Bishop Brendan Leahy has expressed regret many children's Communions and Confirmations are postponed due to Covid-19 | PICTURE: MICHAEL COWHEY
BISHOP of Limerick Brendan Leahy has invited girls and boys preparing for their Confirmation or First Holy Communion to make contact with him.
Although kids across Limerick will have to wait to make their first sacrament due to the Covid-19 lockdown, he has called on them to instead write to him, or send him a drawing, and he will write back.
Speaking at midday Mass in St John’s Cathedral this lunchtime, Bishop Leahy said: “This week I got a lovely drawing of the Risen Jesus from eight-year old Carmel. I would invite girls and boys preparing for either First Communion or Confirmation, if they want, to send me in a drawing or write to me to let me know about what they are learning about Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I would be very happy to receive such drawings and letters. Maybe you have a question for me. I can try to get back to you with an answer.”
Meanwhile, Bishop Leahy says he’s encouraged by the coming together in prayer by families “in a way they did not experience for years.”
He says the church is “very much alive” despite the Covid-19 lockdown.
Thousands of people have been watching streams of live Masses over the Easter period, as places of worship joined scores of other facilities in closing.
“I have heard of whole families coming together, in a way they haven’t for years, to participate in Mass being transmitted on television or online in one way or another. I have heard of people looking up online how to pray the Rosary as they want to do so with loved ones who are dying or in their homes or mortuaries alongside the deceased,” he said, “Covid-19, strangely, is helping bring about a new recognition that the Church exists not only in church buildings or when we celebrate the sacraments, essential as these are in the overall, but it exists in every family.”
He said he hopes one of the “great learning outcomes” from this terrible pandemic, is the need for spiritality.
The leader of the Catholic church in Limerick praised diocesan advisors for the resources on www.limerickdiocese.ie for children about to make the sacrament.
“It is indeed a topsy-turvy time. What can we say about all that’s going on for the Church? No Masses, churches closed, no Eucharistic adoration, the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation postponed, and even pastoral visits to the sick and dying curtailed. All of this is painful. None of us have ever experienced anything like it. Though we understand why, nevertheless, some wonder what is it saying to us about the church and our regular church practices,” he added in his Homily.
“I read recently about a humorous cartoon of God talking to the ‘enemy.’ The Devil is saying, ‘With
He added that there are, of course, many other ways for the family to be Church, above all by loving one another.
“So, Covid-19 is indeed an enemy. It has closed your church and postponed celebration of the sacraments. But, paradoxically, it is also prompting you to recognise in a new way that God has opened a church in your house,” he concluded.
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