Diocesan Position in relation to Current Coronavirus Pandemic
13 March 2020
Over the last twenty four hours I have been in communication with as many priests of the diocese as possible about Masses during this extraordinary time we are living in. I was also in discussion with the bishops of neighbouring dioceses about the issue. We are all anxious to play our part in controlling the spread of the virus and we are also anxious to support our parishioners spiritually and pastorally in what is a difficult and challenging time for people and priests. One of the key issues in our discussions was how can we abide by the Government guidelines not to exceed 100 people in our churches at any given time? Another question was how can we continue to celebrate Mass and the other Sacraments in the light of that directive.
We have reached the following decisions that:
- All weekend Masses will cease in the Diocese of Kilmore until further notice
- Masses on St. Patrick’s Day have been cancelled.
- All weekday Masses in the Diocese of Kilmore will continue as usual.
- That baptisms, weddings and funerals continue in our parishes and that the numbers present in our churches for these celebrations do not exceed 100
It is important that at our weekday Masses we offer prayers for those who have coronavirus and their families, also for the front-line medical people who are working so hard to curtail its spread, for people who are feeling unduly fearful, lonely or isolated at this time etc. At all weekday Masses it is important that the directives that you received regarding the use of Holy Water, the sign of peace, receiving Communion in the hand, the use of sanitisers etc are adhered to.
How funerals are celebrated is vitally important. The practice of sympathising by handshaking the bereaved family cannot take place during this period.
For further details about best practice at this time please check the two directives from the Irish Bishops Conference this week which you will find on our diocesan website.
We will keep you updated over the coming days and weeks.
Stay safe and well and keep up the prayers.
Wishing you every blessing