What's Happening‎ > ‎

Continuing Response to COVID-19 Situation - 21st March 2020

posted 20 Mar 2020, 12:50 by Lisa O'Neill   [ updated 20 Mar 2020, 12:51 ]

The parish is continuing to do everything in its power to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The special subcommittee of the Parish Pastoral Council is in regular communication to react to advice issued. 

Cancellation of Sunday Masses

Sunday Masses in Howth including the Saturday evening vigil Mass are cancelled until further notice. In this emergency situation, all are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass.

Sunday Masses (without a congregation) will be transmitted from Sutton parish by webcam and can be watched on a computer at home by logging on to www.stfintansparish.ieThese will be at the usual times of 6.30pm Saturday and 10am and 12.30pm on Sunday. Other Sunday and daily Masses can be found on www.churchservices.tv There are also radio and television Masses available.

The church will remain open for private prayer. 

As of the current time, weekday Masses and services will go ahead as long as the number in attendance is less than 100. Further restrictions may require this situation to change. We will react to such guidance if and when it is issued.

From March 19th RTE have decided to broadcast Mass every day at 10.30 am on RTE NEWS NOW from Letterkenny Cathedral.


Guidelines in place for all services in the church

As of 11 March 2020, the following guidance is in place for all services in the church:

• Any parishioner feeling unwell should not attendservices in the church
• Use of Holy Water fonts is suspended.
• Parishioners are asked to maintain a distance of approximately two metres from others in the church.
• Use of a handshake at the Sign of Peace is suspended. It is appropriate to smile, nod or bow to your neighbour during the Sign of Peace instead.
• Parishioners are asked to receive communion in the hand until this crisis has passed. Those who wish to receive only on the tongue may approach the priest in the sacristy after Mass.
• Only the priest may receive from the chalice. 


Cleaning of “high touch” areas in the church

Posters describing the facts relating to COVID-19 and good hand hygiene are on display in the church and we ask parishioners to read these carefully. Wipes are provided at the doors to the church and we ask that all visitors to the church would wipe down areas they touch when in the church and dispose of the wipes in the bins provided.

A rota of volunteers has been put in place to disinfect the “high touch” areas in the church twice every day. This includes door handles, handrails, pews and taps. 


Keeping in touch with elderly neighbours

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference reminds us in their statement that, “Each Christian community should be acutely aware of the responsibility to care for those most at risk. For example, even where it may not be appropriate to visit the elderly, a simple telephone call to enquire about their needs could mean so much to them.”

We know that many are already taking steps to look after the vulnerable in our parish and we thank all those who have taken steps in this regard. Best practice suggests leaving your name and phone number into elderly or ill neighbours along with a note offering to help with groceries or other messages is appropriate. Keeping regular contact by phone will also assist them in this time of necessary isolation.


Prayer resources at this time

The diocese has made several different prayer resources available on their website. They can be found at https://www.dublindiocese.ie/prayer-resources-for-use-during-coronavirus-pandemic/.

Pope Francis’ prayer to Mary during the Coronavirus pandemic can be found with this material and printed copies of it are available at all doors in the church.


Further updates

Any further updates regarding responses required to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic  will be posted on the church noticeboard, on the parish website and in the parish newsletter.

Howth Parish Pastoral Council    21st March 2020