By Michelle Crean

Temporary guidelines for the diocese of Kerry issued this lunchtime (Friday) include no public Masses this weekend or St Patrick’s Day – from now to Thursday next.

The move effects all Masses, daily and weekend and other liturgies, in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the diocese of Kerry, many of those who regularly attend are in the vulnerable category. 

“In solidarity with them we want that no one will be coming out to Mass. Every person minimising social contact is key, if this saves even one life.”

Priests will continue to celebrate their Masses, without a congregation, for all the people of the diocese. Where possible this will be broadcast via parish radio or webcam/streaming. People are asked to consider setting aside a few minutes for prayer at 11am on Sundays and St Patrick’s Day, uniting as one in prayer with all the Masses being celebrated privately. Also many people are deciding to pray the Rosary or a decade at home each evening.

Meanwhile the diocese will seek to consult widely and by Thursday will make decisions regarding the next few weeks. 

Bishop  Ray Browne has asked for time to pause to let them make good decisions.

He also issued a special greeting to all candidates for confirmation and their families and school communities. 

“We have had such wonderful celebrations in recent weeks. How disappointing for those whose ceremonies are now delayed. In time all will be rearranged.”