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Dear Friends in Christ,

During the worst days of the Covid pandemic, I announced an exemption for Catholics in our Diocese from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. With this note, I am now informing you that the exemption will expire this coming 4th Sunday of Lent (“Laetare Sunday”).

This Sunday obligation is a statement and reminder of the importance that the Church places on coming to Mass each week. As the Letter to the Hebrews puts it, “Some people have given up the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other…” (Hb 10:25)

I have often said that, if every Catholic realised what and who they are being offered in the Mass, we wouldn’t have enough churches to hold them. But for those who do come, it is not only about what they receive, but about what they give to others with their presence.

Coming to Mass is a way of making a public witness of our faith, as we stand with our brothers and sisters to meet Christ in the community that bears his name; in his Word; in the ministry of his priest; and in the sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Yours in Christ,

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst