Welcome to St. Martin of Tours, a growing and vibrant Catholic parish in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada. We are an active and welcoming Roman Catholic parish serving Vegreville and the surrounding communities. St. Martin of Tours also serves as the Administration Parish for six parishes without resident priests:
Guidelines announced for gradual return to public masses
Catholics will be allowed to take their first steps back to church for Mass in June under new guidelines issued by the Roman Catholic Bishops of Alberta issued by the Roman Catholic Bishops of Alberta.
The Guidelines were developed by a task force the Bishops established under the direction of Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton and Bishop William McGrattan of Calgary. The document follows the recent release of the Alberta government’s Guidance for Places of Public Worship as part of Stage 1 of the provincial relaunch strategy, as well as consultations with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and other experts.
Parishes that have made the necessary preparations will be able to begin offering weekday masses on Monday, June 1, the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church; and Sunday masses as of June 7, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. NOTE: St. Martin of Tours will begin daily Mass the first week in June: at 9:00 am on Tuesday, June 6, Wednesday, June 7 and on Friday(First Friday) June 5. Starting Saturday, June 6 Mass will be at 4:30 and on Sunday, June 7 at 10:30 am, which will be live-streamed. Please call or email the parish to preregister for Masses during Stage 1 of re-opening of Masses.
In order to protect the health of parishioners, volunteers, staff and clergy, the Bishops have set a detailed list of conditions that must be met before congregants can safely be invited back to Mass. These include:
- Limiting the total number of participants at each Mass to 50, or fewer if that is required to ensure physical distancing.
- Asking attendees to answer a series of health and travel-related questions as recommended by Alberta Health Services.
- Recording contact information of attendees for the purpose of contact tracing if necessary.
- Sanitizing hands upon entry and exit.
- Requiring masks for all volunteers and encouraging attendees also to wear masks.
- Observing physical distancing throughout the celebration
- Extra cleaning of the church between masses
- Congregants will be able to receive Holy Communion in the form of the consecrated bread, placed in the hand of Communicant, but there will be no distribution of consecrated wine.
- Communicants will need to wear a mask to approach for Holy Communion, as will the priest when he is distributing it.
- During this first stage, singing during Mass will not be allowed, as this activity has been shown to spread respiratory droplets that can infect others with the COVID-19 coronavirus. And any socializing after Mass will have to take place outside, still observing the physical distancing protocol.
The guidelines will apply broadly to the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan, Diocese of Calgary, and Diocese of St. Paul. Some particulars will vary in each diocese, so parishes should consult the guidelines for their own diocese.
Parish priests will be busy in the coming days preparing for the return of congregants in small numbers. However, since parishes vary greatly in terms of facilities and resources, it is likely that not all will be able to resume public masses in the first week of June. Parishioners are encouraged to check their parish website for local information.
It has been two months since public celebrations of the Mass were cancelled in Alberta. The full reinstatement of public masses will take place gradually, in parallel with the provincial relaunch strategy.
“The return of our people to the Eucharist after all this time will be a moment of great joy for both priests and parishioners, but there is still a long way to go,” said Archbishop Smith. “We will need to demonstrate that we have succeeded in providing a safe environment for Mass with small groups before we can proceed to the next stage and open masses to larger groups. For that reason, we ask once more for your patience, understanding, and prayers as we take these first steps forward.”
Online Masses: A list of online masses are posted on the Archdiocesan website and Grandin Media. Please see: https://caedm.ca/PastoralScene/entryid/787/find-a-livestream-mass-during-covid-19-restrictions
Basilica Sunday Mass on Telus Optik TV: Channel 876
Telus has generously offered to continue broadcast the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass from St. Joseph’s Basilica for the duration of the ban on public celebrations. It will be broadcast on Telus Optik TV Channel 876. Please share this information with any seniors you know or people who are not comfortable with the internet.
St. Martin of Tours is open during office hours if you wish to come and sit with the Lord. Simply ring the doorbell for entry.
St Martin of Tours Office Hours:
Mondays to Thursdays: 10:00 am-1:00 pm and Fridays: 10:00 am-2:00 pm.
For questions or concerns, please leave a message with the office, and we will return your call. In an Emergency, please call 780-632-7454. You may also email us at StMartinTours.Vegreville@caedm.ca
St. Martin of Tours Church Offerings may be dropped off at the office during Office Hours, mailed to the Parish: 5437-43 Street, Vegreville, AB T9C-1C8. You may also e-transfer funds. See Donate Link
Church Offerings for Holy Heart of Mary, Viking and St. Gregory the Great, Holden please mail your Church Offerings to Holy Heart of Mary, Box 274, Viking AB T0B 4NO.
Or you may donate online through the Donate Link on StMartinofTours.caedm.ca website to either Holy Heart of Mary, St. Gregory the Great or to St. Martin of Tours. Simply select the Parish Name you wish to donate to from the drop down menu under Additional Information.
Sunday, April 12, Easter Message from Father Luan Vu
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Easter this year is different than any other year! Churches are empty as the faithful sit at home watching online as their pastor celebrates Mass alone and preaches to empty pews. It is most definitely a different kind of Easter. These days, the whole of humanity is coping with an “invisible enemy.” This we call the notorious coronavirus. Apparently, according to the Chief Medical Officer, our best hope of beating this enemy is to stay home and observe good health practices such as washing our hands and keeping distant from one another.
But, for Easter this year, 2020, the world is united! We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and even if we will personally survive these terrible times.
We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to go because science, our governments and the knowledge we rely on are unable to “make the problem go away”.
However, in the midst of such loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening. We are experiencing the close bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored are forming. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalized and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and that other people need us too.
It is as if the stone that covers the tomb is slowly being rolled back to allow us to see a shining light of recognition. This light heralds Easter and the Risen Christ.
The COVID 19 pandemic may be temporary; it reminds us that we cannot lose our hope. We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final word when we make space for hope.
Therefore, the answer to this crisis lies in all of us and in our unity. As people around the world this year face Easter without the possibility of physical communion, without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together, we have the time to slow down so that we can reflect deeply on what the “Body of Christ” means for each of us. In the darkness of this crisis, the light of Christ will shine. Jesus is truly risen! He will not die again. May Jesus rise for people around the world through our love!
Let us pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge that is facing the whole of humanity and which is calling us to faith and to resurrection.
I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Luan Vu
Spiritual Act of Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Holy Eucharist. I love you above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen
SAINT MICHAEL PRAYER
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.