MIRI — The Church of Mater Dei (CMD) in Lutong will hold an open air mass at its carpark on Sunday (June 21) at 7am.
Bishop of Miri, the Rt Revd Richard Ng, said CMD will reopen this weekend along with St Joseph’s Cathedral; Carmelite Church; St Anthony’s Church, Tudan; and St Dominic and the Rosary Church, Taman Tunku.
“We are reopening these big churches first as they have plenty of space for social distancing and to avoid overcrowding and bottleneck situations,” he told The Borneo Post on Wednesday.
He said the open air mass at the CMD carpark is ideal for families with young children and for those in the high risk group as they will remain in their cars at all times.
During the mass, holy communion will be brought to them and no booking is needed.
The car park can accommodate over 100 cars with proper social distancing on a first come, first served basis, with the church gate opening at 6am.
Ng said the eagerly awaited reopening this weekend, which would adhere to the government’s standard operating procedures (SOP), would also involve the main churches in parishes outside of Miri.
“We have main churches in Bintulu, Tatau, Belaga, Sungai Asap, Sebauh, Lapok, Long Lama, Long San, Batu Niah, Marudi, Limbang, and Lawas. The chapels in the longhouses will reopen in stages once their SOP are ready,” he said.
Ng said the Church will gradually increase the number of masses once there is greater confidence that the safety of the people can be assured.
“Parishioners in Miri have options to choose from – they can register to attend mass in church or they can attend the open air mass held at the carpark of the Church of Mater Dei where they will remain in their cars at all times, or they can follow live streaming mass from home,” he added.
hose who wish to attend masses in church need to register and book a seat in advance.
They must call the dedicated phone number for the church and book a seat for the mass of their choice.
Due to the limited number of seats available, each caller is only allowed a maximum of two bookings.
Bookings are on a first come, first served basis with registration open today from 8am to 5pm.
The numbers to call are St Joseph’s Cathedral – 011-10748773, Church of Mater Dei – 011-10877320, Carmelite Church – 085-320824, and St Anthony’s Church – 011-10877322.
Further details are obtainable from the Diocese of Miri’s Facebook page.