Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick has welcomed the resumption of public worship, but has urged caution against “COVID complacency”. He also asked the public to think of the people of India as COVID sweeps with devastating consequences through their nation and to engage in a “marathon of prayer” that COVID passes.

Bishop Leahy said, “The resumption of public ceremonies in churches from 10 May onwards is deeply satisfying in so many ways.”

“Of course, we’ve been here before. We know how resumption of public ceremonies works. We have experience and are confident that the good measures put in place last summer will continue again this time. But confidence crumbles and is worthless under complacency so we must at no stage let up. COVID complacency is the enemy and we must redouble our efforts, not least we have come so far already.”

Speaking on the COVID crisis in India, the Bishop of Limerick said, “In this United World Week, while we look forward in hope to the coming weeks and months as more and more people get vaccinated, we need to keep in mind the tragic developments in India that is seeing so many being struck by the pandemic and so many dying.

“I would also invite people to take part in a ‘marathon’ of prayer that Pope Francis has launched for the month of May, a month we traditionally associate with Mary and prayer of the Rosary. The purpose of the marathon of prayer is to ask God for an end to the pandemic and that normal social and work activities can resume.”

Bishop Leahy said in conclusion, “One of the main Marian shrines of the world will lead this prayer each day. The Knock shrine will take this lead on 10 May with a focus in its prayer for people with disabilities. Many are generously doing virtual marathons for good causes these days. It would be great if many could join this spiritual marathon by committing themselves to saying all or some part of a Rosary each day.”

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