St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s is a Roman Catholic community of faith seeking to live the presence of Jesus Christ by the way we worship God, celebrate the sacraments, proclaim the Gospel, and serve one another and our neighbours.
24th March 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Things are moving very fast and I was keen to share the following information with you.
Following the statements from the Prime Minister and the First Minister yesterday evening, Bishop John has updated his guidance to us about the emergency situation in which we now find ourselves. Here are the relevant points for you to know.
Places of Public Worship are to be closed. As of today, our churches are closed to the public until further notice.
Citizens are to stay at home unless for absolutely necessary business. We will be seeking clarification from the Government as to what might constitute essential pastoral work, as in the care of the dying at home, care homes or hospitals.
For now, we have to presume the Statement implies that we should not attend .
However, the Holy See has already issued a Plenary Indulgence to all who are sick or dying, and to those caring for them. This indulgence has been approved by our Holy Father Pope Francis.
In effect, this will mean that our loved ones who are dying are not deprived of the necessary graces which would have come to them through the Sacrament of the Sick, even though we are unable to celebrate the Sacrament with them in person.
No Baptisms or Weddings are to be celebrated. The celebration of the Sacraments is postponed to a future date.
There is an exception for Funerals, HOWEVER, since Churches are closed, funeral rites will be held at the place of committal. We will make arrangements with families by ‘phone in place of home visits. Funeral Directors will be reminding mourners to limit attendance to immediate family, and we will be supporting them in this task.
A for our loved ones who die during this crisis will be arranged at a later date. On the day of the Funeral I will offer Mass for the eternal repose of the deceased and for the comforting of their family.
I will continue to celebrate Mass each day, especially for you and your loved ones. I will also remember each day those of our brothers and sisters who suffering from the coronavirus and their families and I will pray for our health care workers in our local Hospital, Health Centres, Nursing Homes, Hospices and all in our emergency Services. Nor do I forget those who govern us, both in the Church and in Government, and who have such difficult decisions to make for the good of all our people.
Please follow the advice which has been issued.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Des Berry
Mission of the Church
The Mission of the Church is given by Our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded at the close of the Gospel of Matthew; Our Lord says; "go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)
The Mission of the Church therefore informs every aspect of the work of the Parish. 'Making Disciples' has to therefore be the reason behind all that we do.
Pope Francis states in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel" the following words;
"I dream of a 'missionary option', that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light."