Irish news digest

Organisers cancel Reek Sunday pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick

The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A vigil mass for those who intended to climb will take place at the end of July instead.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary will celebrate the Mass in Westport on Saturday 25 July.

The decision to abandon the annual pilgrimage on Sunday 26 July has been taken following detailed consultations in recent weeks.

In a statement, the Reek Sunday Organising Forum said that concern about visitor numbers and adherence to public health advice were the main deciding factors behind the cancellation.

Organisers say it would not be logistically possible to oversee the pilgrimage in 2020.

Many of the stewards that marshal the route are cocooning at present and the need for medical personnel on the site throughout the day would constitute further a health risk.

Public health experts also advised the organising forum that Reek Sunday fell outside the criteria outlined by Government for the staged reopening of the country.

The event draws thousands of people to the region on the last Sunday of July but this year they are being asked to stay away.

Audio–visual reflection for Ascension Day

Bishop Michael Burrows’ audio–visual reflection for Ascension Day will be live from 8am tomorrow, Thursday, 21st May on –
[ www.cashel.anglican.org ]

The Sash brings closure to Mass

A Co Fermanagh priest was lslightly red-faced last weekend when he accidentally played the intro to loyalist song ‘The Sash’ at the close of Sunday morning Mass. The incident happened at the end of the 11.30am service at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lisnaskea where Father Jimmy McPhillips was livestreaming to members of his congregation. The parish priest could be seen using a device to line-up the music, but immediately looked confused when the famous Orange Order song began playing – giving his parishioners at home a bit of a giggle.

Archbishop’s Commissary in Clogher Diocese

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, has appointed the Venerable Brian Harper, Archdeacon of Clogher Diocese, as his commissary in Clogher Diocese. The commissary acts on behalf of the Archbishop, who has overall oversight of the diocese during the vacancy, and it is a temporary role until a bishop is elected.

He has been rector of Magheracross (Ballinamallard) since 2012 and is chaplain to championship football club, Ballinamallard United. He has recently completed the Camino de Santiago.

Irish Methodist Covid resources

You will find –
• Roadmap for Gradual Easing of Lockdown ROI
• MCI Detailed Advice based on Northern Ireland Executive Guidelines
• Download Digital Resource Pack
• Return to Church Presentation Video
[[] https://www.irishmethodist.org/covid-19 ]

Covid–19: Guidance for Online Services

This advice from C of I seeks to assist parishes and dioceses which are providing or considering online worship opportunities or other videos featuring parishioners and others (including children and young people).
[[] https://www.ireland.anglican.org/parish-resources/606/covid19-guidance-for-online-services/covid19-guidance-for-online-services?utm_]

Emotional support for COVID-19 anxiety

The Church of England
[[] https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/stories-and-features/emotional-support-covid-19-anxiety ]

Points for Prayer

As life stretches ahead of us with few signs that “normality” will return any time soon, we pray for patience for ourselves and others, to let events take their course without us feeling overly frustrated.

Pray for leaders in government charged with taking massive decisions while facing many unknowns, asking that God would lead, guide, reassure, rule and overrule for the good of those under their care

Pray for retailers who provide us with essential items for everyday living, asking that God would help them overcome financial and staffing challenges caused by the pandemic’s interruption of the service they provide and begin to resume trading when the time is right.

Pray for the poor and vulnerable working in garment factories around the world who usually produce many of our clothes and are now being laid off without pay, asking that God would meet their needs and that the industry would find better, more just practices to reward their labour in future.

God in Creation