Pastoral Message from Bishop Ray

Our New Situation

All of us are saddened by the new restrictions in place in our region, the whole country being placed on Level Three. It makes things so difficult for so many. It is upsetting that once more we do not have congregations at Mass. Thank God, we have streaming and parish radios in so many of our parishes, Mass on Sunday on Radio Kerry, and daily on television with RTE News Now.

Many people and priests feel that it would be good to allow congregations to gather, however small, in Level Three. A small congregation can represent all of us. Our hearts go out to families who are postponing baptisms or having funerals and weddings with very small numbers.

The Blessing of prayer

Our faith is not confined to the church. Let us not forget that God is ever with each of us through the Holy Spirit, received in baptism and in  confirmation. Christ’s final words on earth were: Know that I am with you always.  When we turn to God in prayer, we unite with each other in Christ. Wherever we pray, we pray with, and for each other.

Our daily prayers, alone or as a household, have always been important for us. Have time for God on Sunday and daily. Especially pray with young children each day. They have beautiful prayers from the ‘Grow in Love’  programme.  In October, pray to Our Lady, pray as she prayed. Pray the Rosary. Reflect on the truth of the words of Jesus in St John’s gospel:

The Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name,

will teach you everything.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.                       

Peace I bequeath to you. (chapter14)

Prayer soothes troubled hearts; prayer reminds us to be thankful for the positive things in our lives and prayer calls on us to be there for each other. Be assured that God is with you always. Turn to God often, especially when you are feeling down, troubled, or worried. “Le Cúnamh Dé”, with his help we can cope well with the months ahead.

An Appeal

One great appeal I make to all in the diocese. This is the most important part of my message. Please, let us all give 100% cooperation with what our country asks of us regarding the Public Health Guidelines: social distancing; face covering; washing / sanitising our hands.  As a united, loving, caring people let us give full cooperation to NPHET and our Government. It is the key to controlling the virus.

We know how deeply any further deterioration in the current serious situation will affect the lives of all of us, young and old. Think of how important the hospitality and tourism industry are to employment in our region. Think of all front-line staff.

United in Prayer

I will remember all in our communities, in the prayers and Masses I offer in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you, for all the good you are doing. Let us pray for each other.

Our Lady health of the sick, pray for us.

+ Ray Browne    Diocese of Kerry    8 October 2020