On 15 June 2020, the Government permitted all non-Muslim houses of worship – apart from those located within the high risk areas or red zones – to reopen for their respective religious prayers and activities during the Recovery Movement Controlled Order (RMCO). After more than three months, we finally feel a sense of relief and alleviation, hearing this good news! The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has granted permission to all churches and chapels within its jurisdiction to reopen on 28 June 2020, with a one-third capacity congregation allowed to attend Mass, only on Sundays. Every Church is expected to regulate effective compliance with the requirements set out in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Ministry of National Unity (MNU) and National Security Council (NSC). Some of you would have read these SOPs, which were highlighted in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur’s Chancery Notice dated on 15 June 2020.
The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has instructed all parishes to study the SOP meticulously and implement this accordingly, before reopening for Sunday Mass on 28 June. In preparation for the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, our Parish has already formed a Parish Response Team (PRT). The PRT consists of 7 members – Gabriel Moses, Alan Jong, Mary Bernadette Peters, John Bosco Morais, Leonard Paiva, Dr Jeremy Prakash and Dr Sheela Theivanthiran. The PRT will be responsible for studying, planning, coordinating, preparing and applying the guidelines for the celebration of Sacraments during the RMCO and post-RMCO period. They will also be responsible for recruiting volunteers and giving them the necessary training.
As we move ahead, preparing for the reopening of our Church, the PRT will make sure the SOPs are strictly adhered to. We expect full cooperation and support from all Parishioners for a smooth resumption of our Sunday Eucharistic celebration. If the next couple of Sunday Masses proceed smoothly and without issues, we may probably move to the next phase, where we will be allowed to have multiple Weekend Masses, which will then include Saturday Sunset, Sunday Evening, as well as daily weekday morning masses besides the already approved Sunday Morning mass.
As the Coronavirus continues to infect many people and with the prediction of a second wave of infection, we wish to remind all Parishioners attending the Weekend Mass to wear your facial masks at all times when in the church premises, maintain strict social distancing and adhere to the SOP safety measures. Most of all, we strongly encourage Parishioners to adapt to this new norm and ensure strict discipline when coming for Mass on Sundays.
We have been given this opportunity to return to our churches after a long period of suspension resulting from the pandemic. During this RMCO period, we pray that every Parishioner continues to be responsible with regards the well-being and protection of our community, our families and the nation as a whole.
I would like to highlight some important measures to ensure safety and protection from this COVID-19 virus infection and the basic norms of health and hygiene protocols that we, as Parishioners, should observe during the current epidemic crisis, especially when we are in the Church premises.
As we are allowed to return to our house of God, let us make every effort and discipline ourselves to work towards a new way of life, and build a healthy nation – physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy