Following a phone call and e-mail today to the diocesan office from a Senior Specialist in Public Health Care Medicine it was strongly advised, following a rise in numbers testing positive for the Corona Virus that I ask parishes in the Clare region to postpone, until further notice any planned First Holy Communion ceremonies and also if there are any remaining Confirmation ceremonies.
In the conversation it was made clear that the problem is not with the actual ceremony and implementation of best practice in the Churches and with the schools. In fact, clergy, laity, teachers and the many volunteers in schools and parishes are highly commended for the great work done and that continues to be done. The problem clearly lies with the gatherings and parties that invariably arise after the ceremonies, many of which are attended by elderly relatives and friends. While, we might like to think that it might be possible to hold the ceremony and the gathering won’t follow – unfortunately this invariably will not be the case, despite the best of intentions, so I would appeal to parishes to comply with the strong advice given.
I understand the upset and inconvenience this will cause, especially at such short notice for this weekend, but I would respectfully ask the parishes in the Clare region to follow this clear advice.
Many thanks and every good wish and blessing in the effort to make our Churches and Parishes as safe as possible always.
Le buíochas agus le mór-mheas,
✠ Fintan Monahan