Privacy Statement

Whether you are browsing for information or contacting Saint John the Apostle Parish through electronic channels, we have a spiritual, ethical and legal duty to protect your personal information. In doing so we are guided by God’s loving covenant and commandments, Catholic virtues and moral conscience, and by the following legislation:

  • Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 220
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act
  • Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA)
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

Changes to canon or civil legislation are incorporated into Saint John the Apostle Parish’s Privacy Statement. Where the Privacy Statement diverges from legislation, the legislation shall take precedence.

This Privacy Statement pertains to personal information collected under routine circumstances and used in the normal course of Parish ministry. Information obtained by a Parish priest from a penitent under the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is not recorded. Penitential information is strictly protected under “sacramental seal”, being maintained in confidence by the priest under absolute secrecy and never disclosed. There are no exceptions to this rule. (Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 983 – 984).

By using Saint John the Apostle Parish’s website and online services, you accept the terms of this Privacy Statement. You also accept the Parish’s use of Google Analytics.

If you do not wish to use the internet to provide personal information to the Parish for an online service, you may contact us in person, by phone or by mail depending on the ministry, service or program.

What the Parish collects online

Personal information means recorded information about an identifiable individual, as defined in the FOIPOP Act. It includes information such as your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, email address, credit card data and other information that identifies you.

General information (for example, type of web browser you use and what website pages you visit) is not considered personal information.

The Parish collects your personal information only if it’s necessary to provide Parish ministry services, programs or activities.

Why the Parish collects personal information

Saint John the Apostle Parish collects your personal information online, if you choose to provide it, to:

  • Respond to your email or contact form inquiries, suggestions or requests
  • Identify you
  • Contact you as needed, in relation to providing Parish ministry services and programs
  • Process your requests for Masses, sacraments, sacramentals or ministries offered by the Parish
  • Enable you to register for and receive ministry services, workshops or other programs online or in person
  • Get your feedback and allow you to participate in consultations or surveys
  • Allow you to complete transactions, make donations or pay for specific products or services where fees apply

How the Parish handles your personal information

The Parish uses or discloses your personal information for the same purpose or compatible purpose for which it was collected. The Parish needs to get your consent before using or disclosing your personal information for any other purpose.

Payment information

Personal information you provide during a credit card transaction may be stored, accessed from or disclosed outside Canada for payment processing. When you complete a credit card transaction, you consent to this use and disclosure of your personal information. For information on how credit card companies protect your information, refer to their card holder policies and privacy policies.

If a service requires that you pay through direct deposit or cheque, your banking information is handled for processing and payment by Office Staff or other individual(s) designated by the Pastor and Finance Council. Access to your personal banking information is restricted to specific individuals who need access to this information to process your payment.

External service providers

Some Parish functions, like online payment processing services, are provided by external service providers. All external service providers that work with the Parish must comply with this Privacy Statement and meet the applicable security and privacy policies of the Parish and Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth. Social media publishers used by the Parish include Facebook and YouTube. Personal account logins used to interact with the Parish through these channels are subject to the privacy policies of the respective publisher.

Communicating with the Parish

If you send the Parish an email, submit an inquiry or provide feedback online, the Parish will use or disclose your personal information as needed to provide you with a response. For example, the Parish may share necessary personal information with another Catholic service organization if your inquiry relates to that organization. The Parish will only share your personal information with the individuals who need it to respond to you.

Information about you

The Parish collects some information automatically when you visit our website and when you use Parish online services.

IP Addresses

The Parish considers the IP address to be personal information. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to all devices used to access the internet. Web servers record the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. In certain circumstances, it could be used, together with other information, to identify an individual using the site. For example, an ISP may co-operate with government in a criminal investigation by providing extra information to use for this purpose. For online privacy tips see: Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy.

Web Server Logs

When you access the Parish website, our hosted web server collects some information about your internet connection and your browsing experience in their logs. This includes the IP address of your internet connection and information about what you access on the websites.

The Parish uses this information only to fulfill your requests. The Parish does not attempt to use this information to identify individuals visiting the website, unless it detects an attempt to damage or violate the site, or if a law enforcement investigation requires it. The Parish protects and restricts access to this information.

How cookies are used

The Parish website may use cookies, which are small pieces of data stored on your computer that allow the Parish to remember certain pieces of information about your visit.

Cookies do not allow the Parish to identify individuals. You may adjust your browser settings to reject cookies. However, it may affect your experience when you interact with the Parish website.

Google Analytics

The Parish uses Google Analytics to help us understand how you use our website. This helps the Parish improve online services and make the website more useful.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • The pages you visit
  • How long you spend on each web page
  • How you got to the website
  • What you click on while you’re visiting the website
  • Type of browser or device
  • Date and time

Google Analytics does not collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are. Data collected by Google may be stored outside of Canada.

You can opt out of Google Analytics.

Links to other websites

The Parish website may include links to websites managed by other Catholic, public and private sector organizations. The Parish is not responsible for the protection of any information you give to these websites or the content on these websites.

Protecting your personal information

Email messages

The Parish cannot guarantee the privacy and security of email or contact form messages sent from your computer to us because this information might be transmitted without encryption and may be intercepted enroute. For your protection, carefully consider the type and the amount of personal information you send us directly by email or through our contact form.

Video conferencing

Some Parish programs are delivered over the video conferencing system Zoom. Information exchanged through this application may be intercepted or accessed by unauthorized third parties. We recommend that you join Zoom meetings through your web browser rather than using the Zoom desktop software and that you familiarize yourself with Zoom security. Users agree to use Zoom at their own risk.

How the Parish safeguards your information

The Parish takes reasonable security steps to protect your personal information. We use a variety of security measures to protect your information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure or disposal. For example, we:

  • Have electronic and physical security measures that limit access to our information systems and personal information to clergy, staff, and lay ministry leaders who need access to the information to provide services; and
  • Use technical measures, such as firewalls, passwords and access controls, to secure access to Parish information systems and infrastructure.

Information access and privacy questions

Contact Us if you have questions about this Privacy Statement, how to access your personal information or how to correct your personal information.


The Guide for Businesses and Organizations: Privacy Toolkit  explains the Parish’s responsibilities under Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

For information on Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please see the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner.