COVID-19 Diocesan Update:
A couple of points just to bring to your attention:
A Roadmap for Returning to Public Worship: I fully appreciate the desire of all of us, priests and people, to be able to return to the public celebration of Masses as soon as it is safe to do so. A Framework Document from the Irish Episcopal Conference applicable to the entire country will be circulated next week. This document will offer clear guidelines for every diocese and serve as a checklist to ensure your church building is ready for reopening. It has been announced earlier today by An Taoiseach that Churches can open for public worship with restrictions beginning on June 29th.
It is essential that every parish establish a Covid-19 Support Team of parishioners to organise preparations and oversee implementation. It would be good to identify volunteers now who will help with the implementation. Every parish will need a supply of signage, cleaning/sanitising materials, once again it would be important to begin to source these now.
The Framework Document will address physical (social) distancing, hygiene and issues around liturgy. Every parish will have to carry out steps to ensure they are ready for reopening. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.
Funerals: As already indicated today at the Governments press briefing the numbers attending Funeral Masses will now be 25 from Monday.
Baptisms: in late March I suggested it would be good not to take any new bookings for baptism. I am conscious of the sacramental backlog facing every parish. With this in mind I am suggesting that parishes may consider offering individual baptisms with only immediate family members who need to be present at the ceremonies (to an absolute maximum of ten). Additional online resources to support parishes in the preparation for baptism will be uploaded onto the KandLe website on June 15th.
Confirmation: I realise there are many children across 39 parishes, who have not had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. There are urgencies here, because the young people involved in most cases are moving on to a different school. I am currently looking at ways to enable children to safely participate in their confirmation in the coming months, please bear with me on this matter.
Donation Buttons on KandLe Website: There are now two electronic ‘Donate Buttons’ on the front page of the diocesan website www.kandle.ie
- The first button is called ‘Parish Collections’. This button allows a donor to donate to any of our parishes towards the Weekly Collection or the Clergy Collection. At the end of each month the money will be transferred to the local parish.
- The second button is called ‘Diocesan Collections’. This allows the donor to support any of our Diocesan appeals and they are listed: Retired Priests, Vocations, Missions, Faith Development, Peter’s Pence, Youth Ministry and Trócaire.
I encourage you to use this method of donating to your parish and the diocese if means allow.
Trócaire: This is a very difficult year for Trócaire to take up their Annual Lenten Appeal. Any way that you can help facilitate this will be deeply appreciated by Trócaire and more importantly by those they support.
You can donate through the Diocesan Donation on KandLe. Some parishes are also accepting donations in parish offices/centres when they are staffed, please check with local parish on this matter.
Retired Priests’ Fund Collection: I realise the collection which should have happened on the last weekend of May, like all collections has been completely hampered this year. Please support this collection in your local parish or by using the online donation button on KandLe.
Every blessing & good wish,
Friday 5 June 2020