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Rescheduling Communions a priority for parish – Fr McDonnell


Government hopes to lift restrictions for such services in September

Áine Ryan

THE logistics of how to reschedule First Holy Communions in the Westport parish is a priority that will be addressed in-house. Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Fr Charlie McDonnell, ADM, explained that there had been a plan to replicate scaled-back ceremonies over July and until next Sunday, August 15, but Government restrictions had caused the plan to be cancelled.
“Last year we basically held our Communions over a 12-week period. We would ask parents to call us and arrange a suitable Sunday. Then their child and four people would be scheduled along with nine other groups of five. The services were held after 12 noon Mass and it all worked really well,” Fr McDonnell said.   
Fr McDonnell said it was ‘an evolving situation’ and the administrative staff in the parish would be monitoring it.

MEANWHILE, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has released a statement concerning the recent disagreement between the Government and some Catholic bishops over the lack of engagement regarding the cancellation of First Holy Communions and Confirmations.
“The ACP is not aware of any discussion taking place with priests or pastoral councils by those bishops who stated that they were allowing parish celebrations of the sacraments in contradiction of the stated position of both medical and civil authorities. Such lack of consultation is a far cry from the approach to decision making envisioned in the Synodal Church promoted by Pope Francis, and being launched here in Ireland this year,” a spokesperson stated.
It follows a strong letter sent by the the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin to priests on Tuesday last (August 3) to proceed with such services in defiance of the Government’s public health advice.
However, Archbishop Dermot Farrell has since retracted this advice in light of a Government statement on Friday last confirming it ‘hopes to see those restrictions lifted in September’, subject to the public health situation at the time.