Pastoral Letter from Bishop Monahan.

St Mary’s Church, Cranny

Pastoral Letter – May 2020 

Re-opening of Churches for Personal, Private Prayer – Killaloe Diocese from May 18th, 2020 – A message for the People of the Diocese – Bishop Fintan Monahan

The decision to close church buildings in Killaloe was an act of solidarity and commitment to the national effort required to suppress the Corona Virus. Closing Churches was a demonstration of the depth of commitment (not just compliance) required to safeguard the health of all in our society, both the vulnerable and the strong.  I fully recognise the huge sacrifice that closing churches has been for parishioners and priests alike.

At this point, following consultation at many different levels and much advice – it is time to consider reopening our churches in a responsible manner for private  and personal prayer from the date of May 18th, 2020. In order for this to happen, each parish would need to ensure a safe environment for both parishioners and parish staff. This will require looking at the geography/layout  of the church and putting in measures that will help facilitate social distancing and hygiene.

In order for churches to re-open in a responsible manner, the following need to be considered:

  • Availability of hand sanitisers in appropriate locations in the church.
  • Access to and flow of people within the building: If there are two entry points, could one be designated as an entrance and the other as an exit? How will social distancing be facilitated in the space? Can doors be left open to minimise the amount of touching?
  • Signage: reminding people of distancing, hand hygiene, minimum touching of surfaces etc.
  • Cleaning of the church: Can measures be put in place to ensure that surfaces are cleaned at least once a day? Who will do this? Can this be done by our parish staff or volunteers? Might the parish enlist the help of extra volunteers?

Masses will continue to be celebrated behind closed doors, but I look forward to a later stage in the roadmap, at the designated phase where it will be possible to recommence weekday Masses, and other liturgies with small numbers present, but we are not anywhere near this yet.

All of this will be open to ongoing review. Our first stage must be a gentle reopening of churches responding to the deep need for parishioners, some who have perhaps been in isolation for weeks, to call into their local church and offer a prayer.

At a time like this we as a diocese and Church Community redouble our efforts to look out for each other and continue to pray for each other at this challenging time.

Our thoughts, prayers, sympathies go out to anyone who has experienced illness, loss or bereavement during this difficult time, especially those affected by the Corona Virus.

The Prayer of Pope Francis for the month of May helps us in our time of challenge:

O Mary,

You shine continuously on our journey

as a sign of salvation and hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,

who, at the foot of the cross,

were united with Jesus’ suffering,

and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”,

you know our needs,

and we know that you will provide,

so that, as at Cana in Galilee,

joy and celebration may return

after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform ourselves to the will of the Father

and to do what Jesus tells us.

For he took upon himself our suffering,

and burdened himself with our sorrows

to bring us, through the cross,

to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always
from very danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgi
n.

 

St. Flannan, Pray for us.

St. Senan, Pray for us.

Amen.

 

First Confession and Holy Communion

Due to the public health emergency and the uncertainty regarding the re-opening of our churches and schools, we have decided to reschedule First Confessions and First Holy Communion. The revised dates are:

First Confessions, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 at 7pm in St Mary’s Church, Cranny;

First Holy Communion, Saturday, 26 September at 11am in St Benedict’s Church, Coolmeen.

We ask for the blessing and protection of the Lord during these worrying times and pray for all who are working to keep us safe.

We wish parents every blessing as you continue to help your children prepare to receive the grace of the sacraments.

Holy Week and Easter 2020

The Holy Week and Easter Liturgies will be celebrated in St Michael’s Church, Kildysart at the following times:

Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 8pm;
Good Friday –     The Passion of the Lord, 3pm;
Holy Saturday –  Easter Vigil, 9pm;
Easter Sunday –  Mass of the Resurrection, 11am.

All liturgies will be live-streamed on the Kildysart Parish Facebook page. Unfortunately the signal in Coolmeen and Cranny does not allow us to live-stream from those Churches.

Copies of the booklet containing the Holy Week liturgies are available in the Post Offices and shops in our pastoral area. We thank the shop owners for their help in this regard.

May the Lord be close to us as we relive in our homes his victory over sin and death.

 


Sunday Mass

While the present public health emergency continues we plan to live stream Mass each Sunday at 11am from St Michael’s Church, Kildysart on the Kildysart parish facebook page.

Unfortunately, the signal at Cranny or Coolmeen  is not sufficiently strong to allow us life stream Mass from those Churches.


 

 

COVID -19. Staying Safe

COVID-19: To help counter the spread of infection, we are asked to:

  • suspend shaking hands at Mass as a sign of peace;
  • suspend the distribution of the chalice;
  • receive Holy Communion only on the hand;
  • suspend the use of holy water fonts;
  • request eucharistic ministers to use hand cleanser before and after distributing Holy Communion;
  • suspend the circulation of the collection basket. You may place your envelope/donation in the basket/box at the entrance to the Church;
  • use all the space in the Church so as to ensure (in so far as possible) a distance of one meter between people, other than family members;
  • use the hand sanitiser placed at the Church doors.

If anyone would like to have holy water blessed for use in their own home, the priest celebrating Mass is happy to do so after Mass.

 

 

Ash Wednesday – 26 Feb 2020

Ash Wednesday:

Next Wednesday (26 February) is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent.

It is a day of fast and abstinence. Mass including the blessing and distribution of ashes will be celebrated in St Mary’ Church, Cranny on Wednesday at 9.30am and in St Michael’s Church, Kildysart at 8pm.

Christ spent 40 days fas in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan. Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday is a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from the palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the foreheads of Christians to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

Parish Finance Council

financial statement with calculator and penThe following are the members of our parish finance council:

Antoinette Quinlivan, Chairperson;
Susan King, Secretary;

Des Murphy;
Catherine Corry;
Fr Albert McDonnell.

The next meeting our parish finance council is scheduled for Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 8pm to take place in the Parochial House, Coolmeen.

 

 

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated on Tuesday, 11 February. It is the world day of prayer for the sick.

Mass included the sacrament of anointing will be celebrated in St Mary’s Church, Cranny on Tuesday at 7pm.

Any person who is advanced in years or suffering from an illness may receive the sacrament of the sick.

In administering the sacrament  the priest anoints the person on the head saying ‘Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit’, and on the palms of the hands as saying ‘May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up.”

Pope Francis’ message centred on the theme of ‘“Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28) may be found here.