The Catholic Weekly 17 May 2020

Larger celebration will gradually be allowed. However this will depend upon us all exercising responsibility in keeping infection rates low and demonstrating that we are trustwor- thy in these matters.” Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP SYDNEY’S CHURCHES re- opened on Friday for prayer and Masses in line with the first stage of easing coronavi- rus restrictions in the state. Archbishop Anthony Fish- er OP said as the number of COVID-19 infections contin- ues to decline, many Catho- lics had welcomed the pros- pect of returning to Mass after two-months. “The celebration of Mass is the highest form of Catholic worship and to not be able to physically gather these past two months has been very difficult for Catholics,” he told The Catholic Weekly . “Whilst livestreaming of Mass has helped people to continue to pray along at home it is no substitution for being able to be physical- ly present and receiving the Eucharist. “While it will take some time to return to larger cel- ebrations, this first step will offer comfort to many Catho- lics who have been deeply missing attending Mass,” he said. Churches closed on 23 March at the request of gov- ernment health officials re- sponding to the global pan- demic and Catholics grew hopeful when Prime Minis- ter Scott Morrison on 8 May presented his three-step plan out of the lockdowns. It appeared to indicate there would be a gradual reopening of churches with up to 10 worshippers during step one, along with a rise in the numbers of people per- mitted at weddings and fu- nerals. Step two would allow up to 20 worshippers at a time, and step three a maximum of 100. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that from 15 May churches would be al- lowed indoor funerals with up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30 and up to 10 worshippers in religious gatherings in places of wor- ship. In his fifth pastoral letter relating to the pandemic, the archbishop outlined the gen- eral hygiene and distancing precautions to be observed as well as the special precautions for liturgies. He encouraged all clergy and the faithful to download the Federal Government’s Cov- idSafe App and abide by the latest public health advisories. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 HOW PRIESTS COPED P24 Churches are open Parishes offer prayer, confession and small scale Masses in easing of COVID-19 restrictions ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues THEY SAY you can’t teach an old dog new tricks … just don’t tell 101-year-old Italia Bonfill. The fiercely-independent centenarian, who previously thought Google was some- thing a baby does, has been using the latest technology to keep connected with her fam- ily during social distancing rules enforced due to COV- ID-19 and is loving it. Skpe and FaceTime are now part of her daily routine and waits patiently for staff at Bex- ley’s Scalabrini Village to get her onlinewith the outsideworld. Having lived through wars, moon landings and even nine Popes, she doesn’t always re- member why her family aren’t visiting but is filled with joy when she sees them pop up on her computer screen. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 ¾ ¾ Debbie Cramsie Scalabrini keeps family ties in place 17, May, 2020 CHINA’S STUBBORN CHRISTIANS GREAT VIEWING: THE CHOSEN P20 Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services P12 Switched on …. Centenarian Italia Bonfill skypes her 71-year-old son Charles