Bishop Urges Public To Abide By Public Health Guidelines During New Restrictions

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Bishop Ray Browne

BISHOP Ray Browne has issued a pastoral message to parishioners to do what the country asks of them regarding the Public Health Guidelines, as Level 3 Restrictions result in public masses moving online again.

The impact of Level 3 restrictions on Parish activity and religious services is as follows:

• Public Mass is not permitted and moves online.

• Churches may remain open for private worship.

• In the case of funerals, a private funeral will take place due to Government advice regarding public gatherings. A maximum of 25 people may attend a funeral.

Continued below…


• Weddings may take place but no more than 25 people may attend a wedding ceremony.

• Baptisms are not permitted and should be postponed until there is a return to Level 2 restrictions.

• First Holy Communion and Confirmation are not permitted and should be postponed until there is a return to Level 2 restrictions.

• In person meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council and other Parish Committees are not permitted. Consider holding such meetings by Zoom.

• Parish Offices may remain open but subject to strict compliance with all social distancing and hand sanitisation requirements. Face coverings must be worn by anyone visiting a Parish Office.

A pastoral letter to people in the Diocese from Bishop Browne reads as follows…

“All of us are saddened by the new restrictions in place in our region, the whole country being placed on Level Three. It makes things so difficult for so many.

It is upsetting that once more we do not have congregations at Mass. Thank God, we have streaming and parish radios in so many of our parishes, Mass on Sunday on Radio Kerry, and daily on television with RTE News Now.

Many people and priests feel that it would be good to allow congregations to gather, however small, in Level Three. A small congregation can represent all of us. Our hearts go out to families who are postponing baptisms or having funerals and weddings with very small numbers.

One great appeal I make to all in the diocese. This is the most important part of my message. Please, let us all give 100% cooperation with what our country asks of us regarding the Public Health Guidelines: social distancing; face covering; washing / sanitising our hands.

As a united, loving, caring people let us give full cooperation to NPHET and our Government. It is the key to controlling the virus.

We know how deeply any further deterioration in the current serious situation will affect the lives of all of us, young and old. Think of how important the hospitality and tourism industry are to employment in our region. Think of all front-line staff.”

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