Dear Editor, As the dioceses and parishes prepare to open up their churches and cathedrals again, albeit in restricted measures, I am sure many would join with me in thanking the many priests, bishops, religious, deacons and faithful who continued to minister to us during the weeks of lockdown.
Through their creative usage of modern technology, we were able to participate in very wide programmes of support on offer throughout the dioceses – daily Mass, various liturgies, meditative Rosaries, Gospel sharing, ‘pilgrimages’, ‘retreats’, all night vigils and much more.
It was striking how the ministers of the liturgies could create an intimacy with their ‘virtual’ congregations.
May we who have benefited so much through the nourishment that was streamed to us during these past months of lockdown now offer our support to our parishes and dioceses as they plan to address the challenges that the easing of lockdown will now present.
Newcastle, Co. Down.
‘Bowled over’ by newspaper
Dear Editor, I never read The Irish Catholic before. I was told there was an article on Carlo Acutis so I bought it in Rathgar church this morning.
My God I have been bowled over by it.
There’s hours of reading and all my favourites are there, St Therese Padre Pio, etc. and even Pierre Giorgio Frassati.
I am a daily Massgoer in Good Shepherd church, Churchtown. I will definitely buy your paper from now on. So keep up the good work.
Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
Mater Dei survey ‘very enlightening’
Dear Editor, It was very interesting to read an article in your paper regarding Mater Dei’s research into the affect of coronavirus [IC 28/06/2020]. Perhaps the most interesting discovery was that two-thirds of people felt their faith was strengthened during this pandemic. At the same time in times of crisis people who may have been brought up Catholic but are not practicing most certainly turn to Jesus Christ.
In a country that is becoming more sceptical and even outright hostile to religion it would be interesting to see how many people turned to God for hope. There is not much hope to be found in a world that has become seduced by greed, sex and material possessions, when a crisis of this magnitude strikes who else is there to turn to when asking for support?
We must remember that only through Christ can we be truly happy and even when terrible things happen, He will never abandon us because there is a greater plan at work for all of our lives.
Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Praise for Archbishop Diarmuid’s reaction to crises
Dear Editor, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has done sterling work behind the scenes to give Irish Catholics a voice by expressing their needs and wishes to Government.
On your front page [IC 25/06/2020] you revealed important correspondence between the archbishop and Government that everyone needed to see and I applaud you for that. The archbishop has received – like many of our hierarchy – much criticism, seeing him weigh in like this in a political context shows him in a hugely positive, and impressive, light.
Furthermore, Archbishop Martin’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been admirable overall, just like his response to the abuse crisis. He has said on many occasions that he feels it’s time for new blood in his position and although I would tend to agree I think the Church will have lost an important figure who has shown his mettle when it comes to crisis management.
He has recently turned 75 and I would hope that whoever is chosen to take over one of the most important, if not the most important, position for the Church in Ireland they will be just as good in trying situations. God bless the archbishop.
Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Government ‘totally’ out of touch with the Church
Dear Editor, It’s sad to think that the Government is so totally out of touch with religion that the hierarchy have to inform them of the very obvious effects the restrictions have on Catholics in our country.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin seemingly had to spell out to Government what effect the lockdown was having on people of faith, reported in your most recent paper [IC 28/06/2020].
Perhaps it’s naïve to think that the people elected by the majority Catholic population would be aware of how not being able to go to church for Mass, Confession, Baptisms, etc, has severely hurt people of Faith throughout this pandemic.
Of course, the restrictions due to Covid-19 have been put in place to save lives and as Christians we believe life is sacred. What does not make sense is the blanket restrictions that have not just affected people of faith but a myriad of businesses and individuals that in retrospect were ill thought out in my opinion. Why only now are facemasks being made mandatory? Why weren’t nursing homes made a priority?
There are so many questions that should be asked that are not being asked by a media that’s very cosy with the Government. No, our politicians have not ‘played a blinder’, we have a huge death rate when considering the size of our population and have the largest percentage of Covid-19 infections among health staff in the world according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
I hope we can learn from our mistakes and not forget the contribution our clergy have made in this difficult time.
Templeogue, Co. Dublin.