Updated guidance from the Irish Catholic Bishops
Updated 24th March: Notice from Newry Parish
NOTICE: On the advice of the Public Health Agency the Parish Office on Hill Street has closed as of today. For sick calls, Mass booking and general enquires call 028 30262586. Please post correspondence through the letterbox next-door at No. 40 Hill Street. The Priests of the Parish keep you the parishioners of Newry in our prayers and Masses at this time.
Updated 23rd March: Weddings and Baptisms suspended
From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work. Weddings and baptisms are suspended until further notice.
Updated 13th March 10.30am: notice from Newry Parish
From Friday 13th march 2020 until further notice all Masses in Newry parish will be said at the normal time and in private by the priest
All Masses will be available to watch on the parish website only at www.newrycathedralparish.org.
Funerals and weddings are restricted to 100 people in the church.
Baptisms will continue in Newry parish, however they will be restricted to the parents, siblings and godparents of the baby to be baptised only.
Thank you for your co-operation at this difficult time
Father Desmond Loughran
Update 12th March 6PM:
The Irish Bishops have issued further guidance in response to the measures taken by the Irish Government. In the current emergency situation, all are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass. We invite you to continue to participate in Mass via local radio and online. It may be possible for some parishes to facilitate attendance at Mass while still observing the health authority’s limit of 100 people. We will keep you informed. Please click to read the entire statement here as there are other new measures.
Update 11th March 6pm
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has released updated guidance relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The celebration of Mass on Sundays and on weekdays – including Saint Patrick’s Day – will continue as normal.
However, those with underlying conditions and those who are considered vulnerable are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend. We strongly encourage people with such conditions to avail of parish radio broadcasts and webcam. While in church and as far as possible people are asked to keep a safe distance from one another, in keeping with current advice. Please click here to read the full statement here as there are other changes.
Advice relating to ‘Flu and Coronavirus
Based on the most recent advice from Public Health authorities, the Diocese is implementing the following practices from Friday 28th February.
If you have symptoms
People who feel unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 including
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing
- high temperature
should not attend religious services but should stay at home and follow the advice of their GP and public health authorities.
Parishioners should be reminded that they are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass if they are unwell.
Precautions in churches
The Sign of Peace should be suspended at this time.
Similarly, the practice of shaking hands on greeting and departure at religious services/ gatherings should be suspended for both clergy and laity.
Holy Water fonts should not be used at this time.
Only the celebrant should drink from the Chalice.
Holy Communion should be administered into the hands only and NOT onto the tongue
Everyone administering Holy Communion should wash their hands or use alcohol based hand gel before beginning.
Parishes should take the following prudent actions:
- Supply tissues and alcohol based hand gel at religious services/gatherings
- Provide bins for disposal of tissues at religious gatherings.
- Ensure hand-washing facilities, including soap and disposable towels, are well maintained.
- Ensure all hard surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, hand rails, taps and pews are cleaned regularly with a household detergent.
Parochial activities/social religious gatherings on church premises should follow sensible practices, including hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.