Welcome and Thank You for Visiting the St John the Divine Website.
We are making every effort to keep this website up-to-date with the latest information as we make our way through these challenging times. Please check back regularly for updates.
Latest information below:
- The Faithful of the Diocese of London from Bishop Fabbro April 23, 2021
- COVID-19 Update from Bishop Fabbro – April 17, 2021
- COVID-19 Update From Fr Danny Santos – April 16, 2021
- Link to the St John the Divine YouTube Streaming of Wednesday and Sunday Mass
23 April 2021
To: The Faithful of the Diocese of London
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Friday, the Government of Ontario communicated the news of the latest lockdown. The “stay-at-home” order was included so that we would avoid as much travel as possible, with as little movement as possible outside our homes. This order was put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus and its variants, to keep people safe and to protect lives. The variants are mutating rapidly and having a greater impact on young people, leading many more people to contracting some form of the virus and ending up in our hospitals, which are filling to capacity – and in some cases beyond capacity.
Following the announcement of the lockdown, I issued directives that were in line with restrictions that had been previously released, to respect the requirements of the Government while carrying on the best we can in our parishes. The directives were issued with the best intention of keeping people safe and stopping the spread of the virus. We acted out of charity and true concern for our neighbours, knowing these changes would require sacrifices from all of us.
Many who contacted me pointed out that two of these directives were particularly difficult: the closure of our churches and the deferral of Baptisms. I was asked: How is it that Baptisms could be deferred, but funerals and weddings allowed to proceed? If the Government allows ten people at a religious service, why can we not have Masses for the number allowed?
Many parents were concerned since their child’s Baptism had been deferred, then rescheduled, only to be deferred again. This became a hardship for some who would wish to go ahead with the celebration of Baptism, while others would choose not to venture forth with a newborn at this time. This desire for Baptism cannot be, however, a matter of fear that an unbaptized child would be separated from God in eternal life. That way of thinking puts limits on God’s grace that no human can determine.
With concern for the parents who have waited patiently for Baptism and who would really like the opportunity to celebrate it with their child, I hereby grant that pastors are allowed to use their discretion to celebrate the sacrament of Baptism in our parishes even during the present “stay-at-home” order. It is still preferable to defer Baptisms in the spirit of the order and to help prevent further spread, but I also wish these parents to have peace of mind and joy through the Baptism of their child. All the requirements of capacity, distancing, and those aspects outlined in our protocols for the celebration of Baptism during the pandemic must be followed.
Some people asked why we could not have Sunday and weekday Masses, pointing out that we are allowing a funeral Mass for ten people or less. In the last lockdown, it was a great hardship, we know, for those families who could not have a funeral Mass for their loved ones. It was bad enough when a family member died, but then to miss the rituals of the Church added to the pain of loss. When we could open for Masses with ten people, at least some solace was available with very small funerals.
We considered the possibility of allowing Sunday and weekday Masses with ten people, but it became clear that the majority of parishioners would not be accommodated even by a rotation that would last months. To be as fair as possible and knowing that God’s grace is not limited to the sacraments, the Episcopal Council, which advises me and stays connected with the deaneries of the Diocese, recommended that we not open when only nine or fewer people could attend Sunday or weekday Masses. Funerals and weddings could proceed, but all other Masses would be offered only by the priest and the minimal number of people necessary for the liturgy. Since there is no way enough Masses could be celebrated to accommodate everyone, it is best that the churches remain closed. To fill the void, many parishes offer livestreamed or recorded Masses, and other Masses are available online.
I am aware most people cannot fulfill their Sunday obligation under these circumstances. For that reason, I granted the dispensation that is in effect until the end of Easter Season this year (23 May). Likely, it will need to be extended again.
Some people asked why our churches are not open for private prayer at this time. While the Government allows it, in the spirit of the “stay-at-home” order and the need to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus, I decided not to open our churches. This we did in the first lockdown and in January. The members of the Episcopal Council believe it is important to continue in that vein. The question here is: what is essential for our faith? It is essential that we pray and have a relationship with God, but not that we pray in a church. This has been for many a wonderful time to rediscover the idea of the “domestic Church”; that is, that our homes are places of prayer where God dwells. Jesus promised that he would be with us always. He is truly present in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament in our tabernacles, but he is also present in each one of us and in our homes. Let us not forget this important “presence” in our midst.
Finally, a word to those who wrote or called. I thank you for your heartfelt thoughts. I am particularly buoyed up by all of you who told me that you are praying for the Diocese and me. In so many, I saw that your motive was based in charity and genuine concern. For all of that I am truly grateful.
As we manage the way forward in this new reality, it is our charity and concern for others that will win the day. As I said in an Update just before Christmas, “Charity means we must make these sacrifices to help ensure our neighbours are safe. We must care for others in our communities and our fellow parishioners, even if it means we cannot gather for a short time. These measures will further restrict participation in the sacraments and call forth sacrifices from the faithful across the Diocese who have been drawing spiritual nourishment from the sacraments. The severity of the pandemic, however, means we must do our part, out of love, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus” (Update #15).
With Bishop Dabrowski, I assure you of our prayers. May the Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Conception, and St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, CSB
Bishop of London
COVID-19 Update From Fr Danny Santos – April 16, 2021
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On April 16th, Premier Ford announced that places of worship would be locked down as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, 19 April 2021.
Therefore, in keeping with the directive of the provincial government and our previous practice, all churches, including St. John the Divine Parish, in the Diocese of London will be closed to the public effective Monday; the following will occur:
1. To comply with the newly announced public health measures, we are unable to celebrate Masses with the public. Instead, we ask you to join us online. Our Wednesday Adoration and Mass and Sunday Masses will be available on our St. John the Divine YouTube page click HERE.
2. Baptisms may be celebrated in danger of death.
3. Celebrations of First Communion are deferred until the lock-down ends.
4. Confessions may be celebrated if it is a serious need and are celebrated only by appointment.
5. Confirmations are deferred until the lock-down is lifted but may be celebrated in danger of death.
6. Weddings may proceed with the maximum number of ten people.
7. Funerals may be celebrated with the maximum of ten people allowed.
I encourage you to please visit this website for any updates on our directives. May God bless all of you and bring the joy of the Easter season into your hearts.
Yours in Christ,
Administrator of St. John the Divine Parish
The St John the Divine YouTube Streaming of Wednesday and Sunday Mass
COVID-19 Update from Bishop Fabbro
Yesterday afternoon (Friday April 16), Premier Ford announced that places of worship will be locked down as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, 19 April 2021. In the past when we had such restrictions, it was decided that such a limit of ten people is impossible to be carried out in a fair manner.
Therefore, in keeping with the directive of the provincial government and our previous practice, all churches in the Diocese of London will be closed to the public effective Monday with the following exceptions:
- Masses should be celebrated in the churches to pray for the needs of our people. Where possible, these celebrations may be live-streamed or recorded and up-loaded. One person may participate in the celebration to proclaim the reading(s) and Psalm, along with one instrumentalist and one cantor. Deacons do not assist at these Masses.
- Baptisms should be discouraged until the lock-down ends, but may be celebrated in danger of death.
- Celebrations of First Communion are deferred until the lock-down ends.
- Confessions should be discouraged until the lock-down ends, but may be celebrated if the pastor determines a serious need; to be determined on a case-by-case basis; to be celebrated only by appointment.
- Confirmations are to be deferred until the lock-down is lifted, but may be celebrated in danger of death.
- Weddings may proceed with the maximum number of ten people.
- Funerals may be celebrated with the maximum ten people allowed.
Parish and other diocesan offices are to be closed effective Saturday, 17 April. Staff (clergy and lay) may report to work only for what is essential. Pastors are expected to monitor this. Notice has been given that government agents may inspect offices at any time.
Halls may be opened only for essential social and mental health services (e.g., addiction services, blood-donor clinics, child care). Restrictions imposed by the government are to be followed. All sacramental preparation, RCIA and catechetical sessions shall be deferred or moved on-line.
I realize these new restrictions will be a hardship for many, especially as access to the sacraments is once again curtailed. I want to express my gratitude to you for the sacrifices you are making during the pandemic, and also to emphasize that we need to be strong in our commitment to follow all health and safety measures to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, may God protect us and keep safe all our health-care workers and those on the front lines who serve us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B.
Bishop of London
COVID-19 Update From Bishop Fabbro (Update #18)
Updated: February 26, 2021
With the lifting of the lock-down across the Diocese, the Episcopal Council met to consider a few specific questions.
1. Stations of the Cross
Throughout the season of Lent, the traditional devotion of Stations of the Cross may be observed in churches. One person will preside from the ambo or other place in the sanctuary. If space permits respecting the distancing, a cross-bearer may move from station to station. The usual restrictions of capacity and distancing must be observed. Registration and retention of contact-tracing information, as carried out for Masses, are to be followed.
2. Catechetical Sessions in Churches
Churches may be used to host catechetical sessions for sacramental preparation or other such reasons. It is expected that such sessions be done within the context of a prayer service. It is most fitting to begin, after the Sign of the Cross, with a call to prayer, followed by a reading from Sacred Scripture. It would be appropriate to offer some intercessions for the Church, the parish, and the participants. The usual restrictions of capacity and distancing must be observed. Registration and retention of contact-tracing information, as carried out for Masses, are to be followed.
3. Use of Masks During the Liturgy
With the lessening of restrictions concerning the wearing of masks, it is expected that masks must be worn by all who participate at Mass in a church. Those who are presiders, deacons, or lectors may remove their masks only when leading prayers, proclaiming the Scriptures, or preaching, and for the reception of Holy Communion. Masks must be worn at all other times. The exemptions to this directive were previously given in Update #13, including directions for those who require an exemption.
4. Parish Offices
Until further notice, offices remain closed, and staff is only to come into the office to work on tasks they are unable to do at home. The use of masks is mandatory when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
We are now hopeful that all will soon be able to receive a vaccine. We have been encouraged, nonetheless, to maintain vigilance and care in our day-to-day lives. This care must also be part of our participation in church-related activities. Let us all do our part, as we continue to pray for an end to the pandemic and for all who have been affected by it.
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B.
Bishop of London
Important Announcement about Reopening for Public Masses
Updated February 16, 2021
Under the guidelines issued by the Province of Ontario and the Diocese of London, our Parish will be reopening for in-person Mass on the First Sunday of Lent, beginning with our Saturday evening Mass on February 20th at 5:15 pm. The dispensation from Sunday Mass from Bishop Fabbro remains in effect. These Masses are still first-come, first-serve due to the limitation of 30% capacity. These Masses will also have the same pandemic guidelines that were in place before the 2nd lockdown was enacted (physical distancing, registration at the door, use of mask, etc.). We thank our volunteers in advance for your generosity. We couldn’t do this without you.
Online Sunday Mass
We will continue to provide our streaming Mass for Sundays at 9 am on our YouTube channel. For more details visit our website sjtd.ca
Our weekday Masses with pandemic guidelines will begin on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 pm.
Use of Masks Reminder
On the Episcopal Council’s recommendation, Bishop Fabbro has decided to enact new mask protocols for the Diocese. Effective January 1st, 2021, those parishioners who come to Mass and are medically unable to wear a mask must provide documentation from a medical professional to their pastor.
Distribution of Ashes
Ash Wednesday Mass will be available online only across the Diocese of London this year on February 17th. However, Bishop Fabbro has made a provision for those who would like to receive blessed Ashes on the First Sunday of Lent (Feb 20-21). Ashes will be distributed in contactless fashion by sprinkling ashes on the heads of those who desire rather than then placing a cross on the forehead. These will be distributed to those attending Mass in person after the dismissal.
May God bless you all in this sacred season of Lent.
Yours in Christ,
If you are unable to attend, please continue to celebrate Mass with us each Sunday at 9:00 AM on the St John the Divine YouTube channel. Click HERE to go to the St John the Divine YouTube channel.
COVID-19 Update from Bishop Fabbro
January 13, 2021
Update #16 is contained in the email below and a PDF is available at this link. It will also be posted on the diocesan website later today.
COVID-19 UPDATE FROM BISHOP FABBRO (Update #16)
In light of the newest restrictions, lock-down and state of emergency declared by the Premier of Ontario, we are once again forced to curtail services offered in our churches. While we long for a return to fuller celebrations of our faith, we recognize the need to be vigilant and to care for the common good, so that we can be doing all in our power to stem the tide of the virus.
The following directives come into effect on Thursday, 14 January, until further notice.
- Celebrations in Churches
- Churches are once again to be closed to the public except for Wedding services and Funeral services. In both cases, no celebration of the Mass is allowed, but only a Liturgy of the Word. Ten people only are allowed to be present, which includes the presider.
- There are to be no public Masses. Parishes are encouraged, if possible, to record or livestream Masses for their parishioners. Only those required to produce the recording or livestreaming may be present: priest-presider, deacon, reader, two musicians (instrumentalist and cantor), and a recording technician if necessary. No other persons are permitted to attend in person. Face masks must always be worn by all during the recording or livestreaming, including the priest, except for receiving Holy Communion.
- Baptism, Confirmation, and the Anointing of the Sick may be celebrated only in cases of danger of death. Confessions may be heard by appointment only.
- Offices and Church Buildings
Only essential work that cannot be done outside of the workplace is allowed to take place in offices or church buildings. Staff must have permission from their supervisor before entering an office or church building. All other work is expected to be done from home.
- Safety Measures
All of the above implies the necessary vigilance is in place, in following prescribed and mandatory safety measures, including hand sanitization, use of personal protective equipment (e.g., masks), and self-screening procedures before coming onto church property.
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B.
Bishop of London
Bishop Fabbro Announces the Following Pastoral Appointments and Changes
4 January 2021
Bishop Fabbro announces the following pastoral appointments and changes which will be effective on 5 July 2021, unless otherwise noted.
- Rev. Chris Bourdeau, currently Parish Administrator of St. Francis, Tilbury, will begin a six-month sabbatical on 1 January 2021.
- Rev. Thomas Donohue has been appointed weekend coverage from January – June 2021 for St. Francis of Xavier, Tilbury, St. Peter, Tilbury, East.
Newly Activated Families of Parishes
- Rev. Patrick Bénéteau has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising Ste Anne, Tecumseh, Paroisse St-Jérôme, Windsor, Good Shepherd, Lakeshore, St. Simon and St. Jude, Belle River. Rev. Mark Poulin, Rev. Robert Renaud and Rev. Porfirio (Phil) R. P. Guimaraes have been appointed Associate Pastors of the Family.
- Rev. Ross Bartley has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising St. Joseph, Listowel, Sacred Heart, Wingham, St. Ambrose, Brussels.
- Rev. Mukucha Kathemo has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising Visitation, Comber, St. Francis of Xavier, Tilbury, St. Peter, Tilbury East, Immaculate Conception, Pain Court. Rev. Terance Runstedler has been appointed Associate Pastor of the Family.
- Rev. Waclaw (Wes) Chudy, C.S.M.A. has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising St. Patrick, London, St. Mary, London, Our Lady of Czestochowa, London, St. Stephen of Hungary Hungarian Catholic Community, London. Rev. Adam Gabriel, C.S.M.A., and Rev. Piotr Wojakiewicz, C.S.M.A., have been appointed Associate Pastors of the Family.
- Rev. Michael Béchard has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising St. George, London, St. John the Divine, London. Rev. Pedro Zuniga, F.M.M., has been appointed Associate Pastor of the Family.
- Rev. Brian Jane has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising Our Lady of Mercy (which includes St. Joseph and St. Benedict), Sarnia, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sarnia, Queen of Peace Catholic Community, Sarnia, Sacred Heart, Sarnia, St. Michael, Brights Grove. Rev. Anthony Eboh, Rev. Jan Burczyk, C.S.M.A., Rev. José Montepeque have been appointed Associate Pastors of this Family. An additional Associate Pastor will be appointed to this family at a later date.
- Rev. John Pirt has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising Corpus Christi, Windsor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Windsor, St. Philiphe and St. Ane Thanh Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Community, Windsor, St. Yu Jin-Gil Korean Catholic Community, Windsor. Rev. Glen Ball and Rev. Hai Hang Hoang, C.S.J.B., have been appointed Associate Pastors. Rev. Anselmo Jaehee Ri will serve St. Yu Jin-Gil Korean Catholic Community.
- Rev. Gilbert Simard, currently Pastor of Sacred Heart, Ingersoll, is retiring in February 2021.
- Rev. Michael Parent, currently Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Windsor, is retiring in July 2021.
- Rev. Al Dufraimont, currently Pastor of Norfolk Catholic Family of Parishes, is retiring in July 2021.
- Rev. Murray Sample, currently Pastor of St. Michael’s London, is retiring in July 2021.
Changes and Pastoral Appointments
- Rev. James Higgins, currently Pastor of Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes, has given his resignation as pastor of the Family. Rev. James Higgins is appointed Associate Pastor of East Windsor Catholic Family of Parishes.
- Rev. John Jasica, currently Pastor of St. George Parish, London, is appointed Pastor of the Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes.
- Rev. Daniel Bombardier, currently Associate Pastor of East Windsor Catholic Family of Parishes, is appointed Parish Administrator of St. Michael’s Parish, London.
- Rev. Dariusz Jagodzinski, in addition to his role as Parish Administrator of Holy Trinity, Woodstock, and Holy Cross Polish Catholic Community, is appointed Parish Administrator of Sacred Heart, Ingersoll effective 4 February 2021.
- Rev. Sekar L. Raj, in addition to his role as Parochial Vicar of Holy Trinity, Woodstock, and Holy Cross Polish Catholic Community, is appointed Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart, Ingersoll, effective 4 February 2021. An additional priest for weekend coverage to be announced at a later date.
I thank the members of the Priest Personnel Board and offer our prayers and support to our priests, parish teams and parish families who will be affected by these pastoral changes. May God continue to bless our ministry to the people of our Diocese.
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro,
C.S.B. Bishop of London
Church grants plenary indulgence for the year of St. Joseph – Vatican New
COVID-19 Update from Bishop Fabbro (Update #13)
This update is based on recently issued government regulations and on my consultation with the Episcopal Council which brought forward several questions and issues from the deaneries.
Click HERE to read more.
Is it okay for a Catholic to be vaccinated against COVID-19? The short answer is: Yes, it is.
Reading this, many people might be surprised that the question is even being posed. What could be wrong about receiving a vaccine, when we know that vaccinations save lives? The Catholic Church does certainly support ……… (Click HERE to read more.)
Should you ever receive a questionable e-mail from Fr. Don, please DO NOT OPEN IT, but instead forward it to Fr. Don at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is most likely a spam e-mail. He will forward it to the Diocese’s I.T. department.
Weekly Bulletins Available
We continue to produce weekly bulletins though I can tell you our printing costs have been reduced! If you are not receiving the bulletin by email, let’s change that right now! Just click HERE for a short subscription form and then you will automatically receive the weekly bulletin by email.
Family of Parishes News
…from Bishop Fabbro
May 7, 2020
The following are two ‘clickable’ letters from Bishop Fabro
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If you did not receive an email with the above information, please contact Pam at the office by email (click HERE) or by phone (519-471-7022) with your name and email address to be included in future St John the Divine email notifications. You will then be included on the new master list which will only be used for important notices from the church and only at the direction of Father Don.
A Prayer in Time of Pandemic
Look upon your flock, kind Shepherd.
Though bowed down by our human frailty
in the dark valley of this pandemic,
we fear no evil, for you are with us,
you hear us, and you comfort us.
Grace with the wisdom of your Spirit
political and religious leaders
Guide with strength health care workers
aiding the sick and dying.
Give consolation to families and friends
suffering with loved ones.
Grant courage to all – from first responders
to those who put food on our tables –
providing essential services and the necessities of life.
In this time of darkness and uncertainty, O God,
may we be beacons of your goodness and mercy
to all in need.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
If the Parish Office is close and you wish to see speak to a team member or have another emergency, please call 519-471-7022 and leave a message.
Stay up to date with Parish news & announcements.
There are many resources available to assist those in need and to support the work of our Catholic community to serve in charity and to act for justice, both at the diocesan level as well as at your local parish. Please contact your local parish or one of the diocesan outreach ministries for assistance. We look forward to working with you in our shared mission as we live our lives together as the Body of Christ.
Sacraments are celebrations of special moments of encounter between God and human beings. They are not, obviously, the only occasions when human beings consciously respond to God who is forever offering His love and friendship, but they are times when, the Catholic Church teaches, a person’s relationship with God is assuredly initiated or deepened or strengthened or healed.
Youth Ministry is the response of the Christian Community to the needs of young people fostering their development as Catholic Christians and drawing them into responsible participation in the life, mission and ministry of the Church
Prayer & worship
Our family is one that recognizes the importance of prayer in all that we do. Prayer is the common bond that we share as a family, regardless of our language, age or geographic location. From the child praying before bed to the prayer group at the parish, our family of faith continues to pray for those in our community and those around the world.