Archbishop Michael Neary in his Pastoral letter published today for Holy Week says he is offering daily Mass for victims of COVID19, for healthcare workers, researchers developing a vaccine, and for all families.
While Bishop John Fleming of Killala in his pastoral letter makes the point, that at the start of Lent, on Ash Wednesday we were reminded of our frailty and we were advised by Jesus in the Gospel not to parade our faith in public but rather “when you pray go to your private room.” How prophetic these words were then and how much they have become a reality in our lives five week later, he remarks.
The Archbishop of Tuam explains that he is praying in particular for those on ventilators in ICU units and those at the frontline who are ministering to them.
He says we are endeavouring to cope with the chilling challenge of Covid-19 and its consequences of death, disruption and disillusionment. We are living through a very traumatic time not just for Ireland but for the whole world. The results will be far-reaching in terms of physical, psychological, emotional health and the economy.
Not being able to visit with our family and friends at Easter time is a huge sacrifice. Thanks to modern technology and social media, however, we can still keep in touch.
The events of the Middle East 2000 years ago provide us with a perspective on our present situation. Social distancing, closed doors and fear stalk the streets and the thoroughfares of cities across our world.
While Bishop John Fleming of Killala in his pastoral letter says great and genuine thanks has been expressed to so many at this time; doctors, nurses, carers, ambulance drivers, An Garda Síochána, neighbours, the HSE and so on. Let me add one more; a sincere word of thanks to our priests who are always ready to continue their care for the sick and elderly, bury our dead with dignity and with prayer, offer faith and consolation to those who call on them, keep our churches open, where possible, celebrate Mass on their own and place themselves in danger of contracting this virus.