Statement from Bishop Alan McGuckian to the priests and faithful of the Diocese of Raphoe

13 Mar 2020

Dealing with the coronavirus threat is a source of worry for all of us.  It is a moment for us to be in prayerful solidarity with each other.  It is, in fact, a time when prayer and our reliance on God is more important than ever.  We remember that the Lord will never abandon his people. It will be important that we look out for each other and especially the most vulnerable.  We remember people who may need support; maybe someone to do the shopping for them.  A phone call could make a huge difference to someone who feels the need to be in isolation for their own protection.

In light of the Government’s directive and with due regard for the health of our people and especially the vulnerable, we need to make some clear decisions for the upcoming period.  After consultation I have decided the following:

All Masses with congregations, Sunday and weekday, will be cancelled in the Diocese of Raphoe until 29 March 2020.  This will include any Station or House Masses.  This directive will be reviewed at the end of the month.

Priests will offer Mass each day for the intentions of their community.

The churches will be open during the day and everyone is encouraged to go in and pray.

Adoration should not take place in small oratories.

Confirmations will be cancelled until further notice.

Where Funerals, Weddings and Baptisms take place, we ask that only the immediate family attend.  In keeping with government guidelines, it must be less than 100 people.

It is important that people be discouraged from travelling to funerals at this time.

+Alan McGuckian SJ

Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.


  • The Diocese of Raphoe includes the greater part of County Donegal.