This applies from now to Thursday next:
Regarding Masses (daily and weekend) and other liturgies in the context of Covid-19 pandemic:
The decision of the diocese of Kerry is that no public Masses will be celebrated this weekend or St Patrick’s Day.
No public weekday Masses will be celebrated. Many of those who regularly attend are in the vulnerable category. In solidarity with them we want that no one will be coming out to Mass. Every person minimising social contact is key. If this saves even one life . . .
- Priests will continue to celebrate their Masses, without a congregation, for all the people of the diocese. Where possible this will be broadcast via parish radio or webcam / streaming. People are asked to consider setting aside a few minutes for prayer at 11 am on Sundays and St Patrick’s Day. Thus we all unite as one in prayer, uniting with all the Masses being celebrated privately. Also many people are deciding to pray the Rosary or a decade at home each evening.
- Meanwhile the diocese will seek to consult widely and by Thursday will make decisions regarding the next few weeks. This gives us time to pause and make good decisions.
- Our parishes need time to think things through: serving all the faith-needs of the people; a special care for the health of those with underlying conditions and those advanced in years; proper guidance for priests and key parish workers e.g. regarding funerals and baptisms. It is important for the functioning of each parish that our priests do not contact the virus.
- This coming weekend is very important. Who knows how quickly the virus will further spread? All of us need to adapt to all the measures that the government are asking us to implement. I encourage everyone to follow all their recommendations. Together, looking out for each other, we can come through the days and weeks ahead well.
- Be a good neighbour. Who around you needs a phonecall?
- A special greeting to all candidates for Confirmation and their families and school communities. We have had such wonderful celebrations in recent weeks. How disappointing for those whose ceremonies are now delayed. In time all will be rearranged. Did we think we would be looking to the Holy Spirit so soon to lead and guide us all during this pandemic?
We seek consolation and peace in the Word of God:
“Do not let your love be a pretence . . . Love each other as much as sisters and brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other. . . If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. . . If any among you are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.” Romans 12
The words of Jesus Christ to us all: “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt 11:28
Bishop Ray Browne.
12th March 2020.