A message from Fr Liam – Return to Public Worship

Published on June 28, 2020

Naas Parish Church: Sat Vigil 6pm – Sunday 9am & 11am & 6pm
Ballycane Church: Sat Vigil 7.30pm – Sunday 10.30am & 12 noon
Sallins Church: Sat Vigil 6.30pm – Sunday 10am & 12noon
Two Mile House Church: Sunday 11am

Stewards will direct attendees according to government health guidelines. Please see information below:

Dear Parishioner,  Since the 13th March, we have lived through the strangest of times. Phrases never heard before entered our daily lexicon; social distancing, cocooning, lockdown. It hasn’t been easy and yet there was a new appreciation for the gift of family, of kind neighbours, of nature and of faith itself and the gift of a praying community joining together on webcam.

On Monday the 29th June we are allowed to return to Public Worship. Some look forward to that moment, the opportunity to restore our sense as a sacramental community: present in Christ, and present to each other. Some will be reluctant to return, with personal concerns around health and wellbeing. It is important to state that the dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation to attend Mass is extended for the time being. So you may wish to continue the practice of joining via radio or webcam, until there is greater public confidence and assurance.
If you decide to return to Mass, we do extend a heartfelt ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ (a hundred thousand welcomes). You will find yourself returning to a very different Church in the physical sense.

What do I mean by this?
1. Access to the Church in terms of seating capacity will be severely restricted (adhering to social distance).

2. You will need to take guidance from stewards, this will require patience and understanding from all concerned.

3. You may not be able to sit in your familiar, favourite seat.

4. There will be entrance only and exit only through designated doors.

5. Please note that all toilets in all Churches will not be open for use.

6. The wearing of a mask is strongly recommended for all attending Mass.

7. Having a personal supply of hand gel in your pocket is strongly advised for personal use prior to reception of Holy Communion.

8. When the Church has reached its designated capacity inside, parishioners may be asked to stand outside.

9. Dress for all weathers, bring an umbrella and perhaps a small seat or stool, for outside use.

10. Mass will be relayed to people outside by loud speaker and other technologies.

11. Reception of Holy Communion will follow a one way system inside the Church, taking guidance from the stewards.

12. If you are taking part in Mass outside the Church, Holy Communion will be brought to you.

13. Exiting the Church will be directed by the stewards.

14. As you leave the Church grounds, the development and offertory collection will be taken together. You may place your contribution in the ‘collection buckets’.

15. As Sunday is temporarily not a day of obligation for Catholics. You are strongly encouraged to consider attending a weekday morning or evening Mass. This would suffice as your ‘Sunday Mass’. Attending just one Mass in the week is encouraged, therefore enabling people to be equally spread out.

16. If you decide to come to Mass every day, parishioners should attend just ‘one Mass’, so as to allow others the opportunity to attend Mass.

17. And at all times each of us must exercise ‘personal care and responsibility’.

It is not my intention to burden people with guidelines and protocols, however in returning to Bishop’s House a ‘Declaration of Readiness’ we are duty bound to be compliant in every way. Thus ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all parishioners.

A return to Public Worship, however gradual, will be a source of great joy and hope for our three Parishes. Following guidelines should not in any way compromise the integrity of the liturgy. Indeed, every effort should be made to support active, prayerful and joyful participation.

To conclude, I want to thank all our Parish staff and all the many volunteers, including those who have faithfully cleaned and sanitised our Churches over these weeks and months. Thanks to the Covid-19 Support Team for their sterling work and dedication.

Finally thank you, to each of you for your kindness, your support of us Priests and for your faithful support to the three Parishes by way of envelopes, online donations and bank transfer. It is deeply appreciated in sustaining the work and well-being of the Parish. Important to remember, no matter what the present or the future brings, ‘nothing can ever separate us from the love of God’.

With every blessing,
Liam Morgan
Parish Priest