Pastoral Implications of Level Five of Living with Covid-19

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint”. Isaiah 40:31

We are very conscious of the huge disappointment that we all feel as a result of these renewed restrictions (effective 22 October for 6 weeks), especially as such a very fine job has been done over the past three months in preparing and keeping our churches safe to ensure a dignified celebration of the liturgy. 

  • The public celebration of all Sunday Masses and Weekday Masses is not possible during this time. Priests will continue to celebrate Mass but without a congregation.
  • All are encouraged to join spiritually in the celebration of Mass from their own homes, by means of parish radio, webcam or television.
  • All churches remain open for individual prayer. Please enter only in small numbers and observe strict social distancing and hygiene routines.
  • The celebration of the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion must, unfortunately, be postponed. Once the restrictions are lifted, they will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
  • Attendance at a funeral liturgy or burial is limited to 25 mourners.
  • Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage is limited to a maximum of 25 guests. 
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation will continue to be celebrated throughout the diocese in the manner outlined in “Nothing Can Separate us from the Love of God”.
  • Routine house visits are suspended, but priests are encouraged to maintain contact with their regular sick-call list, either by phone or even by means of window visits.
  • The Sacrament of the Sick may be celebrated as dictated by pastoral need.
  • Pastoral gatherings (eg; Sacramental Preparation, Parish Council Meetings etc) will continue online
  • Please remember the basic steps we can all take personally to reduce the spread of the virus – washing our hands regularly, keeping our physical distance, reducing our social contacts, practicing good respiratory hygiene.

Bishop Kevin Doran, 22 October 2020