LOCAL parishioners are being asked not to attend Mass in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus, and instead tune in online.
Masses are not currently cancelled in most local parishes, however Mgr Peter O’Reilly has urged members of the Catholic congregation across in the St Michael’s Parish and across Fermanagh to “stay home and tune in” online, instead of putting themselves and others at risk by attending Mass.
Mgr O’Reilly said that Mass is still being held locally in Enniskilen, including for anniversaries and months minds, and St Michael’s Church in Enniskillen will still be open for personal prayer. However, he urged people not to attend if possible as if congregation numbers exceed 100, Mass may have to be cancelled altogether. Full details are in the statement below.
Similar advice has been issued to all parishes by Bishop Larry Duffy, who has released parishes from their obligations to Sunday Mass.
STATEMENT IN FULL:
Statememt issued from Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, PP, VG on the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
If you have any queries, feel free to message us.
“This message follows the statement from Bishop Duffy and the Irish Bishops Conference. The present situation is changing and further statements will follow.
“Together with all the other Irish bishops, Bishop Duffy has introduced new norms to apply during this time of COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
“Firstly, these norms are about being responsible and considerate to those more vulnerable than ourselves. They are about attempting to contain the transmission of this virus for as long as possible until the weather improves and other viruses, like flu, are less active. These norms are also about trying to suppress the peak number of cases that may occur so that if and when it does get going there will be fewer cases. While the outbreak may be significant, we can help to reduce it.”
What is being asked at this time?.
We can help to limit this outbreak if we are careful. So in practical terms, what is being asked of us now with this new announcement?
Firstly, stay home. everyone; stay at home and watch Mass over the parish webcam. You’ll find the link on the parish website. It’s on the MCN media website. It’ll be live streamed on the parish Facebook page when we get that organised. When I have those details they will be put on Facebook.
The church will remain open for personal prayer. You can come in yourself to pray. But gatherings are to be discouraged at this time. We are okay with up to 100 people in the church during Mass. But this is for the attendance of those connected to Anniversary Masses and Month’s Minds. Otherwise, parishioners are asked to remain away.
Some parishes have cancelled Masses altogether. In other words they will have no Mass whatever. For now, I’m prepared to run with our present schedule of Masses provided people stay away and watch in from home or their mobile or their computer. If the numbers in the church itself gets too high consistently then I will have little choice but to cancel Masses altogether. So the request is that people stay away.
Meanwhile please be aware that Bishop Larry Duffy has suspended the Sunday and St Patrick’s Day obligation to be in the church. For now, we will fulfil our obligation over the internet during this extraordinary time.
Also please be aware that the talk by Father Brendan McManus, SJ, planned for this weekend has been postponed for now.
Also the Parents & Carers of the P4 pupils who are for First Communion should watch in over the webcam this weekend for the “Do This in Memory” Mass
Don’t forget to wash the hands with soap and hot water. And don’t touch the face.
This is a very fast-moving situation and it’s a lot for us all to take in – parish clergy included. So thank you for your understanding, your kind help and cooperation in this matter. “
St Macartan, pray for us.
St Michael, pray for us.
St Fanchea, pray for us.
St Fergus, pray for us.