As you are probably aware, our area has been identified by the NSW Government as a “Hot Spot”.
In recent weeks two Parishes in the Archdiocese of Sydney have closed due to cases of Covid-19.
The situation is one that is very dynamic and can change very quickly. Our Parish is not immune in any way from what is occurring in our society. As a Parish we are committed, as far as we can, to providing Pastoral Care for all in our community. We are also committed to following NSW Health guidelines. Be assured that we are all doing the best we can to keep you all safe. The best we can all do is to maintain our hygiene and social distancing and if you show any symptoms please refrain from attending church services, seek medical advice and present for COVID-19 testing. Above all, let us all pray for an end to the Pandemic.

Due to the current health warnings from the NSW Government, the Parish is going to temporarily suspend regular Communion to the Sick. This is for the safety of the members of the public who are most vulnerable and for the safety of our Priests. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will recommence this very important Pastoral Activity. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Parish cleaners please note that the Rosters for Church cleaning have recommenced. Please contact the Parish Office if you are no longer available. Any new cleaners who wish to join a group please contact the Parish Office with your details. Thank you for your commitment to our Community.

Please take note that during the current Pandemic situation if a family has chosen a Priest from outside the Smithfield Parish to preside at a Wedding or Funeral or other Religious Service, then it is a requirement that the family arrange for the Church to be cleaned and sanitised. The Parish will only take responsibility for Parish events with our Priests.

The Parish Pastoral Council is conducting a questionnaire regarding our Parish Sunday Mass Timetable. Of particular interest, are our 7.30am and 9.00am Masses in English at St. Therese Church and the alteration of the Parish Sunday Mass in Italian at St. Benedict’s Shrine, which is now at 7.30am. We would particularly like to hear from those who regularly attend these Mass times. Questionnaire sheets can be found in the foyer of both churches. You can fill the questionnaire out and place in the box provided, or take the questionnaire home and return it by NEXT Sunday 9th August 2020.
Thank you for your participation in this Pastoral matter

The rental property on Neville St – adjacent to the Parish Car park – is available for rent. Any interested parties should contact Graham Ball Real estate 9609 1177.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney have introduced new requirements for volunteers 18yrs and over. All volunteers must sign a Volunteer Acceptance Form, a Code of Conduct for Working with Children and complete a Safeguarding Induction Training Course. The ONLINE Induction Training Course is available to new Parish Volunteers.
Please register by following this link:- https://goo.gl/forms/wSkRi3ZO6PzkRfbo1
Additionally, some new volunteers are also required to attend an Interview.
These include * Ministers of the Word, Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, Children’s Liturgy, Catechists, Collectors, Acolytes etc. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, ALL Safeguarding Training will be postponed until the start of September 2020.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Any concerns please contact psso@stgertrude.org.au or the Parish Office on 9604 1199

Sacrament of Holy Communion:
With the continuing uncertainty at this time, and having reviewed the practicalities of guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese, the decision has been made for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion preparation to be deferred to June 2021. Children currently enrolled will prepare for First Holy Communion in May 2021 and ceremonies will take place in June 2021.

Similarly, due to timing constraints, social distancing restrictions, limited availability of catechists and adequate facilities to hold classes, the decision has also been made to postpone the Sacrament of Confirmation until September 2021. Families will be contacted in May, to organise class placement. Any changes to the program will be published in the parish bulletin, should they occur. Enrolment information will also be posted to the parish bulletin at the appropriate time. The Sacramental Office is currently closed.
For all general enquiries, please email: sacraments@stgertrude.org.au

The Church has always held the view that parents are the first educators of their children in the Catholic Faith. Parishioners who attend weekly Mass, are known in our Parish and to our Parish Priests, whose child is of age, and who feel that their child’s suitably prepared to receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, may contact the Sacramental Office to discuss eligibility for an individual ceremony. Upon contacting the Sacramental Office, a meeting may be organised with the Parish Priest to discuss your circumstances further and a decision will be made at the Parish Priest’s discretion.


COVID-19 Safety Plan for Our Parish to maintain a safe environment for you.
Effective 24 July
Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
St Benedict’s Shrine – Smithfield &
St Therese Church – Fairfield West

Seating arrangements for our Parish are as follows:
St Benedict’s Shrine – Smithfield:
Seating for up to 100 persons.

St Therese Church – Fairfield West:
Seating for up to 50 persons.

Montefano Hall – Smithfield:
Seating for up to 90 persons.

Contact Tracing: Write your name and contact details on the sheets provided at the doors of
St Benedict’s Shrine, St Therese Church and the Montefano Hall.
Hand Sanitiser: Use the hand sanitiser at the doors of both churches and the Montefano Hall. This is essential.
Sanitising the church: After each service, the Churches and Montefano Hall are sanitised using commercial grade disinfectant detergent.
Seating: Sit in the allocated seating. In both the Churches there is an ‘X’ marked on the Pews and in the Montefano Hall chairs placed at social distancing for you to be seated safely. Please ONLY sit where the Pew is marked. People living in the same household may sit together in the Pews.
Confession: Confession times have resumed. Again, please only sit on the Pews with the ‘X’.
Sign of Peace – with a nod, bow, smile, or wave. No physical contact.
Receiving of Holy Communion: The recommended way of receiving Holy Communion is on the hand. People are advised about distancing and procedures when coming to receive Holy Communion.
Plan Giving & Collections: At ALL Masses, there are two boxes at the doors of the church for 1st and 2nd Collection. You can place your offering as you enter or leave the church. Alternatively, you may wish to make use of electronic transfer. Details are in the bulletin. Thank you for your continued support of your Parish and your priests.
Limiting exposure: Health guidelines encourage us not to remain for unnecessary amounts of time in groups. It is essential to maintain social distancing.
At Risk Persons: According to recommendations those at risk – (those over 70 years of age, those with any symptoms, those with compromised immune or respiratory systems), are asked to consider carefully your health and safety when considering attending a Church Service.
If you show any symptoms, please refrain from attending church services at this time.
The dispensation from Sunday Mass is still in place by the Archbishop.
However, in his latest Pastoral letter the Archbishop states that “those who are at low risk of infection and able ….. are exhorted to take all reasonable steps to attend Sunday Mass.”
Fr Jarek Zan:
Parish Priest