Bishop Phonsie Cullinan of Waterford & Lismore has announced that over the course of this week, in preparation for Pentecost Sunday, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available across the diocese in open-air venues. A list of all the open-air venues can be obtained from the diocesan website, waterfordlismore.ie.
In response to frustrations of many people at not being able to part take in the celebration of the Sacraments, particularly the celebration of the Eucharist, Bishop Cullinan said, “Like many others I am very sad that we still cannot gather for Eucharist together. People feel frustrated and cannot understand why the public celebration of the sacraments is not allowed. Sacraments sustain and strengthen us, and many feel as if their vital importance has not been given due consideration.” The bishop stressed that care for the human person goes beyond the physical, incorporating the spiritual and psychological dimensions.
Many people have also raised concerns about the safety of returning to public Mass celebrations. Bishop Cullinan assures them “there is no obligation to attend Mass during this emergency situation and anyone with genuine worries or an underlying health condition should stay safe at home and know that God is with them where they are.”
He urged those who can to make use of the many online resources available. Bishop Cullinan mentioned his own daily video message on the Waterford & Lismore Diocesan website, daily Rosary on Facebook, live-streamed Sunday Masses, and other initiatives that the diocese has undertaken at this time. Other links to daily Mass and prayers can be found on catholicbishops.ie.
Bishop Cullinan emphasised, “It is my hope that we will not have to wait too long for the Mass to be publicly celebrated, but we must proceed with caution.”
In conclusion, Bishop Cullinan thanked those who have spent time in Eucharistic Adoration at this time. He said, “I wish to thank all those who have kept the Lord company in Adoration in parishes throughout the diocese. They have brought with them the intentions of others, remembering especially the sick, the bereaved and the lonely.”