Dear Families and Friends throughout the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly,
Easter good wishes and blessings to you as we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We have so many reasons for which we give thanks and praise to God – nature is alive all around us, the leaves are stretching out into the sunlight, gardens and country roads are alive with colourful flowers. New life is everywhere. It is in this season of new life that we normally gather to celebrate the resurrection – an annual time of joy and happiness for Christians throughout the world.
However, in this year 2020, we cannot gather in our churches and communities as we would normally have done. Rather, we celebrate together at a distance. Thanks to the many modern means of communication we can still celebrate the joy of the resurrection. We are apart but still part of our communities through TV and Radio. I hope you will take advantage of the options available to follow the Easter ceremonies over the coming days.
The events over the past number of weeks, surrounding the Covid-19 virus, are reshaping our world – not only nationally but also internationally. The world as we knew it just a few short weeks ago is very different now as we sing the Easter Alleluia.
Currently while we have many challenges here at home, I ask you not to forget our brothers and sisters in great need in other parts of the world. There are many countries where resources to deal with this pandemic are meagre or non-existent. Please consider contributing to Trócaire or another aid agency working in these countries where resources are slim to deal with this emergency. Never has it been more obvious that we are one big human family on this earth. Together we must face this challenge now and into the future in solidarity with each another.
As disciples of the Crucified and Risen Lord we celebrate our baptism into his life, death and resurrection. Now more than ever we are called to live our faith in the midst of the uncertainty and fear surrounding this pandemic. We are an Easter People; Saint Paul reminds us that we are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20).
In a quiet moment you might read Chapter 25 of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. The words of the prophet fill us with hope: Our God is with us and will not abandon us, he reminds us: “Our God has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples, he has destroyed death for ever”. Isaiah (vs. 7-8)
Our prayers and thanks are with all those in civil society who are giving selflessly in this battle against the virus, especially all medical personnel and support staff working in hospitals and care homes throughout the country. My thanks to all the priests of the Archdiocese especially those who are assisting the priests who are over 70 years of age and who are unable to carry out their normal ministry.
As a people we are resilient and resourceful. Let us remain strong in the face of this pandemic and with God’s help we will emerge from it with renewed commitment and hope in our God and in each other.
It is important that we remain strong in our resolution to come through this dark moment. Let us remain vigilant in watching out for those who are living alone and those who are the weakest in our society.
We keep in our prayers and thoughts the sick and those in the grip of the virus. May the Risen Lord reign in your hearts and sustain you now and always.
+ Kieran O’Reilly
Archbishop of Cashel and Emly
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.