Mums:  Melbourne based. Resources for families.
  • Catholic Kids:  Prayers, stories, activities.
  • St Mary’s Press: Reflections for young people and children, updated daily.
  • Catholic Icing:  Catholic crafts and more for kids.

 

Online Formation

Heart to Heart e-Seminars:   Archbishop Chris Prowse, Canberra-Goulburn Diocese will be presenting these 30 minute e-seminars over four weeks, leading you into a deeper relationship with Christ during this time of isolation here. 

Pentecost Pilgrimage:  Catholics are invited to join others worldwide on a spiritual pilgrimage to Pentecost here. Register for free to receive a series of talks which are uploaded twice a week from speakers around the world, including from Australia Archbishop Porteous (Hobart), Fr Ken Barker MGL, Founder and Moderator of the Missionaries of God’s Love, Robert Falzon, Cofounder of menALIVE, and Daniel Ang, Director of Parish 2020, Sydney Archdiocese. Go to 

With Jesus in the Desert: A retreat for a time of isolation:  The staff of Jesuit Communications have prepared a 14-day retreat for the use of people who have to isolate themselves for 14 days during the Coronavirus crisis.  Of course, other people who may find it helpful are also welcome to use it.  The retreat has suggestions for each of the 14 days, though participants are free to follow it through or to pick out particular days. A shorter retreat that keeps the basic pattern could involve days 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14.  More information here.

 

Statement from the Vicar General, Fr Kevin Maloney can be read below:

I never thought we would be in the situation of not celebrating public Masses and heading into insolation and deep distress.

The next few months will bring hardship and pain.  We need to be conscious that we are “the People of God” and act accordingly.  Hopefully love of God and respect for neighbour will sustain us as we move forward.

I realise that some of information distributed will not please all, but all groups and bodies need to pull together and help create situations that are life giving and lead to a strengthening of community.

 

Statement from the Diocesan Business Manager, Andrew Jirik can be read below:

With the immediate suspension of public liturgies until further notice, a number of parishioners have already expressed concern for the welfare of their priests, especially around their income support via the first collection.

The Diocese of Ballarat has a fund that will be able to support parish priests and their presbytery, financially through this unprecedented period.

The Ballarat Clergy Assistance Fund is an association of the Ballarat diocesan clergy, under the auspices of the Bishop, to ensure adequate remuneration for all diocesan clergy.  The BCAF is designed to assist the Ballarat diocesan clergy in matters related to their financial welfare throughout their life of ministry.  Whilst not significant, the BCAF has over its 22 year history accumulated reserves that will be further drawn on to support your local priest.  Currently this Fund supports priests where the first collection does not cover their costs, including those of the presbytery, and whilst Masses are not going ahead this support, will simply be extended to all parishes.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Ballarat Clergy Assistance Fund or your parish, please contact your parish. 

 

Statement from Audrey Brown, Director of Catholic Education can be read below:

Catholic Education Ballarat is working with the government and independent school sectors, and acting on the latest advice provided by the Australian and Victorian Chief Medical Officers to the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd, to ensure that our practices are helping to keep our school communities safe from the outbreak.

As parents/guardians, you have a critical role in helping the school manage this situation:

  • Exercise good judgment by keeping children home if they are feeling unwell for any reason
  • Talk to children about the situation, as they may be feeling anxious or stressed. You have a key role in helping students feel prepared and safe
  • Encourage children to be proactive and committed to their schoolwork, and to stay connected with the school and their teachers.

Please be advised that this is a rapidly evolving situation and therefore advice to school communities will change quickly. Parents/guardians should pay attention to all information and advice from their child’s school relating to their community’s response to coronavirus. 

We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese
we gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the sea
in interwoven faith communities. Spirit filled
we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Diocesan Vision Statement 2005

All Enquiries

PO Box 576
Ballarat, Victoria 3353

Phone +61 3 5337 7111

Where to find us

Catholic Diocese of Ballarat
5 Lyons Street South
Ballarat, Victoria 3353