Yesterday an Taoiseach announced that all counties would move to Level Three of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 from midnight on Tuesday 6th October 2020 for at least three weeks. As a consequence, throughout the Diocese of Clonfert:
(1) The public Celebration of all Sunday Masses and Weekday Masses is cancelled until further notice. Priests will continue to celebrate Mass (including Mass booked for an intention) but without a congregation. All are encouraged to join spiritually in the celebration of Mass from their own homes (resources are available at clonfertdiocese.ie) or by means of parish radio or web-cam or through television and radio broadcasts.
(2) Churches will remain open for individual prayer. Please enter only in small numbers and observe strict social distancing and hygiene routines.
(3) It is advisable that parish news letters continue as normal.
(4) Gatherings for parish related activities should be moved online.
(5) The celebration of the sacraments of Confirmations, First Confession, First Holy Communion is hereby postponed. Once the restrictions are lifted we will resechedule as soon as possible.
(6) Attendance at a funeral service and burial or cremation ceremony should be limited to 25 people. All health and safety precautions should be strictly adhered to.
(7) Attendance at the Sacrament of Marriage should be restricted to a maximum of 25 people. All health and safety precautions should be strictly adhered to.
(8) Those who wish to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism should discuss the matter with their local parish priest.
(9) The celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation may continue as normal with all health and safety precautions strictly adhered to.
(10) The Sacrament of the Sick should be celebrated if necessary and with all health and safety precautions strictly adhered to.
(11) The necessity of house visits should be seriously considered. If such visists are deemed necessary health and safety precautions should be strictly adhered to.
(12) Guidance on remembering the dead in the month of November within the context of Covid-19 will issue in due course.
(13) At this time he over 70s or medically vulnerable are advised to exercise individual judgement, and to stay at home as much as possible, and limit interactions to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced.
(14) During this difficult period we thank you for your continued generosity in returning your envelopes as appropriate using the online donation facility on the Clonfert Diocesan Website.
We are aware of the anxiety and sorrow these renewed restrictions will bring for everyone concerned. This is particularly so given the considerable amount of work everyone has put into reopening our churches safely. Let us renew our prayers for protection from Covid-19. Let us also remember in our prayers those who are sick because of the virus, those who have died. Let us pray for our medical staff and frontline workers, our political leaders and our scientiests at this time. Please do keep safe and help keep each other safe. Our Lady of Clonfert! Pray for us! Amen.