The following are the parish guidelines in relation to the suspensions of Parish celebrations with immediate effect until March 29th.
Dear Parishioners, we the priests of the parish wish to speak to you about the decision of the government, HSE and Catholic Bishops to restrict the gatherings of people to a maximum of 100 for indoor, and 500 for outdoor gatherings. Bishop Fintan has also instructed us to implement the same policy.
We want to say from the outset these decisions come on the one hand as a very necessary part we can play in preventing the spread of Coronavirus, and on the other hand the implications it has for our parish gatherings, especially the celebration of Sunday and Weekday Masses, and the celebrations of Funerals and Baptisms. I want to reassure you and especially those of you who are worried, I know and understand it’s a challenging time, but it’s important we stand together. Your safety and the safety of us all is paramount. Let’s not forget throughout the bible in difficult times, God always walks with his people. God walks with us at this time. Let’s walk together being good to each other, being kind to each other, looking out for each other. In many ways it’s prayer in action and we join with you.
We now bring to your attention the following practices in relation to the gatherings of people to a maximum of 100 indoors and 500 outdoors, which affects our parish celebrations. We hope this will clear up any concerns, worries and uncertainties as we go forward together.
Suspension of Masses and Celebrations until March 29th
Daily and Sunday Masses
With immediate effect the following will apply for our parish Masses, Funeral Masses, Baptisms, First Communion and Confirmation:
All Masses, daily and Sunday will be suspended as from tonight until March 29th. We hope and pray we are in a position to resume our Sunday Masses on March 29th which are at the heart of our parish community and to which are close to the hearts of many. But the resumption of Masses on March 29th is not guaranteed at this time. All anniversaries that have been booked to be celebrated from tomorrow March 14th until March 29th will be celebrated at a later date on the resumption of Masses.
During this period of suspension, daily and Sunday Masses without a congregation will be broadcast from SS John and Paul Church on our parish webcam/parish radio/and parish facebook. Daily Mass will be broadcast at 10am and 7pm from Monday to Friday, and Sunday Masses will be broadcast at 6.30pm (Vigil), 10am and 11am. There will be NO Masses broadcast from Mary Immaculate Church.
Our Church’s and Adoration Chapel will remain open for personal prayer during this period. All are welcome to call in for prayer, reflection, and to light a candle for our people at this time. Your also invited to pray the Stations of the Cross or the Rosary.
In the event of a funeral Mass it is important we journey with our bereaved families at the time of sadness and loss. Funeral Masses will be celebrated in SS John and Paul Church only with family, and close friends only to the maximum of 100. SS John and Paul Church has the facility to broadcast Mass live to housebound parishioners on the parish radio, webcam and Facebook. I ask that everyone pray for the dead and their family, or send card of sympathy. The practice of offering condolences and sympathies at funerals is paused.
Baptisms will be celebrated as normal and the rule of the maximum of 100 for indoors gatherings will apply. Baptisms can be booked through the parish office which will remain open.
First Holy Communion
The celebration of First Holy Communion in our parish will take place as normal for now at the end of April and during the month of May. We will continue to review this in the coming weeks and if necessary, will reschedule the date of celebration if instructed to do so. But no matter what the celebration of First Communion for our children will take place. I would ask the families of our children making First Communion to reassure them they will have their special day. We will keep you updated throughout.
The celebration of Confirmation Ceremony of Light scheduled before Easter is cancelled. The celebration of Confirmation Day in our parish will take place as normal for now during the month of May. We will continue to review this in the coming weeks and if necessary will reschedule the date of celebration if instructed to do so. I ask families to reassure their child making Confirmation that it will be celebrated. Once again we will keep you updated throughout.
Eucharistic Adoration for all adorers will be suspended from tonight until Monday March 30th. This may be extended depending on the Coronavirus. There will be no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Mass is also suspended. However, the Adoration Chapel will remain open for personal prayer from 9am to 6pm daily from Monday to Friday only.
The parish office will remain open with normal working hours for parish business on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Parishioners and visitors are welcome to call to carry out your normal parish business.
During this time of uncertainty and for some it a time of worry, let’s bring out the best in each other, to help and support one another and to ensure that the elderly and those who live on their own are checked on. Let’s be kind and good to each other. Let’s remain calm. Our Church’s and Adoration Chapel will remain open as normal. I invite you to visit and say a pray for each other and our nation, or to light a candle. We will also make our Sunday newsletters with the Sunday readings available from our Church’s and website.
At every opportunity we will update you as to developments on our parish notices, website, Facebook and Twitter feeds.
May God bless you, our parish and our country at this time!
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.