It now seems that Covid-19 will be with us for a long time to come – and finding a vaccination may prove a more difficult task than is presumed. A complete ‘lock-down’ cannot be the answer long-term vis-à-vis mental health and social cohesion. Surely some imaginative ways must be discovered to allow life return to some kind of ‘new-normal’ – and particularly to allow religious people – whose first instinct is to intercede before God for solutions to this pestilence – find refuge where they have always found refuge in God’s house.
The Christian community is the most socially aware in Ireland today. It is not a co-incidence that ‘Church-gate’ collections are still very profitable despite falling congregations. Prior to the shut-down the small weekday congregation in most churches was aware of the threat of Covid-19 – and took the recommended precautions seriously; i.e. social distancing, sanitizing hands, even wearing face-masks. In present day Ireland almost any church building has the space for social distancing – and the good intent is there to make sure that it is not contributing to the problem. Visiting churches for private adoration poses no greater risk than shopping in Lidl or Supervalu or the local Off-License’. For sure, the sick, the elderly, those with health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19, and people who are just fearful of catching it should be strongly encouraged to stay at home. Masses could be shortened so as to reduce the amount of time people are in any kind of proximity to each other. One thing that is becoming clearer is that the risk of infection from contact with surfaces has been greatly exaggerated, as the recently published study from Germany has concluded. There is no need to fear touching doors, benches, etc. It is high time to be reasonable about this and get over the inordinate fear that is paralyzing.
As the world is going through the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting home confinements, Shalom World, by the Grace of God, has prepared a spiritual banquet for the Holy week in an effort to help people to combat distress, agony, hopelessness and depression with the Peace found in Jesus Christ.
Easter Ceremonies from North Cathedral, Cork
Holy Week will be very different this year. – unable to attend the ceremonies in person, we will be able to follow the Easter ceremonies from the North Cathedral, led by Fintan Gavin, bishop of Cork and Ross via Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/user107940676
Holy Thursday – 7.30pm
Good Friday – 3.00pm
Holy Saturday – 9.00pm
As the rate of infection from Covid-19 spreads rapidly across Ireland, now resulting in numerous deaths, an air of helplessness and despondency is evident among our people. Therefore, we call on Gurranabraher parishioners to display a religious object from the windows of their houses. A picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or one of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (or any other saint), can give a powerful message that God and his Elect are with his people in these moments of danger.
Such a display will let others know that you are praying for an end to this scourge that threatens to unleash devastating results both short term and long term on the Irish Nation. We ask that you would encourage other believers to do the same.
The last great Polio epidemic that struck Ireland particularly in the 1950s witnessed a great mobilisation of believers to offer Masses and Rosaries both in churches and at ‘roadside Marian shrines’ to be spared from this affliction. Be in no doubt that ‘divine intervention’ is as necessary for ending this plague as is the work of great scientific and medical minds and the front-line staff who so heroically tend to victims. Please spread this news.
We remind parishioners that we continue to hold them in our prayers and in our Masses that we celebrate privately each day. For everyone there is much adjusting to do in these unprecedented times. For us it is very difficult to say Mass alone each morning when our lives have been centered around meeting people and celebrating the sacraments with them.
We feel for the many who cherished the Eucharist each day and who now feel abandoned by everyone – even the Church. We ask them to have faith – to put their trust in God. We encourage all to say the Rosary daily for the salvation of the world. If only families would begin to say the Rosary what a difference it would make to the world.