Dear Parents & Guardians,
This is a challenging time for many families and I would like to affirm all of you in the good work you are doing as parents / guardians.
I also appreciate the many concerns you may have and each day I ask the Lord to bless you with the graces you need.
The arrival of the Easter holidays, at a time of social distancing, is bound to be challenging but I hope it will also present your family with new opportunities. Generally children respond well to a structured day and I encourage you to take time to both play and pray with them and to involve them occasionally in novel activities for them, liking making buns or helping you do something that you can praise them for doing.
During prayer time please remember grandparents and other family members who may be self-isolating and also those who are unwell and those who care for them.
I also encourage you to keep up regular contact, even if it is brief. This is also a good time to remember with gratitude all the people who serve us in shops and through other services and to talk to our children about the good work they do for all of us on an ongoing basis.
As I write I am particularly conscious of children and families that were looking forward to First Communion and Confirmation celebrations. I and others in our parish look forward to celebrating with you when this pandemic has passed. In the meantime I encourage you to consider how, as a family, you will celebrate Easter, and the great events in the life of Christ which give these sacraments their meaning.
If you have internet access, you will find links to lovely child-friendly sacramental programmes, films, animated cartoons and prayers on our diocesan website https://www.elphindiocese.ie/programme-prayer-resources/ . Bishop Kevin has also uploaded a special message for Confirmation candidates (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=v4fwjKjYdjc&app=desktop).
Watch out too for news of our Easter ceremonies on social media and please join us. Your family is an integral part of our parish community.
Finally, feel free to ring me at any time, whether it be for a chat, or simply to request a prayer or a blessing for yourself or someone else. These are times for us to face the challenges together and as your priest it’s my great privilege to bring the needs and concerns, the joys, consolation and gratitude of our community to God.