Saturday, 4 July 2020

Last-Minute Changes to Entry-Number Limits

On Friday 3rd July the Government announced that the limit of 50 people allowed to attend Mass since June 29th has been raised to whatever number each church can accommodate while adhering to government health and safety guidelines. (See newspaper report here.)  This means that our three churches can proceed to welcome to Sunday Mass tomorrow the number of people each of them has been judged capable of safely accommodating, i.e. 100 in Saggart, 70 in Rathcoole and 50 in Newcastle (see our Checklist ). The number limit of 50 for all churches announced in the previous post is, therefore, no longer applicable.

There will be ushers at the door of the church to guide people. The following notice will be displayed:

Please take a token (one per person, not per family) and place it in the basket inside the door. If there are no more tokens left, we are very sorry. Please attend another Mass.

For revised times of Masses see hereThe tokens are disinfected after every Mass. 

Apologies for having to implement such a 'No More Room' policy. It is as repugnant to us as it must be to you. But are we not each called to do whatever is necessary for the common good?

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Letter to Parishioners from the Wider Parish Team

Dear Parishioners,

First of all, we would like to thank all of you including parishioners, volunteers and parish team members for your patience and support in recent months. The lockdown has disrupted parish life in a way we could not have imagined. We look forward to the day when parishioners including choirs can get together again without all the restrictions. In the meantime we will work within the guidelines provided by the government and the diocesan office and we will do our best to keep you updated especially via the parish website. The following is a summary of recent developments.

The monthly parish pastoral council meetings in Saggart have been interrupted by the lockdown. We will resume as the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Since the beginning of the year we have lost a great servant Patricia Redmond RIP. Also some long serving members have expressed their intention to step down in 2020 and we thank them for giving their time and talents. We also look forward to new members coming on board and bringing new energy and ideas to the team. (There are no special qualifications other than a commitment to Christian life, supporting the parish and working as part of a team.)

Our parish pastoral worker Breda Carroll has retired from her full-time role which involved many aspects of parish life not least working with the local schools and helping to prepare children for Communion and Confirmation. We thank Breda for her great service and we wish her all the best in her retirement.

Our parish deacon Don Devaney was very unfortunate to be infected with the virus and spent several weeks in hospital including time in ICU. Thanks to excellent medical care and many prayers from many people Don is back home in Clondalkin and continuing his recovery. We wish Don all the best as he continues his recovery.

Fr Michael McGowan who has served the parish for many many years and recently passed his 91st birthday has finally decided to retire from active parish duty. Fr Michael continued to offer daily Mass in Rathcoole and weekend Mass in Brittas up to the beginning of the lockdown in April. We thank Fr Michael for his many years of service and we wish him good health and happiness in the years to come.

Our parish office in Saggart is currently open on Thursdays and the parish secretary Martina Hopkins will take calls on the mobile on the other weekdays. We also remember that Martina lost her husband recently RIP, making this a more difficult time for her. It reminds us that many people have invisible crosses to carry, made more difficult in the current circumstances, and we need to continue to be patient and kind towards each other.

From Monday June 29 daily church services will resume in our parish with some restrictions including physical distancing in the churches, limits on numbers, strict protocols for holy communion and, unfortunately, no choirs until further notice. The timetable of services is published on our parish website along with a diocesan Covid 19 safety checklist and guidance.  [See here:  Revised Mass Times  and  Safety Checklist.]

The transition back to daily Mass with people physically present together in our parish churches is a very welcome step and we hope it will be a safe and enjoyable experience for everybody. At the same time we know the virus has not gone away and we need to follow the guidance to keep each other and our communities safe. We all have a part to play and we look forward to working together with this in mind.

Kind regards,

On behalf of the wider parish team,

Frs  John Gilligan,  Kevin Doherty,  Colin Rothery  
Matt O'Sullivan

Note from Website Administrator

Tomorrow is Cemetery Sunday for Saggart.  Most unfortunately, since government guidelines are in operation until Monday 29th, there will be no public Mass, followed by blessing of the graves, in St Mary's tomorrow.  Fr John wishes it to be known that he has personally blessed each grave. 

From Monday personal attendance is allowed for up to 50 in our three churches, while streaming of the 11 am Mass will continue in Saggart. 

Please note that (very unfortunately but unavoidably) only 50 people will be admitted into our three churches next Sunday, 5th July. You will, as it were, 'sign in' by taking a token from the basket on the right-hand side of the porch and leaving it in the one on the left-hand side.  Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Retirement of Fr Michael McGowan

Fr Michael's 90th Birthday, March 2019

The Parish team together with the Parish Pastoral Council would like to thank Fr. Michael for his most wonderful dedicated service to our pastoral area. He turned 91 in March but still continued to serve in Brittas, Rathcoole and Saggart by celebrating daily Mass and regularly hearing confessions. Fr. Michael is in good form but now feels it is time for him to retire from public ministry. We wish him well and he will continue to live among us. I thank Trish and all his neighbours for the wonderful support they continue to give him and to those who brought Fr. Michael to the Mass venues over the past year. He will be greatly missed and the Parish team have now revised our Mass schedule.

Fr John Gilligan, Moderator

See previous post for Revised Mass Times.