Phase 2 -Church re-opening: This coming Thursday (18th June) the Scottish Government plan to move into phase 2 of their “route map” of coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. However this all depends on how things are going on in the Country. In next week’s Newsletter it will be announced if the churches are re-opened for private prayer. When the Country goes into phase 2- then the Churches here on the island will all be unlocked and you are free to visit the Church for private prayer. Of course when you go to the church you should pay very close attention to what you are doing. Always use hand sanitiser gel as you enter and exit the church. Wear a face covering. If you are lighting a candle to wipe down the lighter with the antibacterial wipes provided. Please keep 2 metres apart in the church. There will only be certain pews available and some pews will be blocked off.
Holy Hour with Bishop Brian: Friday 19th June is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus -Bishop Brian will lead a Holy Hour of Prayer for the Priests of the Diocese. The Holy Hour will be live streamed through the Diocesan website/ facebook at 6.30pm. Also on Tuesday 23rd June Bishop Brian will lead a sacred Heart devotion on line at 6.30pm.
Requiem Masses: please note that when Phase 2 of church re-opening begins there will be the opportunity to have a public Requiem Mass for anyone who dies. Of course it will be only for the immediate family and some friends to attend. This is good news as it has been very difficult for families to miss the Requiem Mass and only be able to gather at the graveside for prayer. Once we enter phase 2 if there is a funeral the immediate family and some friends will be able to attend the Requiem Mass. Of course they will have to wear a face covering and to sanitise their hands and they will have to social distance in the church unless they are from the same family. In next week’s newsletter more details will be given on this.
Church Pass-keepers: when the Churches open for restricted public Masses (which is still 4 weeks away) there will be a need for pass-keepers to be involved. Yes we do have some pass-keepers in our churches but it would be good to have more. The Pass-keeper will meet parishioners at the door of the church; they will make sure those who arrive are wearing a face covering; they will remind people to clean their hands with sanitising gel. They will tell parishioners that they do not need to carry a hymn book or a newsletter into their pew. They will be instructed that the collection baskets are available as you enter the church and you can place your gift aid envelope or money then in the basket. The Pass-keepers will show people to their seat in the church. They will also guide parishioners to Holy Communion and also help people leave the church in a safe manner. If you would like to help as a pass-keeper please get in contact with Canon John Paul.
Church Cleaners: it will be good to have a list of names of those who could be available to help clean our churches after each Mass or maybe more often. These are strange times as we battle against this coronavirus and it might be uncomfortable for some people to clean churches when there is always the threat of this Coronavirus. If you are willing to help clean then please get in contact with Canon John Paul so that a list can be organised.
The Month of June is the Month of the Sacred Heart: This year the Feast of the Sacred Heart is in Friday 19th June and then on the following day is the feast of the Immaculate heart of Mary. Let us use this month to offer special prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to bless each of our hearts and homes in these strange and unsettling times.
Watching Holy Mass on the TV or Internet: we cannot physically go to Church for Holy Mass just now and so we must now use the Digital World. The Catholic channel EWTN on SKY channel 588 is very good. You can also go online and go to “Church services TV” or go to MCN media and we are spoilt for choice for the number of Masses being celebrated live on the internet. As always Bishop Brian is also live-streaming his daily Mass at 10am.
Sunday Collection: Canon John Paul wishes to thank those who have gone online or gone to the bank to help support the parish in their donations. It is very much appreciated especially in these difficult times. Remember Castlebay parish looks after Craigston Church and Vatersay Church . Northbay Parish looks after Eoligarry Church. So if you want to support your church then please use one of the following account details;
RCD Argyll & the Isles Castlebay Mission Account no. 65627538 Sort Code 839125 Coop Bank
RCD Argyll & the Isles Northbay Mission Account no. 65628061 Sort Code 839125 Coop Bank