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Phase 5 Delayed: We Remain in Phase 4


Phase 5 of Reopening Delayed to at least October 4 (Feast of St. Francis)

From Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick
September 15, 2021

As noted in my Pastoral Letter of September 8, “we hope that September will bring greater freedom if we enter Phase 5”. 
Well, we will be remaining in Phase 4 in September. 

Phase 5 was expected to start Wednesday, September 15.  Due to current epidemiology, Nova Scotia will delay starting Phase 5 of its reopening plan until Oct. 4, when the proof of full vaccination policy begins for certain events and activities.

The news release is available in English  https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210914004 

and French  https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210914005

The current information on the proof of vaccination policy is available online  

and FAQs are attached. More information will be added to the website as it becomes available.





Pastoral letter from Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick

September 9, 2021

My Dear People,

In providing a COVID -19 update yesterday, Premier Tim Houston and Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health announced that the province would most likely enter Phase Five effective September 15 at 12:01 a.m.  This means that wearing face masks, maintaining physical distancing, and contact tracing will no longer be mandatory and there will be no indoor gathering limits.  While masking will no longer be mandatory indoors, it will be strongly recommended that people wear their masks indoors especially with close contact with others.  


As Bishop, I support this directive and I instruct that our churches be fully opened without the need for social distancing effective September 15.  I recommend that we continue to wear masks not only to ensure the safety of all, but also to provide some measure of comfort for those who may be returning to church. Those people who may not be able to attend church for health reasons and those who care for them are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Some further good news is that we can return to how we celebrated Mass in the past including singing at Mass.  Perhaps we could ease into implementing such changes gradually as people become more comfortable.  I was pleased to hear at this COVID update that practising one’s faith was deemed to be an essential activity. Indeed, our faith is essential to us.

Amid this year of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and patron saint of Canada, I note that this COVID Update came on the Feast of the Birth of Mary and that Phase Five will be effective on September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Throughout this pandemic, many of these positive announcements came on Marian feast days.  Many prayers to Mary, the Mother of the Church and to St. Joseph, patron saint and protector of the universal Church have been offered this year guiding us in the path of life.  I believe in the power of prayer.  Keep praying. 

Stay safe and keep well.


+ Wayne Kirkpatrick

Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick

Communications Officer, Diocese of Antigonish