We look forward to the re-opening of our two churches for the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments from June 29th next. In the meantime, our parish will undertake a lot of necessary preparatory work, which has already begun in earnest. Bishop Fleming has issued a Document to the parishes of the diocese to assist us in our preparations and to help ensure that the re-opening happens in a safe and measured way. The prescriptions contained in the Document will only be effective if we have the generous support of volunteers who will help to plan, implement and manage the new situation. I am grateful to all who have indicated their willingness to help, particularly in the areas of stewarding and cleaning. We will be working closely with you in the weeks ahead. We will also be calling on younger members of our parish to step forward in helping us with cleaning, stewarding, reading, ministering the Eucharist and other roles and responsibilities which some of our older members may be unable to fulfil at this time. The re-opening of St. Muredach’s and St. Patrick’s to public worship will happen slowly and tentatively at first. Next week, with a view to helping manage parishioners’ expectations, I hope to be able to publish here a ‘What to Expect’ checklist. Some people may prefer, for a while, to continue to join us virtually from home over webcam, because of their vulnerability or because of nervousness about going out immediately into gatherings. Bishop Fleming has extended the dispensation from the Sunday and Holyday obligation for the time being. Others may opt to come to a weekday Mass (rather than on Sunday) when the church may have less people present. As we move forward in the coming two weeks with the reopening preparations, I hope that many in our parish will be inspired to respond with generosity and energy in helping to renew and strengthen parish life and worship.
May God continue to bless you and your families.
Fr. Aidan O'Boyle P.P