Laois Offaly Gardaí have urged the public to only engage with religious service via the recommended methods at home over Easter and during the Covid-19 emergency.
Garda Chief Superintendent John Scanlon urged the public to follow the guidance of church leaders and comply with the Government's Covid19 restrictions not to gather, to cocoon practice social distancing.
He warned against the temptation of attending any ad hoc services that could put them at risk of contracting the virus.
The garda praised all parishes who have been to the fore in helping people during the crisis and maintaining religious services through virtual means.
Churches are closed during the emergency but people can engage with religious services through various means such as radio, TV and online streaming via parish webcams.
The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has 56 parishes and includes virtually all of Carlow and parts of counties Kildare, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow. They say they are constantly trying to reach out to more and more people each day across the diocese and beyond through various means
PARISH WEBCAMS: https://www.kandle.ie/holy- week-parish-schedules/ this is a list of the 30+ parishes in our diocese who have a webcam and are streaming services daily.
FUNERALS: The diocese hopes they bring comfort to those who are mourning at the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19.
HOLY WEEK AT HOME: Julie Kavanagh from the FDS team has prepared resources for use by families in the home this Holy Week. It includes lots of ideas on how to celebrate Holy Thursday, Good Friday as a family at home Easter Sunday when we can’t enter a church - Holy Week at Home Resources
SOCIAL MEDIA: The diocese isvery active on Facebook and twitter @KANDLEi. There is daily live streaming of various services from across the diocese so feel free to share our pages with your followers as there has been a remarkable engagement, especially in these past few weeks.
All these resources and many more are available on our diocesan website www.kandle.ie.
Meanwhile, Faithcast, the weekly faith podcast from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, launched during special Holy Week. The Faithcasts will focus on how we can live Holy Week as people of faith in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Irish bishops say faithcast is a mixture of interviews, news and stories of faith from the Catholic Church in Ireland. The podcast, which is usually published weekly, will now have a daily episode from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
Contributors to the Holy Week reflection series are:
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore and Primate of All Ireland
Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin
Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe
Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire
Brother Richard Hendrick Ofm Cap
Father Vincent Sherlock of Achonry Diocese
Brenda Drumm, Catholic Communications Office
Ger Gallagher, Pastoral Worker in Dublin Diocese
Contributors to the series will reflect on the meaning and symbolism of each of the days of Holy Week, beginning with a reflection from Brother Richard Hendrick on Palm Sunday and taking us through the week, concluding on Easter Sunday with a message from Archbishop Eamon Martin.
Commenting on the Faithcasts, Archbishop Eamon said Martin said: “As we prepare to celebrate Holy Week at home this year, we are offering people a chance to hear from different voices of faith. These daily reflections from bishops, priests and lay people will hopefully offer listeners a pause for thought from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
“I invite people to tune in to our Holy Week reflections. There are many people feeling alone and isolated at the moment and we hope that our short pieces of audio can assist people in living Holy Week in their homes.
“This podcast series is just one of a number of digital opportunities that we have been offering to people during these days. I would like to thank all those priests and people putting out into the deep of the net at this time and connecting with their parishioners on the digital highways,” he said.
The podcasts will be available on www.catholicbishops.ie and on all Bishops’ Conference social media platforms:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ IrishCatholicBishops/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ CatholicBishops
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ catholicbishops/
You can also subscribe to the podcast at this link https://audioboom.com/ dashboard/4929766