Dear Parishioners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s
I hope that you are all keeping well and safe. You are all in my thoughts and prayers very often. I know that this is a very difficult time for all of us, none more so than for those living on their own. There is a lot of hidden suffering behind closed doors. Please think of those that you might be able to reach out to with a phone call or an e mail, even if it is just one person. A small gesture of kindness can go a long way.
You may have read in the media that senior Church officials are pressing the Government to permit the opening of at least some churches for private prayer. Perhaps it will work in some places, but it won’t be practical everywhere. The list of requirements to make the building safe and to protect those coming to pray, is quite formidable. Apart from these media reports, parish priests have heard nothing at all. If it can be proven to work, I suspect it will be rolled out very gradually and carefully. With the infection rate remaining high, I suspect that most people will prefer to stay at home until the situation improves. As for the resumption of public Masses, that day seems much further away.
All in all, we are not likely to be able to return to church for some time to come. Once news comes through, I shall make sure that you all know what is happening as quickly as possible.
Speaking of public Masses, I want to repeat here what I wrote in the parish news section of our website yesterday. Once the Bishops decided to cease all public Masses, I stopped taking any further Mass Intentions. I shall not accept anymore until our public Masses resume. The reason for this is that each Mass intention must be assigned a date and time and the Intention must be publicly published. I am not permitted to stockpile Mass Intentions for a later time. So we must wait until Public Masses are resumed.
May I ask, therefore, that no Mass Intentions are requested or handed in. Instead, I have suggested that anyone may send in specific requests for prayer which can be published on the website. In this way, all of us can pray for the specific needs put before us.
May God bless you all,