Reopening of the churches for public Mass on June 29th

A few words from Fr Joe….
Dear friends,
As you may have read in the latest Parish Newsletter, we are planning with a sense of hope and new beginnings, for the reopening of the churches for public Mass on June 29th. To facilitate the greatest number of people, given that the capacity of the church will be reduced, the full usual Mass schedule will be followed. But firstly, I want to thank you for your patience and resilience, for your support and kindness to me and each other in this strange period while we have had to stay apart in order to care for
each other. The experience of ‘virtual’ Mass, fasting from the Eucharist, while bringing new reflection and learning, is no substitute for our usual vibrant, joyful gatherings as a faith family.

We look forwardwith anticipation to praying together once more, together at Mass, and being in the church. With that goal in mind, and in line with the recent Bishop’s guidelines, we are making plans initially for the Masses
to the end of August. I am conscious that some of you will still have health concerns, holidays planned
or other matters to consider. But, in terms of your role as a parish volunteer, if you feel comfortable
returning to ministry now, you are most welcome. Please liaise with your group coordinator in respect
of the usual rotas. For that initial period too, we anticipate a particular need for people to ‘meet and
greet’ in the church – welcoming parishioners back to Weekend Mass and guiding them to their seats,
ensuring safe-seating in the marked places and facilitating ease of exit, allowing for physical distancing
requirements as we leave the Masses.

If you are available to help in this role, please send an email the Parish Office on indicating the dates and Mass times of your availability over the
Masses during the 9 weekends from 4th July – 30th August. We anticipate needing 4 – 6 stewards for
each Mass. Archbishop Diarmuid has mentioned that young adults could be especially helpful in these
roles, so please encourage them and let them know how welcome they would be for any Mass at all. You
will have read in the Newsletter that I am anxious about the disappointment that some parishioners may
experience if they come for Mass and find the church full. So please join me in encouraging everyone
you know to think of others, to be patient and remind them that the Sunday obligation is not binding
and participating at Mass any day during the week is sufficient. We will be very attentive for the first
couple of weeks and respond as quickly as possible to any issues you observe and share with me. I
appreciate and thank you in advance for your co-operation, your support and your community spirit.

If you have any thoughts or ideas as we travel this road of ‘new beginning’ together, then please drop me
a line or contact the Parish Office. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, best wishes, and abundant blessings.
Fr Joe