News First COVID-19 Christmas Eve brings changes to Catholic masses SHARE ON: Bob McIntyre, staff Friday, Dec. 11th, 2020 This Christmas Eve will feature the joining of the church and the state, as far as Catholic masses go in the Diocese of Timmins. Bishop Serge Poitras says the diocese serves the area between Timmins, Iroquois Falls and Latchford. “We face the challenge that everyone faces now,” he points out. “We have to take in consideration the new norms of the government also.” Churches are limited to 30-percent capacity, with all the COVID-19 protocols in place. Bishop Serge Poitras(Roman Catholic Diocese of Timmins) Bishop Poitras says most churches are asking congregants to call the rectory to reserve a spot for mass. Many of them are adding extra masses this year at four, six or seven and ten o’clock. “There are very few churches who have Midnight Mass now,” His Excellency explains. “People prefer to have mass during the evening, so beginning at four.” All government COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Even the priests will wear masks and sanitize their hands when administering communion and mingling with their congregations.