By Marian Harnett

PROLOGUE:  “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the Astonishing Light of your own Being!” 

                              Hafiz of Shiraz

PARENTING SUPPORT PROGRAMME: This 6-week programme is for parents of children under 12 & is on-line via Zoom, starting Wednesday, February 24, from 11am to 12.30pm but excluding Wednesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) and finishing on Wednesday, April 7.  Registration is essential, or for information, contact Mary on 087 9382883 or email [email protected]

URGENT MESSAGE RE; PHONE SCAM: People have been receiving calls from Tel:  +375602605281, Tel: +37127913091, Tel: +37178565072, Tel: +56322553736, Tel: +37052529259, Tel: +255901130460 or any number starting from +371 +375 +381. These guys only ring once and hang up.  If you call back, they can copy your contact list in 3sec and if you have a bank or credit card details on your phone, they can copy that too… +375 code is for Belarus . +371 code is for Lativa. +381 Serbia. +563 Valparaiso. +370 Vilnius. +255 Tanzania.  Don’t answer or Call back.  Also, Don’t Press #90 or #09 on your Mobile when asked by any caller.   It’s a new trick which is use to access your SIM card, make calls at your expense and frame you as a criminal.

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE:  We all need something to look forward to during these months of pandemic so why not treat yourself to a meal from Leens Hotel.  Available from 1-8pm seven days a week. Conor McCarthy’s Kitchen Table has also reopened for Takeaway and the Green Gourmet in Convent St.  is open for takeaway until 3pm Monday to Friday.

CHURCH CLOSURE:  Fr Tony Mullins 0872600414, Fr Dan Lane (Retired) 087/2533030, Fr Denis Mullane 087/26219.  Due to current restrictions around Covid-19 parishioners are not allowed to attend Mass inside the Church Building but you are more than welcome to attend Mass in the Church Car Park in the comfort of your own car and listen to Mass on the Car Park Radio on 107fm.  Due to current restrictions only 6 people are allowed to attend weddings and 10 to attend funerals.  The Blessed Sacrament chapel is open every day from 11-6pm for private prayer.  Reader’s lists and Missal are available from the sacristy.  .St Anthony Novena take place each Monday evening during the 7pm Mass.  Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help each Friday morning at 10am Mass.

PARISH FINANCES:  In this week’s parish newsletter our PP Canon Tony Mullins writes:  “I would like to acknowledge the ongoing financial support of parishioners. Your donations to the church and the various collections are greatly appreciated. However, the ongoing lockdown continues to impact on parish finances. Last year the offertory collection was down by 35% on the previous year’s collection. The offertory collection is the main source of income for the parish. Despite the lockdown, the continuing maintenance of the church building and the service provided to parishioners remains constant. I encourage parishioners to continue to make contributions towards the running of the church. You can do so by setting up a direct debit with your bank. For further information on this method of donating to the parish, contact the parish office and you will be helped in putting the payment in place. Parishioners can also contribute to the parish through the DONATE system now in place on the parish website. All donations are welcome. Sincere thanks to all of you for your ongoing generosity to the parish and for all the personal support that I receive. God Bless and protect you at this time.”

MUNSTER BISHOPS PLEAD FOR ADHERENCE TO GUIDELINES: “Funeral guidelines must be observed to avoid further lives being put at risk –Bishop Leahy”.  On Tuesday last, The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy along with the bishops of Munster announced updated guidelines for the celebration of funeral Masses and burials during this period of lockdown. Bishop Leahy said “while we must preserve our great culture of compassion towards the bereaved, we must stay away from funerals or further lives will be put at risk. He said that in offering these five points, it must be recognised that the vast majority of Catholics have been careful in their observance of the public health guidelines. The five points are: 1. Public Health guidelines are clear: attendance at funerals is to be restricted to 10. We appreciate there are some who believe that for the sake of accommodating the immediate family it would be better to allow a number higher than 10 for the funeral liturgy in a church. We too look forward to when that number can be increased. However, it is important that undertakers and priests clarify with bereaved families as early as possible regarding the limit of 10 people in the church.  2. As recommended in our statement last March, there should be no removal to the church the evening before. 3. People not attending the funeral liturgy should avoid congregating immediately outside the church building or around the hearse. For the sake of the great majority trying to keep to the public health guidelines, we ask people, difficult as it is, not to approach the bereaved in the church grounds or cemetery to sympathize.  4 .As per the public health guidelines regarding social and family gatherings, there should be no wakes or large gatherings for prayers in the house of the deceased nor gatherings in cemeteries.  5.Support for the bereaved can be expressed through social media as an alternative to attending the funeral. Often it is possible to link to a local church for a funeral ceremony via a webcam/Facebook Live. We invite people to pray for the deceased and family of the deceased in their own homes at the time of the funeral Mass   6.Bishop Leahy said, “In restating the guidelines around funerals we do so for the benefit of all concerned –mourners, undertakers, neighbours and friends as well as priests and public authorities –that we might have a common understanding of good practice around funerals aimed at keeping people safe from the virus. The bishops concluded “We wish to express our thanks to priests and sacristans as well as the many volunteers in our churches who ensure that all the requirements around the sanitising of our churches are observed. We also acknowledge with gratitude the care and help of undertakers in implementing the restrictions. May our deceased loved ones rest in peace and may the bereaved be comforted.”