Letters from Fr John

4 July

Dear Parishioners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s

Last week I wrote to tell you that the churches of our Archdiocese are being gradually reopened for public Mass in the coming weeks. I also told you that Our Lady’s and St Jerome’s will open on July 26th. Since I wrote to you, we have been working closely with the Archdiocese to prepare our church and put into place all the safety requirements. It is going to take time, but we are already making progress. Decisions still have to be made about how we work out who is able to come to Mass, the timings of Masses etc. But our first concern is to get all the preparations, materials and directives in place. Please continue to watch this space as we move nearer to the time of our reopening.

I am now delighted to announce that the Archbishop has decided to ordain John Mc Carthy to the Diaconate on Sunday, July 19th at 3.00pm at St Jerome’s. I am sure that we all share John’s joy and that of his family as he approaches this great day. Given the current restrictions, we understand that it will only be possible to have John’s family present in the church for the Ordination. It will be very simple. But the good news is that, hopefully, the Ordination will be live streamed, and so it will be possible for the parish family to share in the occasion electronically.

I know that several parishes have been able to live stream Mass regularly over these past months. Installing a professional system is costly. We have been without any collection income for over three months now, apart from those of you who kindly give by monthly direct debit. So our few resources have had to stretch to other needs. But when it became clear that we shall only be able to admit a smaller number of parishioners into the church for Sunday Mass, I felt it was time to get a system up and running, starting with St Jerome’s. Once our parish Masses begin again, I think it will be of crucial importance for those unable to attend to be able to join in our Mass from home. 

So we have been working on making this a reality, and the hope is that we can make this happen in time for John’s Ordination. 

Once again, I ask your prayers for all the preparations that are ongoing and for John as he approaches his Ordination. I also want to thank those who are working very hard at the moment behind the scenes to get everything ready for us. My sincere and grateful thanks to them.

May God bless you all,

Father John