Adapting to restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic Bishop Phonsie Cullinan has announced that Confession will be available across his diocese in open air venues on Saturday, in preparation for Pentecost.
In a pastoral message for the Feast of Pentecost Bishop Cullinan said that “part of our care for our brothers and sisters is our concern for their spiritual wellbeing”.
“This week in preparation for Pentecost, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available across the diocese in open-air venues,” he said.
The outdoor Confessions will take place tomorrow at various different times. A full list of venues and times is available here.
Bishop Cullinan also said that he is “very sad” that the faithful can’t gather for public Masses and receive Communion.
He said: “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. Care for the human person entails not only the physical but also the spiritual and psychological dimensions.
“Many things have to be taken into consideration to deal with this pastoral problem which is not an easy one.”
For those who “rightly fear” gathering in a congregation when churches reopen, Bishop Cullinan said that “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”.
If they know how to access online Masses and devotions, “they can benefit spiritually from them”, he added.
“I wish to commend all those who have been so patient in living without the Eucharist. 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.”
Parishes “must be ready” with volunteers who will work with the priest to “ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to have our places of worship very safe so that people can be confident as they worship. This will be a great help when the time comes for public Masses to resume,” 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.”