COVID-19 Diocesan Update:
A note in the light of recent news reports around a rise in Covid-19 Cases:
It is very obvious that there are huge concerns around the increasing rate of infection in counties across the country, some of those of particular concern are within our own diocese.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer and other experts are very anxious that we all at a local level need to emphasise the real seriousness of the current growth in the numbers being infected. The increase seems to be due to gatherings within households. Whatever we can do to encourage less gatherings, the better for all. Parishes across the diocese have done huge work to ensure their local church is ready and safe for public worship. I see this myself on my daily visits to parishes.
I am concerned that there might be a rush to, as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said recently, “get First Communions and Confirmations done”. I am aware that many are planned for the coming weekend. I very much appreciate the work done by parishes, schools and families in preparation for these sacraments. There is no need to rush the celebrations, in fact by rushing them we could unintentionally increase the Covid-19 rate of infection, with the household gatherings that inevitably follow.
The sacraments should be celebrated only when it is safe to do so. I simply ask you to pause before rushing into rescheduling or bringing forward celebrations. In essence none of us know what the coming days or weeks will bring, cancellations of ceremonies, while very unfortunate may happen at short notice. We must continue to follow all public health guidelines. What I am hearing of the already celebrated smaller ceremonies is very favourable.
Let us continue to pray earnestly for all those affected by the virus and those working on the frontline.
Every blessing & thanks,
Tuesday 22 September 2020