From The Archbishop's Desk

Archbishop Simon Poh’s Announcement & Appeal on Reopening of Catholic Churches

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

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.

For this weekend, smaller outstation Churches in Lundu, Bunan Gega, Tebedu, Sri Aman, Betong, Saratok are reopening. Praise the Lord.

By coming weekend, some Kuching City Parish churches will be completing the training on safety SOP protocols. These City churches should be ready to reopen next weekend of 4th-5th July: St. Joseph’s Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, Carmelite Chapel, St. Peter’s Church, Padungan, Chapel of Mother Mary, Stutong, and St. Ann’s Church, Kota Padawan, but only for the assigned Taman-Taman at Mile 10.

Among the city parishes, some will try out by using pre-registration method with options to sign in on-line and telephone call-in. Others will use walk-in method on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. When quota of 100 is reached, admission will be closed. In July, our parishes will try out, evaluate and come up with the best practice to be adopted eventually in the parishes. A revised Mass schedule, time and languages of all Masses will be made available next week in our Archdiocesan webpage and respective parish websites.

As the Churches are only opened for 100 Catholics or even less in view of reduced capacity because of social distancing, the live streaming will continue to be maintained for the majority of parishioners who are unable to be in church. Once again, I appeal to all Catholics to be patient and to wait for your turn to come to Masses. We are proceeding cautiously to ensure that every Catholic Church will be a safe environment for worship and where all Catholics can gradually come to receive Holy Communion. Thank you for your understanding.

+Most Rev Simon Poh
The Archbishop of Kuching