Bishop Brendan Leahy celebrated an ecumenical prayer crisis alongside Bishop Kenneth Kearon of the Church of Ireland, through a webcam from Mount Saint Alphonsus in Limerick city at 11am this morning.
The Bishops prayed the Our Father “together with everyone throughout the world” as urged by Pope Francis in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They stood far apart on the altar in front of an empty church.
The Pontiff on Tuesday invited all Christian denominations to pray “All together at the same time”, and Bishop Leahy encouraged everyone to continue to say the our father – or for people of different denominations, their own petition to God.
“Because of the crisis were in, as communities we are forced to stay apart to keep our distance from others. That’s very unnatural in a sense, in one sense a natural sense of community is being placed under pressure but I think while that is happening we are learning a new sense of community; a sense of community of care and compassion,” said Bishop Kenneth, urging people to help each other through this time.
On Sunday in a statement after Mass, Bishop Leahy said we must prepare for difficult experiences over the coming weeks and months as the Coronavirus takes hold, including death.
Aired on a live stream from St. John’s Cathedral, he told a personal story of the impact of Covid-19: “On Wednesday, I received word that a friend was going for testing for the virus as he wasn’t well, Thursday a text from my friend to say he was told he needed oxygen and that he would probably be in for a few days and that should help.
“Friday evening, another text from someone but with the shocking news my friend was unconscious, in a coma, critical. Thankfully, he has turned a corner and we are hopeful for him and he is surrounded by a symphony of prayer storming heaven.”
Bishop Leahy said this brought home the seriousness of the situation “It has shown me how indiscriminate this virus is.” He appealed to everyone to take part in preventative action in line with the guidelines of health officials.
Watch the LIVE webcam for Limerick Diocese here.