“We would really encourage everyone to continue the spiritual sacrifice for the rest of the novena masses. Let us together use the power of prayer particularly the power of the novena masses. The more we become one in prayer, the more powerful our prayer can be.”
These were the parting words of Rev. Msgr. Enrique M. Samson Jr., parish priest of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg, during the first Novena Dawn mass last December 16th via livestream.
With the province’s COVID-19 public health orders still in effect until January 8, 2021, no in-person worship gatherings are allowed which includes the Simbang Gabi or the 9-day Novena Dawn Masses, a tradition of Catholic faithful during the Christmas season.
It may be a different set up this year and the churches in Winnipeg encourage the community to still be one in prayers especially these challenging times, as they bring the holy celebration to each home virtually.

The usual Simbang Gabi celebration fills St Peter’s Parish Church on Keewatin every year. But this year, due to the pandemic, only a few staff and volunteers are in the church to assist and set up the celebration for live streaming via their Facebook page.

Parking spaces are empty and no more after-mass gathering for breakfast.

But the spiritual sacrifice continues as the Novena Dawn masses tackle this year’s theme: The Theology of the Pandemic (Healing of the World). Masses are everyday until December 24th from 5:30-6:30am.

The church also invites everyone to attend the Christmas and New Year drive-in mass celebration at the Petrus Hall.

Check out St. Peter’s Facebook page and website for schedule and updates.

Photo courtesy: Ron Cantiveros