By Ivy Chai
KUCHING — Christians tuning in to the Sunday Masses live-streamed from St Joseph’s Cathedral on 28 June received the much-awaited news of the reopening of churches.
Archbishop Simon Poh said at the end of the English Mass, “It is with great joy that I announce that churches in our Archdiocese are gradually reopening for Mass for an initial 100 Catholics. When respective parish service teams are familiar with the implementation of safety protocols, we will gradually increase the quotas on Sunday Masses and gradually resume daily Weekday Masses after everyone is familiar with the social distancing protocols when coming to church.”
He informed that some smaller outstation Churches in Lundu, Bunan Gega, Tebedu, Sri Aman, Betong, Saratok have already resumed Masses this weekend.
Other Kuching City Parish churches planning to reopen on the weekend of 4-5 July will be St Joseph’s Cathedral, St Mark’s Church, Carmelite Church, St Peter’s Church, Padungan and Mother Mary Chapel, Stutong. St Ann’s Church Kota Padawan will open up only for the assigned Taman-Taman at Mile 10.
City parishes are now evaluating the best method of registration for the limited seats available to parishioners, bearing in mind the SOP protocols on safety. A system of rotational allocation will be implemented to give every parishioner a chance to attend Mass in Church.
Meanwhile, the live-streaming of Masses which are currently celebrated in English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia will continue until restrictions on Masses are removed.
A revised Mass schedule, time and languages of all Masses will be made available in the coming days on the Archdiocesan webpage and the respective parish websites.
Archbishop Simon Poh appeals to all Catholics to be “patient and to wait for your turn to come to Masses.” He added, “We are proceeding cautiously to ensure that every Catholic Church is be a safe environment for worship and where all Catholics can gradually come to receive Holy Communion.”