COVID-19: Update to Diocesan Guidelines by Bishop Malzaire

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

We are living in challenging times of pandemic proportions brought about with the advent of COVID-19 known as Corona Virus. You would have heard by now that Dominica has recorded its second confirmed case. While it tells us of the reality of this unwanted guest among us, it also challenges us to be responsible in curbing its spread and eventually eliminating its presence.

In the last few weeks, I have issued guidelines regarding our liturgical celebrations and proper hygienic practices in the face of COVID-19. These we need to continue to observe with strictness.  With the arrival of the virus among us, we need to intensify our discipline towards the disease. In that regard, I appeal to seniors, students and those with medical conditions to stay home. Please stay home and save lives!

I appeal also to all and sundry to practice respiratory etiquette, like coughing or sneezing into a flexed elbow or tissue and throwing the tissue into a closed bin; regular hand washing, social distancing of about ten feet and strictly avoiding touching the face.

Moreover, I solicit the cooperation of all Clergy and faithful in the Diocese to adhere strictly to the following updates to our previous guidelines:

  1. Effective immediately, all public church gatherings, including Lenten Retreats, Sunday and weekday Masses are suspended until further notice.
  1. As regards funerals, it is advised the no more than 10 persons attend and that the service be of a reasonably short duration.
  1. The celebration of the Mass of the Holy Chrism will take place at the Cathedral Chapel on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 with a group of the clergy.
  1. The celebrations of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Masses will take place at the Cathedral Chapel and Parish Churches with no more than 10 people.
  1. Arrangements are being made to provide a live stream of all the Sunday Masses and Holy Week celebrations from the Cathedral Chapel on Dominica Catholic Radio, television and social media in order to give the faithful the opportunity to unite themselves to these celebrations while remaining at home.
  1. Therefore, due to this grave circumstance the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation and can make spiritual communion by following the Mass via television, radio of other social media.

While public church gatherings are suspended, the Churches will remain open for private prayer.

  1. The youth office will be closed until further notice.

 

I reiterate the following instructions which I gave in a previous guideline:

  1. I invite all members of the Clergy and Religious in the Diocese to do a personal daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer for the Church and the Nation as we work towards preventing/combating the deadly COVID-19.
  1. I encourage families to stay united in prayer e.g. the recitation of the Holy Rosary, engaging in the spiritual reading of the Bible (Lectio Divina), the Divine Office, meditation, family novenas, etc.
  1. More than ever before, we must be mindful of the need to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Let us remember those in the region and around the world who have contracted the virus and those who have succumbed to its mortal effects. May their souls rest in peace

My dear friends, in Dominica, we are familiar with challenging times, in both the recent and distant past, all of which we have overcome. We find consolation in the words of St. Paul when he says: “Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or attacked.  As scriptures promised:  for your sake we are being massacred daily and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.  These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loves us.  For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince,  nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39).

By faithfully following the appropriate guidelines and putting our trust in our God, we will overcome this present challenge. God bless you all!

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3 Comments

  1. March 25, 2020

    @The Watchman, what exactly are you watching for?

    Your mention of 3 months ago has no grounds here. Covid-19 is a Worldwide pandemic, what is your point about Lent and Easter in Dominica? Is Lent Season, and Easter not a Worldwide observation among Christians all over the World?

    The Catholic Church dominates the Christian Churches all over the World, are you saying that there are no Christians or Catholic Churches in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the USA? What are the reasons they are having to deal with massive numbers of Covid-19 patients, including their deaths?

    Perhaps you need to put politics out of your mind; maybe you will see a bit clearer, but until then your vision has no grounds.

  2. The Watchman
    March 25, 2020

    Ezekiel 33:36
    “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
    It’s good to listen to all the holy and concerned announcements from our holy and spiritual leaders.
    I don’t know if DNO will post my comment because generally speaking truth offends, but here is my observation: I take note of the timing of the coronavirus and somehow it came during the time of Easter, one of our holiest times of the Christian calendar. That’s the time we see more people in church, the time we celebrate the death, burial and Resurrection of Christ. Somehow this year, less than 3 months after the same local religious body violated their spiritual and biblical consciences to promote and partake in the evil of politicians during the Dec. 6th election, our churches are forced to close doors during…

    • The Watchman
      March 25, 2020

      That’s why I say to the Bishop, priests, the Evangelist, our pastors, preachers and church goers that when we fail to take a stand against Evil and instead become partakers of Evil, the one that is greater than us, greater than politicians will judge us. After the Evils before and after Maria the church had stood against ungodliness of our leaders, who knows maybe there would not be need to close our churches because of the plague. But instead we helped to condemn the few that stood against wrong. The last words I heard from the Bishop on the eve of the election was, let us vote for those that support us. I took note of that because I knew God heard that too. In closing, it’s Easter and there is no rain, no hurricane, our streets are opened but we cannot go to church! Do we stop to think of that? Remember, righteousness exalts a Nation but sin is a reproach to any people

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