“Be ready to abandon this mortal life rather than the people committed to your care. Go forward among the plague-stricken as to life, as to a reward, even if there is only one soul to be won to Christ.” —St. Charles Borromeo
[Last Updated : 25 March, 2020 @ 8:40 p.m.]
On 23 March, 2020 the New Zealand Government, in an effort to slow or contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, has closed all public venues, and directed all in New Zealand to self-isolate. This effectively prohibits the offering of public Masses or functions until at least after Easter.
Nevertheless, Masses will still be offered by the priests privately, Catechism classes and other conferences, will be offered as we are able and we are working on means to provide the Sacraments to those in need, especially the most necessary Sacraments, while still staying within the legal framework that the government has outlined.
Each day we will broadcast the private Mass of either Fr Johnson or Fr Laisney from the Priory chapel in Whanganui on our YouTube channel. Most days this will also include a Sermon. Fr Palko, in Auckland is working on Apologetics classes and some conferences to help provide other content for the home-bound. We are also working on various articles for the website for your edification.
Faithful in need of the Sacraments should contact their local chapel to see what options may be available. We are committed to doing whatever we can to provide for your spiritual needs, even if the usual means for doing that are shut to us now.
For the benefit of the faithful, they should know that until they are able to access once again Sunday and Holy Day Masses, they are exempted from this requirement. There is still a need to in some way sanctify the Sunday which could be done by :
- Reading the prayers of the missal for that day and contemplating them,
- Listening to, or reading good sermons or other spiritual reading (about 20-30 minutes is recommended as sufficient),
- Reading Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels and Epistles, and in particular the Passion accounts,
- Saying an extra Rosary, especially with others,
- Spending time in meditation and contemplation of the Christian Mysteries,
- Devoutly watch the recorded Mass from Whanganui,
- Listen to a sermon, or spiritual conference,
- or any other charitible or spiritual work similar to these.
Since these restrictions will go through Holy Week, it is important to remember that even if we are exempt from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass, the mandatory penance of Good Friday still obliges. Catholics 18-59 are bound to fast on this day, and those 14 and older are bound to abstain from meat. This binds under pain of grave sin, except those who are legitimately excused. This may be easy to forget with there being no Masses or Good Friday Liturgies.
Please also note that the Holy See, on 19 March, granted a Plenary Indulgence (a complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin) to those who are suffering from COVID-19 or are quarantined because of this. This would apply to all New Zealand Catholics. One in such a situation can obtain this by viewing Mass through some broadcast, praying the Rosary or at least praying the Apostles Creed, an Our Father, and a Hail Mary. Since the usual conditions of Communion and Confession are impossible to fulfil, one can gain this by desiring to do these as soon as reasonably possible. One can gain a plenary indulgence each day.
The Holy See also granted to all who are unable to receive Extreme Unction at this point, a plenary indulgence at the moment of death, if they are well-disposed, and at least have prayed during their lifetime.
To gain these indulgences it is necessary to intend to do so. Catholics ought to frequently make the intention to gain all indulgences possible, and intentionally do these actions.
We will update this page with further information as the situation changes, please bookmark and return for updates.
Please also consider helping to cover the lost revenue from having no public Masses, as the expenses of providing for our priests, brothers, sisters and the utilities needed to provide you this content and maintain our properties remain, despite this major source of income missing which will not be covered by any government benefit.