Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy
BISHOP of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that confirmations across the diocese will begin from late summer onwards.
While specific arrangements regarding the ceremonies will be based on public health guidance at the time, Bishop Leahy said that they celebrations will be the same special sacramental rite of passage, except perhaps for the numbers involved.
And he gave details of a special diocesan registration system established to facilitate this year’s celebrations of the sacrament. A similar system has been put in place for parents of children making their first holy communion.
Bishop Leahy, who asked families to register at the earliest opportunity, revealed the outline plan for confirmations - the sacrament that gives the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirt - at the end of Mass on Pentecost Sunday today, which celebrates the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples of Jesus.
"It has been good on this Pentecost Sunday to dedicate our attention particularly to the girls and boys making the Confirmation and their families.
"We know they are very much looking forward to the big day and my hope is that from late summer onwards we will be able in small groups to begin celebrating the sacrament of confirmation in parishes across the diocese.”
Bishop Leahy said that since the boys and girls will by late summer have left their current school, the diocese has set up a registration system to facilitate arrangements.
Families are asked to register the girl or boy who has been preparing for confirmation on a diocesan registration form available on the Limerick diocesan website, www.limerickdiocese.org . The diocese will then inform the parish which will, in turn, be in touch directly with the families.
Likewise, Bishop Leahy said, families are asked to register any girl or boy who has been preparing for first holy communion on a similar form, which can also be downloaded from the diocesan website.
Bishop Leahy also gave details of an online liturgy on Wednesday for sixth year students who were due to commence their leaving cert examinations on Wednesday.
This will be delivered online on Wednesday, June 3, at 7pm by Bishop Leahy, together with Fr Chris O’Donnell and diocesan youth ministry coordinator Aoife Walsh. The liturgy of encouragement, “a time of prayer and reflection”, he said, will be streamed from St John’s Cathedral webcam as well as relayed via Facebook Live and the Limerick diocesan Facebook page.
"It won’t be a graduation ceremony or a Mass but, rather, a reflective moment to mark the conclusion of second level studies,” Bishop Leahy added.
"Even though they’ve had incredible uncertainty in the last weeks or months, nevertheless, this is an important moment to mark. It is a milestone. The class of 2020 will bring with them to future generations a unique experience, one that has certainly brought home both the fragility of life and the importance of focussing on what really matters. It has made us appreciate many things we normally take for granted, life itself, but also family, friends, work and the services of many normally not really acknowledged.
“In congratulating the 2020 class, I also encourage them to nurture their relationship spiritually with God who has created each person as a gift for others with a mind to think, a heart to love and hands to take action. I pray that each young man and woman of the 2020 class, with their unique experience marked by the Covid-19 crisis, may go forward in life with the desire to leave a mark in history, making a real difference in our world.”
Bishop Leahy, after the ceremony, also urged people not to be complacent now that we seem to be getting on top of the first wave of the COVID-19.
"The R rate we’re told is going in the right direction. We thank God. But we know we need to be careful not to be opening doors to an intruder that is all too willing to come visit and wield more injury and grief.
"Let’s remember the motto, more haste less speed. We want to move to our destination of the Covid-19 new normal but let’s make sure we get there within the speed limits indicated for our good. Otherwise, the ‘speed kills’ warning will apply to the roadways of our relationships and social gatherings. Moving steadily and safely we will save lives," he said.