SUNDAY MASS: SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
SATURDAY VIGIL MASS AT 7PM: SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
MONDAY TO FRIDAY DAILY MASS AT 10AM: SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
THE CHURCH WILL BE OPEN FOR PRIVATE PRAYER EACH DAY.
PLEASE OBSERVE SOCIAL/PHYSICAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AT ALL TIMES. PLEASE KEEP A SPACE OF AT LEAST 2 METRES (6.5 FEET) BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER PEOPLE.
DUE TO MEASURES INTRODUCED BY HEALTHCARE AUTHORITIES AND THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLIN, PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE RE MASS TIMES IN RATHMINES CHURCH.
Fifth Sunday of Lent 29 March 2020
Times Like These
Fear not I am with you: Isaiah 40: 10
‘Times like these try men’s(and women’s) souls’ declared Thomas Paine, an inspiriting figure in America’s declaration of Independence from Britain. In our country, when the spectre of pestilence is stalking the land, our souls are being tried or tested and most of our people are passing that test that – try – with flying colours. This applies from An Taoiseach down; like a good doctor, he doesn’t deceive the patient and yet offers hope, if the patient follows the best advice.
That grace under pressure may be a template for us all: to act responsibly and not lose hope. Two young women with coffee-on-the-go stand beneath my window on the Rathmines Road. They chat, but make sure they are the required two metres apart. Maybe the true concept of village will return when all this is over.
As we watch our televisions each night and see the rising numbers of confirmed cases, we could easily panic or fall into despair – these are human reactions. But let us instead, while being aware of the threat, salute the courage and generosity of the many people – thousands – who rallied to the cause and came home to treat the sick. God is present in that brave act of sacrifice.
We will learn much from this pandemic. We will learn that we, far from being invincible, are fragile creatures. We will learn intimations of our mortality and from these lessons may we learn to put aside those arguments and resentments that eat into our souls and do no good to anyone.
We will learn also to appreciate God-given moments: simple yet profound – Dingle Bay at sunset, St Stephen’s Green on a bright spring morning – coffee and shooting the breeze with a friend in Bewley’s. And proud of our people. As our great poet, WB. Yeats puts it: …
that we in the coming days/
May still be the indomitable Irishry.
There’s an old saying from rural Ireland: ‘the worth of the water is felt when the well runs dry.’ Catholics for whom the Mass is the well-spring of their faith were especially sad to learn that even churches might be hazardous places, and were, therefore, unable to take part in the Eucharist.
However, we here in Rathmines are working towards installing a webcam so that you will be able to take part in the Holy Week ceremonies in a church that you love. The webcam will be put to good use – Masses, funerals streamed to relatives who can’t attend and so on.
Fr William King and the Pastoral Council
IMPORTANT LETTER FROM ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN
ON CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL MEASURES
Please read carefully the advice (below) issued this afternoon Thursday 12 March by the Irish Bishops.
Whereas I realise that many of these restrictive measures will make pastoral life more difficult, we have to remember that as a society we have a duty of care to protect ourselves and above all to protect others.
- All Confirmations are postponed until further notice. This applies with immediate effect.
- Are Masses cancelled? Not absolutely. Where normal attendance on Sundays or Weekdays is less than 100, there is no reason not to hold public Mass. Mass with limited congregations can be celebrated to permit participation by web-cam. Pope Francis does this himself every morning. Attention can be drawn for those who cannot attend Mass to the traditional practice of Spiritual Communion.
- In the current emergency, all are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass.
- Funerals: Funeral Masses can be celebrated but limited to close relatives or friends with at most 100 people inside the Church. Larger gatherings of up to 500 could take place outside after Mass or at a graveyard.
- Similarly Church Weddings and Baptisms can take place on condition that attendance does not exceed 100 people inside the Church.
- Within Churches it is necessary that people observe a distance of at least one metre from each other. This is because one of the easiest ways in which the virus is transmitted is through close contact.
- It is not permitted to pass baskets or collection bags from person to person. Arrangements must be made for closely monitored collection points at entrances to Churches, with distinction between the first and second collections. There is also an on-line payment facility for the Common Fund and Share collections on the front page of the diocesan website. Click on “Donate”.
The situation of isolation that many will feel with the current restrictions challenges the Christian community to be attentive to and remember those in our communities who live alone and especially families carrying extra burdens.
I am well aware of the burdens and uncertainty that this complex situation places on priests. We will experience a workload that is uncharted. We must pray for each other, support one another and remain hopeful and be a focal point to provide hope for others. Our Churches can remain open and offer consolation and comfort to us all.
Over the next days, up-dated information will be made available on the diocesan website.
Yours very sincerely
Archbishop of Dublin
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference statement on liturgical considerations in the context of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Serving the common good
As people of faith we are called to face the fears of this moment with a courage not our own and with a generous heart. God is with his people in good times and bad. Like believers in every age we say: ‘If I should walk in The Valley of Darkness no evil would I fear for You are there’. In our hour of trial Jesus calls on us, his followers, to serve the common good by taking responsibility for each other and to prioritise the most vulnerable in our community ahead of our own individual wants and aspirations. At this time our first concern has to be for the elderly, the ill and those with underlying medical conditions.
As bishops we present the following directions in the light of current public health authority advice in Ireland, north and south, aware that these might have to change at very short notice.
Reviewing this information
We ask everyone to continue to follow the guidance of the public health authorities north and south. As the situation evolves, Church-specific information will be updated and published on local diocesan websites, on the website of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference www.catholicbishops.ie and on their related digital media platforms.
Prayer for our protection
We ask for prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus. Placing all our trust in the Lord, and asking Our Lady to intercede for us, we invite everyone to pray these prayers:
Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.
COVID-19 Support Line for Older People
ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open seven days a week, 8am – 8pm, by calling 0818 222 024.