Donations During COVID-19

We have received emails and phone calls from our parishioners that are interested in contributing to the parish during COVID 19. If you have been contributing to the parish via our direct deposit method, we still receive your donations - thank you.

As our office is closed until further notice, we are setting up other measures if you wish to continue contributing. If you have been previously donating by cash or cheque, you can still support the parish during COVID-19 using the following methods:

  • Donations may be sent by mail to our office:
    St. Dunstan's Basilica
    45 Great George Street
    Charlottetown, PE
    C1A 4K1
  • You can send us an email money transfer to with this information.
    • password : basilica2020
    • Envelope number ( leave this in the comments of the etransfer)
  • If you don't have an envelope, please let us know if you require one so that we can set you up with one for tax purposes

We appreciate your continued support, and we look forward to the day when we will be able to be together in church .

Please Note: Call 902-894-3486 if you have questions. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Your call will be returned.

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Letter from Fr. Keith (April 4)

April 2, 2020

Dear Parishioners of St. Dunstan’s,

We are nearing the end of another week dealing with the world-wide pandemic. In our province, the news has been relatively heartening. Our new cases of COVID-19 have been manageable,and thus far, there is no indication of community spread. Dr. Morrison has cautioned us, though, that we need to keep vigilant. Frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, and as far as is possible, except for necessary ventures, to stay at home: those practices remain essential if we are to do our part in curbing the virus. The Gospel call—emanating from the example of Jesus himself—that we love one another, impels us to make responsible other-centred choices, particularly at this time.

As I write this, we are on the threshold of Holy Week. It will be a different experience for us. Our usual liturgical celebrations are not possible. The thought of it breaks our hearts. Each of us will deal with this in our own way. Together—while apart—we’ll all grieve the loss of these holy assemblies in whatever way we must. Then, let’s pledge to pray for the grace to live in the reality of the present moment. That’s where God is: in the here and now of our lives. The difficulties this situation imposes upon us present an invitation: to come to a deeper appreciation of the presence of God within us, around us, where we are.

St. Paul said something similar in his second letter to the Corinthians (6: 1-2): We beg you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you; on a day of salvation I have helped you.” Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation! Himself, no stranger to hardship and affliction, Paul was able to say, in the same letter (4:16-18): Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary…affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

The salvation wrought through the events we commemorate this week remains God’s gift to us. Who we are and where we are, may we celebrate that great salvation: ours through the cross and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

This Palm Sunday, we’ll call to mind the words of the eighth-century bishop, St, Andrew of Crete: Let us run to accompany [Christ] as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us. In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, so glad that he came and lived among us and shared our nature in order to raise us up again to himself.

On the evening of Holy Thursday, remember these words from the night Jesus instituted the Eucharist: and during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had put all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him…After he had washed their feet…Jesus said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? …I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you (selected verses, Jn. 13: 1-15). Doing, in the present state of affairs, what’s asked of us to safeguard public health is washing one another’s feet in our own time and place. It’s our response to the gift of the Eucharist.

This Good Friday, let us be mindful of the presence of the cross in our own lives, in the life of the world. Unite ourselves with the Crucified One in the sacrifice of not being able to come together, in the inconveniences and challenges of social and physical distancing, of staying home when we’d sooner go for a visit, in the surrender of what we feel like doing in order to observe faithfully what we must do for the greater good.

Holy Saturday night, recollect the light of resurrection penetrating and scattering the darkness of fear and uncertainty, paralyzing the disciples in the wake of the death of Jesus. From the Exultet, these words: This is the night when Christ broke the prison bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld…O truly blessed night when things of heaven are wed to those of earth and divine to the human…

Easter morning, recall Mary Magdalene: … [S]he turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (selected verses, Jn. 20: 1-18). These days, often unrecognized, Jesus comes to us and calls us by name in our tears and bewilderment, reassuring us that life, not death, has the final say.

I’ll conclude by reminding you to call or send me an email if I can be of help: 902-894-3486; The Knights of Columbus continue to offer their assistance if anyone needs an errand run. Contact Don Chevarie, Grand Knight, 902-566-4337. Others have offered to keep in contact by phone if someone would like that service. They may be contacted through me.

We look to the day, my dear brothers and sisters, when shall be together in our church again, all the more appreciative of what it is to come together to worship and to be sent forth. In the meantime, let us pray for one another and for those who are leading us toward renewed health and wholeness, as we do our part to support them in their efforts for the well-being of us all.

For your information, I will be presiding at Mass from Holy Redeemer this Palm Sunday morning at 9 o’clock on Eastlink, Channel 10 or 610.

Peace be with you,
Fr. Keith

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Letter from Fr. Keith (March 27)

Dear People of St. Dunstan’s,

I hope this finds you adjusting to the way things now are without too much struggle. I say that well-knowing that most of us are not accustomed to having our moving-about curtailed. Though what the political and health officials are prescribing is for our personal benefit and the common good, it’s still a challenge. That these measures will help reduce the spread of infection and help us come out of our present situation as soon as is possible is a strong motivator for our sacrifice and support.

Our lives are often filled with distractions. When our activities are limited, those distractions are harder to come by. We may find our hearts and minds filled with feelings and thoughts unfamiliar to us, even troubling. In the midst of that, we might hear, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It could be an opportunity to let God lead us more deeply into our own hearts—that place within all of us where God abides. It can be a challenging place sometimes, but eventually we’ll find the risen Christ there, with the gift of the Spirit, like living water welling up inside of us, with healing and courage and wisdom and hope and peace.

The Gospel for this Fifth Sunday of Lent tells us the story of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Mary and Martha. We know how it goes. He gets sick, and before Jesus can get to him, Lazarus dies. His sisters and their friends and neighbours lead Jesus to the tomb, where Jesus, “greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved,” weeps for his friend and over the grieving of those who love him.

Then, he does something important for us to notice. He directs those around him to “take away the stone,” blocking the tomb’s entrance. “With a loud voice,” filled with the power of God, he cries, “Lazarus, come out!” Then, we’re told, Lazarus came out. The Gospel writer adds this significant detail, “…his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.” Finally, also noteworthy, Jesus said to those gathered around, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

At his direction, the bystanders had helped prepare for Jesus’ action by removing the stone, and were called upon to help Lazarus begin to live the new life he had been given by untying the shackles of death that continued to stifle him.

Something for us to consider, friends, in this present moment, and in all the situations of our lives: In the mystery of what it is to live in a graced, but imperfect, world, all kinds of things happen that figuratively put us where Lazarus was. COVID-19 is one of them. Faith tells us that in the midst of it, Jesus is present, “greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved” by our concerns and fears, his weeping accompanying our tears. He helps us. In doing that, he calls upon us, the story of Lazarus teaches, both to prepare the way for his saving action, and to help each other to receive and to live what he gives. Depending on what’s going on within and around us, we are sometimes Lazarus—in need of being freed from whatever binds us and weighs us down—or a member of the community—helping another to live in the freedom that is God’s gift, in Christ, to his children.

This coming week, when someone reaches out to us, or we, to another, let’s remember the raising and unbinding of Lazarus, and how Jesus called people like you and me to participate in his life-restoring act.

As I mentioned last week, if you or anyone you know would like to be in contact with me, please call 902-894-3486. You may leave a message if I’m not here when you call, or email me: The Knights of Columbus continue to extend their offer to be of service if anyone needs an errand run or some such thing. For this, please contact Don Chevarie 902-566-4337. Others have offered to be in telephone contact, if anyone would like someone from the parish to check in with them for a chat. For this, please contact me as above, and I’ll hand on the message.
Additionally, for those who would like to avail themselves of professional services, Community Mental Health is offering “call-in” clinics: Richmond Centre, 902-368-4430 Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm. McGill Centre, 902-368-4911, Monday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1 pm to 5 pm. The “Island Help Line” may be reached at 1-800-218-2885. Kid’s Help Phone is available at 1-800-668-6868.

To update you: our Soup Kitchen Meal went ahead, though not as we had planned. Because of the current situation, we took the food to them, with the poster the catechetics classes had signed. They prepared the meal and served it. Thanks to all who supplied food. We hope to do it again.

The church remains open for individual prayer during the day. Confessions are available downstairs at the regular times. A reminder of the Eastlink Channel 10 Mass Sunday’s at 9 am.

We look to the day when we will gather again for the worship of God. In the meantime, may we feel God’s presence ever-near, and walk in the light of faith, praying for each other, for all who are directly affected by the virus, and holding up in prayerful gratitude our health-care workers and the many others who continue to provide us with essential services.

I hope to continue posting these messages weekly on the parish website until the present situation is resolved. I pray for you every day, many times calling to mind names and faces from where you usually sit in church.

Peace be with you and yours,
Fr. Keith

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Letter from Fr. Keith (March 20)

Dear People of St. Dunstan’s,

I am writing this to let you know that I am thinking of you and praying for you every day. We’re living in a most unfamiliar situation. It’s easy to be afraid. The disruption the current state of affairs has brought to our daily routine highlights the situation all the more.

On Tuesday of this week, we received word that, until further notice, we would not be celebrating Mass together. This followed the concern and advice of public health officials that, in an attempt to slow the spread of the corona virus, we avoid gatherings. A number of other dioceses in our country had made that necessary decision several days prior to Bishop Richard’s letter.

Though the decision was essential, its consequences cause us pain. The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our life together in the Body of Christ. The Mass brings us comfort and peace. We meet each other there, and realize we are brothers and sisters in Christ. The Eucharistic Real Presence of the Lord is truly our Bread of Life. The Lord’s Day sets the rhythm for the six days that follow.

Our current situation reminds me of a period in the life of the Jewish people some 550 years before the time of Jesus. They were living as exiles in a foreign land. Their deepest pain was the fear that God was not with them. Because the Temple and its familiar prayers and rituals were far away, they lamented that God, too, was gone. Into their anguish stepped the prophet, Ezekiel. God had given him a vision of the Jerusalem Temple. Suddenly, the doors of that grand and stately place opened, and toward the land of their exile flowed a trickle that became a river of life-giving water. The message to those long-ago and destitute people of God: “If you can’t go to where you’re accustomed to meeting God, God will come to you.”

Today, God meets us where we are. The present circumstances keep us from the familiar prayers and rituals that bring about and speak of his nearness and care. Be not afraid. Think of Ezekiel’s vision. Feel the great river of God’s grace flowing toward us, enfolding us, filling us with life, with hope, with peace.

I am writing this on March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. In the Divine Office this morning, we prayed this intercession: You chose Joseph the righteous to care for your Son in childhood and youth—teach us to care for Christ’s body by caring for our brothers and sisters.

That simple petition reminded me of the link between the Eucharist and love of neighbour. We are complying with the directives of the health officials as an act of love for others. Parishioners are fasting from the Eucharist—a kind of Lenten desert experience. At the same time, we’re helping combat a virus that thrives and spreads when people are in close physical proximity. Both of these realities are lived in anticipation of the day when we will be together once again in our beautiful Basilica.

In the meantime, if you or anyone you know would like me to be in contact, please call me at 902-894-3486 or send me an email The Knights of Columbus have generously offered to be of service if anyone is in need of having an errand run or any such thing. They may also be contacted through the means provided above.

Please be reminded of the Mass, arranged by the Diocese, to be televised from Holy Redeemer Sunday mornings at 9 on Eastlink, Channel 10.

Let us pray for one another; be especially mindful of the most vulnerable around us, and reach out as we can; respect and follow the guidelines the health and government authorities issue in the service of the greater good. Take the situation seriously, but don’t panic. May we hold up in prayerful gratitude our officials at all levels, health care workers and support staff in our hospitals and community, and those scientists who work tirelessly toward the development of treatments and a vaccine. With God’s help, in the care of one another, we shall see this through.

I’ll keep in touch. Peace be with you, Fr. Keith

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With 2 cases of Covid-19 been reported in Prince Edward Island, authorities are now referring to the spread of the virus as a pandemic so people are becoming anxious; Parishioners are wondering what precautions should be taken during our Liturgies. I therefore ask you to consider implementing the following until further notice.

Hygiene and Sunday Obligation: Anyone with flu like symptoms and other serious symptoms of ill health are excused from Sunday obligation.

Sign of Peace: A simple head bow or similar non-contact gesture may be used. A handshake or other physical contact is not advisable.

Reception of Holy Communion: Each communicant is encouraged to:

1) Receive communion on the hand and immediately consume the host

2) Refrain from communion on the tongue to prevent the spreading of saliva to other communicants

3) Refrain from communion from the cup if such is the practice in your parish.

Ministers of Communion:

1) People with symptoms of cold or flu should avoid distributing communion.

2) All ministers should use a hand sanitizer before distributing communion. This gesture is not liturgical and therefore should be done discreetly.

3) People preparing sacred vessels before Mass for bread and wine should handwash before and after handling the sacred vessels, bread and wine.

Holy Water: Please empty the holy water fonts at the Church entrance until further notice.

With appreciation for your cooperation in this important health matter, Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Bishop Richard Grecco

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Easter Flowers

Parishioners are invited to make a donation towards Easter Flowers in memory of a loved one. Please indicate your loved one’s name, your name (Env. number) and place it in the collection basket or by dropping them off to the office. To be printed in the bulletin, names and donations must be received by noon Tuesday, April 7. Special remembrance of your loved one will be included in the Easter Masses.

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Eucharistic Ministers Needed

Additional Eucharistic Ministers are needed for all the weekend Masses. If you are not already involved in a liturgical ministry, and would like to serve, please contact Joyce White: 902- 367-5701 or Fr. Keith 902-894-3486. Formation will be provided. Many thanks to those already serving.

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Catechism Discussion Group deferred until further notice.

DISCUSSION GROUP: (Adults 16+) on the Catechism of the Catholic Church before the 10:30 am mass on Sunday mornings. We will meet in the parish office from 9:15-10:15. Contact Pat Wiedemer for more information,

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2019 Tax Receipts

2019 Tax Receipts are available on the table at the church entrance. They are in numerical order. There are sheets available in alphabetical order to help you find your envelope number if needed.

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Knights of Columbus Calendars

All proceeds from the sale of these Calendars are in support of parishes in Canada’s far north and are available at the Parish Office, for a suggested donation of $15.00.

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Parish Envelopes

For anyone who used envelopes this past year, there remain some sets to be picked up at the back of the church. Anyone not currently using envelopes and wanting them for the new year, there are additional sets at the back of the church. Please fill out the sheet available with info needed for tax receipts. New envelopes are also available at the parish office. Thank you for your financial support of the parish. It is appreciated and needed.

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Church Doors

As earlier this year, the parish is partnering with the Holland College Heritage Carpentry Program to re- build/repair the front doors of the church. As you likely have noticed the south doors have been removed, and are being worked on.

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St. Vincent de Paul

ST. DUNSTAN’S ST. VINCENT DE PAUL would like to thank all parishioners who donate non perishable food items on the 1st Sunday of each month to help keep our pantry stocked for those in need of food. Since the ban on using plastic bags has come into effect, parishioners have used their own cloth bags when donating food. As of this week we have a yellow bin at the entrance of the church with cloth grocery bags that can be taken to replace any bags that you drop off with food in them. Thanks for your generosity.

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Greeters at Mass Wanted!

Be a Greeter at Mass! A wonderful way to volunteer at the parish. Be a warm welcome and a smiling face as you greet those attending Mass. This ministry is open to parishioners in junior high through adulthood. Families are encouraged to serve together as well as catechism classes. Please contact Gwen through the parish office 902-894-3486 or see the sign up sheet at the church entrance.

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The Crew

The Crew is a great place to ask questions and learn about our Catholic faith through games, talks and praise & worship. If you are in grades 8-12, join us in the Glastonbury Hall of St. Dunstan's Basilica every Thursday from 7 – 9pm. "You, dear young people, are not the future but the now of God." - Pope Francis

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