COVID-19 response

Very Reverend and Dear Father,

I have consulted widely on the celebration of Mass in the Diocese in the context of today’s announcement from the Government and the ban on gatherings of more than 100 people. We must be mindful of public health and I am particularly concerned at the inability to maintain a congregation below 100.

In that context, I am suspending all public Masses in the Diocese with immediate effect.

Weddings and funerals may continue provided the government guidelines are adhered to.

Obviously priests will continue to offer Mass and I would ask you to join me in offering Mass for those who are sick and worried at this time. It may be possible that some of these private Masses can be broadcast on webcam, and if so, parishioners should be advised accordingly.

While Masses are suspended, the voice of prayer should not be silent.

I know that many will want to go to our churches and pray privately and it should be accommodated.

With every blessing,

+Tom

Please see below further advice published on behalf of the Irish Episcopal Conference by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA and Archbishop Michael Neary:

The following instructions take into consideration the new norms issued by the Irish government to be in force at 18:00 today (Thursday 12 March 2020). Bishops are asked to promulgate these instructions in their dioceses as soon as possible.

These instructions complement the advice issued yesterday by the Irish Episcopal Conference and remain in place until 29 March 2020. It is likely that these restrictions will continue for some time after that, and instructions regarding the celebration of Holy Week will be issued in due course.

The motivation for these new restrictive measures is a sense of care for the common good and especially for those most vulnerable. Each Christian community should be acutely aware of the responsibility to care for those who are most at risk. For example, even where it may not be appropriate to visit the elderly, a simple telephone call to enquire about their needs could mean so much to them.

Norms

All non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings, such as formation gatherings, retreats and seminars are cancelled.
All Confirmations are postponed until further notice.
Every Catholic is entitled to a dignified Christian burial. Attendance at Funeral services and Masses should be limited to close relatives and must not exceed 100 attendees within the church building.
Similarly, Church weddings and baptisms may be celebrated on condition that the attendance in church does not exceed 100 people.
In these difficult and uncertain times, people find strength, consolation and hope in prayer. Churches should remain open for prayer each day.
In the current emergency situation, all are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass. Parishes should inform parishioners of the local possibilities to participate in Mass via local radio and online. It may be possible for some parishes to facilitate attendance at Mass while still observing the health authority’s limit of 100 people.
This is an occasion for all of us – especially in families – to pray more intensely for each other and especially for those who have succumbed to the illness. We should pray also for those at the frontlines – especially doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including clergy – that the Lord will protect them as they place their own wellbeing at risk in the service of all.

 

https://dioceseofmeath.ie/covid-19-response/

April 3, 2020
Weekly Bulletin 05/04/2020 [...](read more)


April 3, 2020
Below you will find links to all of our previous weekly bulletins for [...](read more)